Apr 9, 2008

"M'chlal Lav Atah Shome'a Hen"

Yesterday we read reports, and sings were plastered around Haredi areas, saying the [threat of a] cherem of Shefa Shuk has been removed and the Haredi public can buy there. This was in response to the owners willingness to negotiate and his having, as a sign of good faith, closed a number of branches this past Shabbos from their regular operations.

Nobody really knows what is going on. There are lots of claims and rumors back and forth, both regarding what the real reason for the [threat of the] cherem, and regarding its status.

A major response to yesterdays signs was that they were not placed by the Committee for the Sanctity of Shabbos or any of its appointees or reps, but was placed by representatives of Shefa Shuk as a way of confusing consumers into thinking they could now shop at Shefa. The rumor even said that tomorrow (now it is today) signs would be up all over the place claiming that Shefa was behind the previous signs and people should still refrain from buying there.

In my neighborhood there were still the signs up saying that people could buy at Shefa Shuk, and there were no signs claiming that the other signs were sponsored by Shefa and that they were false. I have also not yet heard about any such counter signs going up in other areas.

For the meantime at least, I take that to mean that the original signs were and are authentic and if that is where you prefer shopping but have stopped because of this brouhaha, you can now return to Shefa Shuk. As we say "M'chlal Lav Atah Shome'a Hen" - from the lack of protest you can deduce that yesterdays signs were kosher.

If anybody has information otherwise, feel free to share it with me.


  1. There were some more of the pro-Shefa signs put up in my section of RBS (some of the others had been covered during the course of the day with new signs).

    Just remember, we've always been at war with Eastasia...

  2. I guess you've never read 1984?

  3. Rafi,
    did you yourself ever stop shopping there?

  4. Mike - I did a very long time ago and have a horrible memory for details..

    Whats - There is only a threat of a cherem, not a cherem itself, so I have shopped in both Alef and Shefa, though recently more in Alef. Last week I went to both Alef and Shefa. This week I have not been to either.

  5. Are we in Chelm? Does anybody recognize how patently absurd this all is?

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  9. 2 comments -

    1 - people have called the vaad lemaan kedushas shabbos or whatever its called and they said emphatically that they did not cancel whatever the signs claimed was cancelled. (as you said, there was no boycott called for, so they cant claim that there was a cancellation or not of a boycott). But I spoke with a prominent Rov in RBS A who said that you should still not buy there.

    2 - Just because there has not been a boycott called on by the Gedolim does not mean that one should shop in shefa until then. the reasons that there is a boycott being threatened is because of the trampling of shabbos by this chain of stores, and the owners own threat to trample shabbos even more - meaning to "open a lot more stores open on shabbos and to change the way people shop" meaning everyone will kow you can shop on shabbos.

    That said, why would you want to support a store that tramples on what you hold dear? True, its not assur, and if Alef doesnt have what you need, or if youre in a rush and Shefa only has 2 people in it bc everyone else is holding shabbos dear to them run in and buy it. But IMHO the boycott is NOT about chareidim flexing their muscles. Its about nto wanting to support chillul shabbos.

  10. Quick question, Rafi - why cant Alef get their act together and have enough carts to go around? This should be their big time of year, and knowing that Shefa is going to be empty, shouldnt they have enough carts?

    And another Q - What is AMPM thinking? Do they realize how much money they are losing by insisting to be open on shabbos? Do they realize that ALL of their pesach products will be worthless in 2 weeks. From matza to pesach ketchup to pesach mayo. Even pesach gefilte fish. All worthless. Were talking MILLIONS of $$$ down the drain..... and for what? To show the world that we dont have to keep shabbos? Is this "be chol meodecha" for the sake of chillul shabbos?

  11. some people might prefer to buy there for whatever reason (they like the selectuion better, prices, quality, whatever appeals to them).

    Then they look at the [potential] cherem and say what about Alef? The owners of Aleph (Shalom Fisher (a frum guy) and Nachi Dankner (not a frum guy) also own stores that are open on shabbos. Dankner owns Israir that flies on shabbos. Dankner owns Dor Alon gas stations that operate on shabbos. among other business.

    So why only boycott Shefa for the honor of shabbos, also boycott Aleph? And if we are not boycotting aleph, why should we boycott shefa?

    That is what somebody might think that would justify shopping in Shefa..

  12. anon - good question. maybe talk to the management of Aleph... I was there last week and had to wait ten minutes to find a cart. It was very frustrating. Then I went in to shop and saw it was not even so busy. Maybe people take them home and do not return them until it is convenient for them....

    AMPM is probably for the sake of chilul shabbos, which is why this [threat of a ] cherem started in the first place. because Weissman (the owner) is openly fighting against shabbos.

  13. why don't you just take one of the unused shefa carts and use it to shop in alef?
    is that illegal?

  14. According to a kuppa'it, on Tuesday a giy was walking up and down the aisles teling people not to shop there!

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