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Mar 27, 2008

Rav Eliyahu joins the cherem on Shefa Shuk

It is hard to keep track of where the cherem on Shefa Shuk stands - is it already in cherem, as some articles and declarations say, or is it only under threat of cherem as other articles and declarations indicate?

Regardless, Ynet (in Hebrew) is reporting that the issue is no longer limited to the Rabbonim of the Haredi world. The Rabbonim of the National Zionists have jumped into the fray as well.

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Zfat and son of former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, has signed on to a possible cherem. Along with him have signed Rabbis Zalman Melamed, Dov Lior, Chaim Druckman, and others.

Rav Eliyahu said, "Whomever is concerned with the country should boycott Shefa Shuk even if he does not keep Shabbos. The Haredi public has decided to boycott Shefa. We can join them. It is fine. It will strengthen the power of Shabbos. The power of the Jewish Nation."
Further, Rav Eliyahu said, "Whomever is concerned about the welfare of the country needs to do his part, to stop the wealthy from buying out the whole country, making his profit off the back of the little citizen. The giants are destroying the small businessmen, they are forcing them to work, against their will, seven days a week, from sunrise until death."

"Their lack of care affects all our lives. Their lack of care is the energy behind factories harming the environment for more profit. It is the energy behind factory owners paying minimum wage salaries, causing them to hire contract workers with no benefits. Exploiting hundreds of workers for their trips to Switzerland. Not allowing them to sit during their work hours. They destroy every value for more millions in their own bank accounts."

"Don't worry - the owners of Shefa Shuk are not like the small businessmen. They do not work on Shabbos, God forbid. They might even be religious. Only their poor [wretched] workers have to desecrate Shabbos on their behalf. Therefore I requested from my wife that she not buy any food there. It would be difficult for me to digest [such food]."


  1. while shabbos is important, it isn't "yeharog v'al ya'avor". therefor, do they also serve bans on business where the owners cheat on taxes or are "over the lav of Ona'ah"?

  2. shabbos is k'negged kol hatorah and the others are not.
    Also, the shabbos issue forces many others to keep their stores open on shabbos just because they need to compete to stay in business.

    Throughout our history, look at all the stories in Europe and early 1900s America - the Rabbonim always tried to sstop business owners, whenever possible, from being mechalel shabbos. The public aspect of it is very bad for frum society.

    Sure it is not yaharog v'al yaavor, but does that mean they should not try to have people and businesses keep shabbos?

  3. One who does not keep Shabbos is considered a mumar l'chol hatorah, which is, to put it midly, pretty bad. Not too many other mitzvot are that serious.

    Also, I believe Shabbos is yeharog v'al ya'avor in public.

  4. Youre missing the boat, guys. All of the comments here.

    Its not just that they are open on shabbos. Like mentioned in the comments, there are other businesses open on Shabbos that we dont boycott. The issue here is that the owner of this chain has come out and declared a war on shabbos. He has said that he wants to open 50 stores around the country and change the way people shop - that people should know that you can always find a store and always make your purchases. This is the reason why the shabbos committee is coming out stronger against this chain store, more than other stores.

  5. I think it can be compared to the protests that happen when a WalMart opens. People complain about unfair business practices, taking advantage of the employees, putting the local mom and pop stores out of business because they cannot compete.

    This is pretty similar. This big chain opens on shabbos and all of the sudden everyone else in the affected areas has to either open on shabbos as well, or else possibly go out of business.

    Along with the other issues.

  6. It seems that the Kupa tzedaka program is still in swing there.

    The sign is still up and the cashier still took my card.

    Does anyone know the truth?

    Is Kupa taking money in spite of Rav Chaim Kanievsky?

  7. despite what the Yated and Ynet and other news outlets reported, somebody "close to the kupa" told me he asked them what the story is and they say Rav Kanievsky never told them not to take the money from shefa.

    I did not bother asking anyone in the kupa because they stopped responding to my emailed questions a long time ago.

  8. Rav Kook called it g'vurat ha'emunah. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu shlit'a has it, and his son certainly does.

  9. Rafi,

    I find the Kupa angle interesting. How can they claim to follow the words of Rav Kanievsky (and even broadcast his picture for their Purim campaign) yet still take money from Shefa Shuk?

    From what I understand a cherem is a cherem.

    I guess everything is mutar when it comes to money!

  10. When these rabbis boycott Bezek, Egged, and the other fundamental industries that are mechallel shabbat then I may listen to them regarding where to by my hoummous.


  11. D.A.

    They boycott what they can have control over.

    Bezek is Bezek.Period. And even Egged they do try to force control (ie Mehadrin lines).

    A supermarket is easy to control since there are others to shop at. Just take a look at our local Shefa Shuk and compare to Alef. There is a definite decrease.

    I still marvel at how Kupa were supposed to listen to Rav Chaim Kanievsky and not take Shefa money yet they still do take.

    Is this listening to da'as Torah?

  12. How do you know they are still taking? just because the cashier took your card? Why so quick to judge? Have you seen kupa people come to pick up their checks? And if a cherem is a cherem - why were YOU shopping there?

  13. sbw-

    "V'hisem N'kiim"

    Kupa should take down the sign and make certain that the cashiers don't take the card. The person in customer service says that the program is still going but I'll guess you'll say how can you trust a woman who may not be religious.

    And personally I don't believe in cherems that affect innocent people.

    That's why I shop there (plus the fact the lines are much shorter!).

  14. Some people here are obsessed.
    -Per "someone in the know"
    1-Rav Kanievsky said at that time that there was no cherem yet.
    2-If there will ever be a cherem ,then they can not take.
    3-No one in the local shefa shuk has anything to do with the program,nor would know if they are getting or not(since the last manager left).It's handled higher up.They receive a check every once in a while which they then can choose, to cash or not.
    4-I have no idea when a cherem will be decided,but I don't believe the newspapers(since they have gotten this wrong so far). When there are signs everywhere with signatures would be my guess.

  15. cont.
    I don't see why the kupa volunteers would need to enforce any future ban by tearing down signs or telling people not to shop.

    They can simply not cash the check.


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