Deputy Health Minister (Yahadut Hatorah) Yaakov Litzman addressed the Shabbos minibus service that operated this past Shabbos in Gush Dan, angering the religious and chareidi lawmakers in Knesset. However, unlike in the past when addressing Chilul Shabbos in the public sphere, the chareidi lawmakers’ response to the Chilul Shabbos was mild and it did not carry the usually harsh tone that was heard in the past.
Litzman, who is Chairman of the Agudas Yisrael faction of Yahadut Hatorah was no different than his colleagues, as his response was measured as well. He explains it away because “this is a transition government”. He adds, “The trend of Chilul Shabbos in different cities is a blatant defiance of exploitation by shameless politicians who do not hesitate to harm the Jewish character of the state.”
Litzman stressed the bus service shocked the chareidi, religious and traditional residents alike, decrying the “trampling of the status quo and turning the Holy Shabbos day into a day of free trips.”
He explains the chareidi representatives are truly pained by the growing Chilul Shabbos, but at present, with the current political reality, they do not have the ability to “correct the matter”.
Litzman concluded, “Baruch Hashem, we will not permit the trend to expand, for this would represent a systemic change of all that maintained the Jewish character of the state throughout the years.”
It is pointed out that in the past, while serving as Minister of Defense, Litzman resigned his post in protest over growing Chilul Shabbos in line with the decision reached by the admorim serving on the Moetzas Gedolei Torah of Agudas Yisrael.
Interestingly, the Degel Hatorah faction of Yahadut Hatorah remains totally silent, as it has not issued any remarks after Shabbos. In fact, its Yated Neeman affiliated newspaper reported on erev Shabbos, in a red banner headline, that the buses R”L would be running on Shabbos, but nothing was heard after Shabbos.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)