Photo Credit: Chief Rabbinate Spokesperson's Office
Former and current Chief Rabbis Lau, Chief Rabbi Yosef, and members of the Rabbinical Council

The Chief Rabbinate on Monday responded to the Supreme Court ruling allowing supermarkets to open for business on Shabbat, blaming the judges for harming “the sanctity of the Shabbat.”

“It’s a pity that liberalism is severely damaging one of the central symbols of Judaism and Israeli society,” the Chief Rabbinate Council said in a statement.


According to the council members, “the fact that the judges’ decision was based on their way of life expresses more than anything else that this is not a matter for trial, but a matter of their worldview.”

The Rabbinate also said that the court’s ruling is “a steep slope on the way to damaging the sanctity of Shabbat throughout the country. The founders of the state understood the importance and value of Shabbat, and it is a pity that liberalism severely harms one of the central symbols of Judaism and society in Israel.”

According to the council, “Shabbat – a symbol of the covenant between the Creator and His nation – is one of the expressions of the uniqueness of the Jewish people.”

Former Chief Rabbi who is the father of the current Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, took part in the council’s debate. He reviewed his personal experience in the struggle for the status of Shabbat in the State of Israel, both as Chief Rabbi and as Rabbi of Tel Aviv.

The resolution concluded that “the Council calls on the Government of Israel and all public representatives and members of the Knesset who cherish the Shabbat to enact laws that will preserve the honor of the holy Shabbat.”

The Chief Rabbinate Council also authorized Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern and Beer Sheba Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri to initiate a dialogue with all the rabbis of Israel, in order to formulate joint measures of protest.

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