web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Court to Rule If Jerusalem’s ’Cinema City’ Can Violate the Sabbath

If there is such a thing as religious coercion, there also is secular coercion.
Cinema City has opened its doors in Jerusalem, but the court will decide if Superman can violate the Sabbath.

Cinema City has opened its doors in Jerusalem, but the court will decide if Superman can violate the Sabbath.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sinde Flash90

Jerusalem’s $75 million, 19-theatre Cinema City opened on Tuesday, but the Supreme Court will decide next month if it can operate on the Sabbath, in violation of both Jewish law and the “status quo” that maintains an equilibrium and unstable peace between observant and non-observant Jews in the capital.

Multi-screen theatres are common in Israel, but not in Jerusalem. The new eight-floor complex, located across the street from the same court building that will decide its fate on the Sabbath, includes 50 cafes and shops and is expected to see up to 15 million visitors in its first year of operation.

The last thing Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat needs is another reason for riots from the Haredi community, which already has enough fuel for a city-wide blaze of anger over the idea of a military draft for all Jews, including yeshiva students. The argument over the compulsory draft for all conveniently does not focus on Arabs. That is another story by itself but illustrates how Israeli politicians manage to ride the rails of populism.

Mayor Barkat has taken the safe road on the issue of Shabbat. During last year’s mayoral election race, he said the complex should remain closed on the Day of Rest. He now emphasizes that the decision is up to the court. Given the financial income to the city by thousands of tourists spending money on movies and restaurants on the Sabbath, Barkat’s heart might be in the wallet and not in the Torah.

The municipality has stated that the agreement between Cinema City’s developers and the Finance Ministry stipulated that the movie complex will not operate on the Sabbath since it is located on government property.

City Council member Merav Cohen insists that Barkat can change the terms of the agreement if he wants to and that it is not dependent on the Finance Ministry.

Deputy Mayor Yossi Deutsch claims that most of the city council opposes a Shabbat opening for the theatre complex. Whether or not a majority really wants it closed because of religious reasons or out of respect for the Orthodox community, they certainly would prefer Jerusalem get attention from other areas instead of Haredi riots.

The fact is that when the Jerusalem City Council decided four years ago that Cinema City would be closed on the Sabbath, only three members at the meeting objected.

National religious Rabbi Yaakov Medan of Gush Etzion has written that the cinema complex should be open for secular Israelis, with restrictions against restaurants and other commercial establishments being open. He said that Jerusalem needs secular residents, who should not feel they have to live elsewhere to avoid restrictions due to the Sabbath.

The argument is an old one. Is it religious coercion to close down movie theatres on Shabbat? Is it secular coercion to allow them to open? Does it ruin the religious character of the city, if not Israel, by allowing them to operate?

Those are interesting social, theological and philosophical questions, but the more immediate question might be if the court will take into consideration the physical safety of citizens if it allows Cinema City to open its doors and if riots follow.

Everything in Israel comes down to politics. The Haredim correctly feel they are being marginalized, although the change is long overdue. The government has cut funds for yeshivas, it wants Haredi youth to serve in the army just like everyone else – except secular draft dodgers about whom no one seems to write.

The Haredi establishment has managed to hold on to the Chief Rabbinate, but its powers are being undermined with a belated reform of kosher supervision that is aimed at  eliminating corruption and making sure that “kosher” really is ”kosher” and not just a stamp on a certificate in return for money in the pocket.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “Court to Rule If Jerusalem’s ’Cinema City’ Can Violate the Sabbath”

  1. writenut says:

    When we understand that G-d gave us the Land of Israel as a Holy Land, then we can begin to understand that means more than enjoying the beaches or the cinema. It requires us to ‘make it’, Isreal a Holy place. When we are not Observant of His Laws on Shabbos, it is counter intuitive to the well being of our Nation and the sanctity/security of The Land.
    writenut-

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Children run into a shelter during a Code Red siren warning of incoming rockets fired from Gaza in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.
IDF Retaliates for Ashkelon’s Morning Rocket Fire
Latest News Stories
Yeshoron Tzoran

Yeshoron Tzoran is the officer who stopped the Arab terrorist near Beitar Ilit who was driving a massive car bomb to his target. Tzoran’s quick thinking and action saved hundreds of lives.

Givati soldiers standing over a Hamas terror tunnel.

The IDF blew up two more tunnels in the course of the last 24 hours. “The longer we stay on the ground, the more we learn about the extent of the tunnels and the route they were built in.”

Children run into a shelter during a Code Red siren warning of incoming rockets fired from Gaza in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.

The IDF retaliated Monday morning for rocket fire aimed at Ashkelon after hours of quiet on the front.

Israeli soldier reciting the Shema prayer near the border in Southern Israel on July 20, 2014.

Calling for a global recitation of the Shema at 12:00 noon EST, 7:00 a.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. in Israel.

The UN Security Council wants a cease fire now. The focus is on the safety of Gaza civilians, but not Israel’s security.

The IDF claims from their investigation and released video of the shell that hit the UNRWA school that they did not kill the 16 people.

If anti-Israel doesn’t necessarily mean anti-Israel-Semitic, why do anti-Israel protests always seem to be so violent?

Make up your mind: PA Chairman can’t decide whether Palestinians are sovereign state or feeble protectorate

Thinking her microphone’s been turned off, UN translator speaks her mind about world body’s anti-Israel obsession.

2010 cruise to Gaza ended so well, ‘humanitarian activists’ want to try it all again.

PM Netanyahu gave an interview (in English) and talked about the cease fire violations.

Islamic Republic pledges ongoing support for Hamas, tells Meet the Press that US weapons intended to kill Arab civilians.

Hamas had been preparing a murderous massive assault on Israeli civilian targets during the upcoming Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hashanah.

Hamas not only has no respect for the living but it also has no respect for the dead.

Kerry is consistent. He has talked so much and promised so much that, like the peace process, his ceasefire delivered nothing.

Hamas proposed a truce after rejecting it, and true to its principles, continued to fire at rockets at Israel.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Hams shoots rockets at Israel from Muslim cemetery in Gaza.

Hamas not only has no respect for the living but it also has no respect for the dead.

John Kerry up in the air and out of this world.

Kerry is consistent. He has talked so much and promised so much that, like the peace process, his ceasefire delivered nothing.

Hamas proposed a truce after rejecting it, and true to its principles, continued to fire at rockets at Israel.

Twenty Days, 30 terror tunnels destroyed and 2,200 rockets fired at Israel. The price: 43 soldiers.

Jewish entertainers Joan Rivers and Howard Stern are lone pro-Israel voices from the entertainment world. Where is Streisand?

Hamas continues to attack Israel during Israel’s unilateral extension of humanitarian ceasefire.

Hamas once again helps proves the accuracy of a Psalm 120:7 – “I say ‘peace’ and they are for war.”

Who’s on first? Leftists protest in Tel Aviv against the IDF’s war on terror and then have to flee because of Hamas rocket fire.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/court-to-rule-if-jerusalems-cinema-city-will-violate-the-sabbath/2014/02/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: