web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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.

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

Current Top Story
Christian Israeli Kay Wilson and Mohammed "Zionist" Zoabi.
Christian Terror Victim Protected ‘Mohammed the Zionist’ from Terrorists
Latest News Stories
Police and the IDF find the vehicle and its driver suspected of having tried to run down Jews Thursday morning.

Bereaved family says hit-and-run death was terrorism.

Christian Israeli Kay Wilson and Mohammed "Zionist" Zoabi.

Anti-Zionist Arabs don’t always distinguish between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Rami Levi will have to start paying minimum wage workers more money.

Elections, and not Netanyahu, raised the minimum wage.

Armed Palestinian Authority soldier, whom Abbas says he won't order to kill Jews but won't be able to stop him.

Palestinian Authority head says he can’t stop attacks on Jews.

Oscar-winner “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport” has been selected for permanent preservation in the Library of Congress by the National Film Registry. The film, released in 2000, documents the rescue of some 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Nazi-dominated Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in the months leading up to World War II. […]

Dr. Ben Carson is waiting for God to tell him if he should run for president.

Four arrested in crackdown on anti-assimilation group Lehava.

The decision of Uri Aril’s Tekuma faction to remain in the party and re-start a “Yesha faction” is a blessing.

PM Netanyahu lit the 5th Chanukah candle at the Kotel. We understand that he then sung a beautiful rendition of Maoz Tzur, but we unfortunately don’t have that on video.

It doesn’t pay to be a foreign volunteer soldier in the ISIS army.

This is the first flask of ritually pure olive oil made in 2000 years.

First Lebanon’s Hezbollah started the Second Lebanon War, now the UN wants Israel to pay Lebanon for damages.

Stern expressed dismay at Tzipi Livni’s merger with the Labor party.

The Islamic terrorist entered the police station and began stabbing policemen while yelling “Allah hu Akbar”.

Two girls in Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak were taking a selfie video when the rocket siren went off on Friday morning.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Christian Israeli Kay Wilson and Mohammed "Zionist" Zoabi.

Anti-Zionist Arabs don’t always distinguish between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Rami Levi will have to start paying minimum wage workers more money.

Elections, and not Netanyahu, raised the minimum wage.

Dr. Ben Carson is waiting for God to tell him if he should run for president.

The decision of Uri Aril’s Tekuma faction to remain in the party and re-start a “Yesha faction” is a blessing.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Is Sydney also going to turn out the lights on Christmas trees?

Are machine gun shots all night long and the death from a “work accident” not enough evidence for the EU court?

The State Dept. re-defines “unilateral” and won’t veto a resolution that does not explicitly ”prejudge” outcome of peace talks.

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: