Will there be a new round of fighting between chareidim and secular residents in Ashdod surrounding the opening of a kiosk on Shabbos? The kiosk operated on Shabbos in a city park, Ashdod Yam Park, which is operated by the city, and the chareidim explain the opening on Shabbos is a violation of the religious status quo in the city.
However, the entry of the Shas and Yahadut Hatorah parties into the coalition of Mayor Yechiel Lasri apparently led to the fact that, unlike in the past, there were no unequivocal responses to the Chilul Shabbos, even though it could lead to a complete breach of the status quo and the opening of additional shops on Shabbos.
On the chareidi street, there has been great anger at the religious mayor since the opening of the kiosk. Local media reports that the chareidi residents sent messages to Lasri expressing anger over the violation of the status quo.
“The Shabbos is not moichel her kovod ” and “We do not believe that we chose you with a yarmulke on your head” are just some of the messages that came to the personal mobile phone of Mayor Yechiel Lasri.
Deputy Mayor Avi Amsalem, who responded to the opening of the kiosk, spoke with Kikar Shabbos News to attack the activists, not the mayor: “A honey trap has been set up by the owner of the kiosk, the people who are interested in exaggerating the rift and the rift in society, by a pizzeria that apparently put pressure on him to open it on Shabbos.”
“But the loss will be all his” explains the city’s Shas party chairman, who added, “During the weekdays, in a month and two months, chareidi and traditional Orthodox Jews from all over the country will flood the park in droves. It will lose when the public does not buy anything from it.”
Chareidi Shabbos activists in Ashdod note that before the tenure of Dr. Lasri as mayor, the centers of Chilul Shabbos were almost nonexistent.
The Big Shopping Center was established only in 2015, the first year of the Lasri’s second term, and in the absence of enforcement, it became a huge center for Chilul Shabbos, followed by the ‘City’ area, which in the past was quiet and deserted completely.”
Shabbos activists in Ashdod present statistics, stating that due to the absence of municipal enforcement, there was a major decline in the status quo from 50 stores being mechalel Shabbos in 2008, the first year of Lasri’s term as mayor of Ashdod, jumped to 300 stores being mechalel Shabbos in the course of decade.
Kikar Shabbos News adds it contacted the Ashdod Municipality for a response, but officials declined.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)