Dec 25, 2017

will Gafni's Shabbos law increase chilul shabbos?

An unintended consequence of the "minimarket law" being put through the voting process now in Knesset, to prevent the opening of shops on Shabbos and to take the power of making such decisions out of the hands of local authorities, a number of cities have suddenly announced that they are debating whether to allow local businesses to be open on Shabbos and pass the municipal laws allowing it prior to the passage of the national minimarket law. Doing so would grandfather them in and allow them to continue operating on Shabbos even after the minimarket law passes, if it should pass.

The drive is being led by Tel Aviv and the city of Givatayim, and now Holon and Rishon Letzion have announced similarly. Labor chairman Avi Gabbay has announced that he supports this, and it seems others might follow suit.

MK Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) condemned Gabbay for this calling him anti-haredi and saying that with such anti-haredi statements he is negating any chance the Haredi parties will join a potential future coalition led by him.

I would say to that that Shabbos is not a Haredi issue, but a Jewish issue, a Shabbos issue. Supporting the opening of businesses on Shabbos is supporting chilul shabbos, in whatever form, and not being anti-haredi. Litzman can say they wont sit with someone who supports chilul shabbos, but he should not be calling Avi Gabbay anti-haredi because of this.

It is ironic that Gafni's law to protect, and increase, Shabbos observance in the public sphere might now be the very impetus to increasing chilul shabbos instead. The Law of Unintended Consequences at work.


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