Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90
This kiosk in Tel Aviv was snapped by a photographer in 2008.

Groceries and kiosks will be allowed to open on Shabbat and holidays according to an amendment approved by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa (Yafo) city government on Monday.

Before the law reaches final passage, however, it must still win the approval of Israel’s Interior Ministry.

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Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has advocated for passage of the law, which he maintains would allow the city to “keep the Tel Aviv spirit, one that cares for the Shabbat as the day of rest, as a social value in the Jewish State, and also allows for the provision of services and the freedom for everyone to use this day of rest as they wish.”

But city council member Rabbi Naftali Lubert, a member of the Orthodox Jewish community, slammed the statement at a stormy hearing on the matter in city hall. “This is a black day,” he said, warning, “What is about to be carried out is a violation of the law against working and resting hours. And for what? To buy beer?”

The issue also touches upon the problem of employers pressuring Jewish employees to work on the Sabbath – and denying jobs altogether to those who are Sabbath observant.  Such discrimination is illegal in the Jewish State, albeit still perpetrated though rarely discussed.  There may be fears the law could increase the incidence of employer discrimination against Sabbath observant job seekers in the White City.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

34 COMMENTS

  1. That is sad, sounds Americanized or whatever. My family and I have precious memories of the way we kept the day Holy as we were growing up….Now it is evidently affecting America as a whole and it’s so easy to stray from the truth if one does not “buy the truth and sell it not”…just saying, my own personal way of prioritizing while striving to keep a balance of perfect liberty! To whom much is given, much is required, starting with knowledge and understanding of the age old foundation of the truth…it’s part of my spiritual journey as life hurries on, Doreen Siler

  2. Remember the the Sabbath day …6 days you shall labor …. but the sabbath …. you will do no work. Exodus 20:8-11, 6 days shall work be done, but the Sabbath day is a Sabbath of solemn rest,. Leviticus 23:3, Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, … 6days you shall labor and do all your work, but the 7th day is the Sabbath of the LORD your G-D. In it you will do no work:… Deuteronomy 5:12. If G-d put this one commandment in THREE different places, HE REALLY MEANS IT!

  3. I don’t think any business should be allowed to conduct business on religious days.When America stated opening businesses on Sunday it has been in a downhill climb.God is not pleased.What God wants should always come first.Otherwise things will go wrong.

  4. Not a good idea. Shabbot has kept the Jewish people for all of time , and It keeps the jewish state of Israel alive. It is quite simply the magic that keeps Israel miraculous. On a more mundane level Jews will be pressured to work on Shabbat. That would be the beginning of the end of Jewish culture in the state of Israel .

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