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Mar 31, 2008

Kibbutz Ha'Dati weighs in on the cherem on Shefa Shuk

Ynet reports that The Kibbutz HaDati movement has rejected the cherem on Shefa Shuk, even after the Rabbonim of the Dati Leumi (or some of them) community have come out in favor of it.. The Kibbutz Ha'dati movement is part of (a large group within) the NRP.

The scretary of the Kibbutz Ha'Dati Org, Nehemia Rafel, has announced, "Using boycotts is not our way, and definitely does not effect any additional Shmiras Shabbos or additional Ahavas Yisrael. I am against businesses opening on Shabbos, both from a Halachik standpoint and from a social standpoint, but I am against sanctioning a boycott.

The use of boycotts in the Haredi sector is well known, and more than a few have been harmed by it, including Rav Kook and Rav Soloveitchik zt"l.

Boycotts are not designed to fight just against the problematic issue, but to harm all the assets of the person boycotted. That is not our way. We need to differentiate between a cherem and a consumer boycott, which is an important tool in the socio-economic system.

Placing a cherem on Dudi Weissman (owner of Shefa Shuk), at the same time as public transportation and other services are running unhindered on Shabbos, raises questions as to the real motivation behind the boycott.

They claim that Rav Eliyahu and the rest of the Zionist Rabbonim joining the Haredi cherem has no indication of what the stance of the National religious public is. "The Kibbutz HaDati was among the first to define a social contract in Israel, one of whose central chapters is the States character and Shmiras Shabbos. But until it is accepted, every citizen has to follow the law that defines very clearly the rules for opening businesses on Shabbos."

I remember in the days before the disengagement, the NRP was still taking part in Ariel Sharon's government, despite the clear direction Sharon was taking ni bulldozing his plan through against the wishes of his party and his government partners. The NRP was coming under a lot of criticism at the time for giving Sharon a base of power from which to launch his disengagement, despite the fact thay they were against the disengagement.

The NRP responded that, as political parties always do when they want to excuse themselves for staying in the government (see Shas now as an example), they they can do more to thwart the plan from within (we all know how successful and realistic that was).

After much public debate on the matter, they asked the Rabbonim of the NRP - Rav Mordechai Eliyahu and Rav Avraham Shapira (zt"l) what they should do. The Rabbonim declared very definitively that the NRP should leave the government.

Despite the Rabbinic decision, the NRP decided to stay in, for the time being (they left the government at a later point in time). The NRP brushed away all criticism that they went against the Rabbinic decision by saig that the NRP asks advice of its rabbonim, but it has never obligated itself to follow such advice. The NRP is not subordinate to its Rabbonim the way the Haredi parties are subordinate to theirs.

Their response now to the cherem on Shefa Shuk (whose whole status still remains unclear), is reminiscent of that response from the NRP pre-disengagement.


  1. first of all, i don't think that there are any shefa shuk supermarkets in any of the religious kibutzim. so it really doesn't matter what they think.
    i personally very much support the botcot - the lines in shefa shuk this past friday were much shorter!!

  2. The NRP is now close to non-existant.

    Don't forget that Yonatan Bassi was forced to leave his Kibbutz HaDati because he was persona-non-grata.

  3. yehudah:

    "i don't think that there are any shefa shuk supermarkets in any of the religious kibutzim."

    no, but shefa shuk probably buys kibbutz hadati products (e.g., tiv tirah tzvi)

  4. 1. Can you show some evidence that R Shapira ordered them to leave the government?
    2. Hakibuz HaDati is there own subgroup within Religious Zionism, with a very different hashkafa than R Eliyahu. They have there own mosdos and rabbonim. Expecting them to follow R Eliyahu and R Dov Lior is the equivalent of asking Beis Tefflla to follow R Kofshitz a R Rosenberger.

  5. evidence? I have no evidence. I said it was from my memory of the events... I can look for articles that say one way or another, but this was my mory. Even if I am wrong about R'Shapiro, Rav Eliyahu was calling for them. That I remember for sure. But I will look around a bit and see if I can come up with an article that says one way or the other.

    I was not aware of that nuance. Thanks for clarifying the difference.


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