Feb 16, 2009

haredim ban celebrations in Tel Aviv

The Committee for Shabbos [Observance?] is now banning the upcoming celebrations in honor of Tel Aviv's 100th birthday.


Because one of the sponsors is AM:PM supermarkets. AM:PM is a supermarket chain popular in Tel Aviv that is open on shabbos.

Not only are they sponsors, but one of the events is a prayer service on shabbos in the Great Synagogue, and right across the street is an AM:PM that will be open on shabbos. So while the religious residents are participating in a shabbos service as part of the ceremony, AM:PM will be selling cigarettes and corn chips - flaunting it in the face of the religious residents.

I wonder if one of two things happen, would things be differemt:
  1. If they get AM:PM removed form the sponsorship - either voluntarily, or have the municpal office reject the sponsorship.
  2. If they get AM:PM to close that store during the prayer service.
If either of those things happened to solve the problem - I wonder if the haredim would then participate in the ceremonies?

If they are not going to participate anyways, then what right do they have to protest this?

(source:YNET, Hebrew and English)


  1. let them protest away.. i just hope it does not turn violent

  2. I don't think they'll actually be out there protesting. It is not their home turf. They might be afraid of what they might see if they went to Tel aviv. All the scantily clad women walking around and all that, you know...

  3. B"H

    Maybe it's an excuse.

    So far though, I think its reasonable. Do you think the AM/PM across the street will at least close its doors that Shabbath, at least for a few hours? Or is that "caving in" to the wishes of the religious?

    Oh, I know. Let's put the Jewish Home Party on the case.

    {eyes rolling}

  4. ben - now that all the national religous parties seem to be agreeing on forming a religious right wing bloc with shas and utj, maybe this is something they might want to work on to find a resolution satisfactory to everyone involved....

  5. What happened to the NRP Likud deal?

  6. nothing is final yet. I guess they are exploring all their options.

  7. Funny, when I glanced at this last comment, I though it said "exploiting."

    I didn't have my glasses on.

  8. This story seems to have gotten a lot of press. Are the Haredi leadership getting their 20% for helping advertise AM:PM so effectively? Or did they just settle for a new mikveh or three like when they facilitated the Hitnatkut?

  9. I wonder if Gay Dave in Tel Aviv will come out and ask his Heredi brothers to help support the "Hold on to the West Bank" fund. Kind of sad when the rainbow coalition pays more money to hold on to the west bank than Agudah's henchmen. My gosh we live in weird times.

  10. What is Rav Lau's official position on this? He seems to be pretty intelligent and sane from what I read by/of him.

  11. I would suspect Rabbi Lau would not be part of a ban. I am pretty sure he would not get involved in this (on the anti side).
    Just the opposite - as chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, he probably has to participate. And his style is more participatory and trying to influence as part of it, than as an opponent.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Here's an odd question:

    Why not ignore the store, go to Shabbat services, and after Shabbat ends, go to the celebrations?

    just a thought, you know?

  14. too sensible sorry - it would never work! :-)

  15. Michael, the store is not just open across the street.

    It's a sponsor.

    Why would I want to condone and support an event receiving money from this store, which also gets publicity?

    ...even if I didn't support or respect the herem. {They still in it?}

    This isn't so far away from one of the few clusters of frum Jews either.

    Should be interesting. It's too much of a shlep from Bnei Braq. They could host a lot of people to protest.

    Rav Lau is a decent guy, but it's just another example of the state of the "rabbanuth" in Israel.

    Are they poseqim? Politicians? Or puppets of the gov't, like in Czarist times?

    Former IDF Chief Rb. Weiss certainly seemed to be the latter.

  16. BY - it is not necessarily an issue of his approval. I am sure he is not happy with the chilul shabbos, just as much as the members of said committee.
    However, his methods are not antagonistic. He does not ban. He does not fight. he tries to influence with love, understanding and participation. In general Rabbi Lau is like that, and he generally does a wonderful job of it and is very successful.
    Just because their style is cherems and protests does not mean Rabbi Lau has to tag along with them. he has his way.

  17. I do not argue with your statement, thus my comment "Rav Lau is a decent guy."

    You're right about his shita, but in answer to MDB's question, you're only speculating.

    What prompted me to make my "Czarist" comment was this:

    "as chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, he probably has to participate"

    Why? This is exactly my point.

    If Rav Lau believes it's best to participate for the reasons you stated, that's one thing.

    However, this begs the question, is it really his choice? Or is he obligated to following the specifics a of his job description?"

    What if there was an event in the future he didn't not feel was appropriate to attend? Would he have that choice to make a "rabbinic decision?"

    My "Czarist puppets" comment was about the role of "Chief Rabbi," not about anyone in particular.

  18. Just wait til the rioting starts when the working class of Israel finally gets pissed off paying higher arnonas, lower wages, while receiving less return on taxes. If Avigdor Leiberman could steal the original voters from Labor he could be the I"YH Jewish Stalin/Chavez. IT's a sad day when I cry when I see a trash can burning in mea sharim because I PAID for that trashcan will be forced to yet again pay again. The Truth hurts, doesnt it?

  19. OK, MBD, we get it. You're a socialist.

    We still love you, but give it a rest.


    Hey, why isn't there a pic. of Lieberman on your blog?

  20. Ben,

    Lets see if you'll be a socialist after you're thrown out of your house because some people aren't paying their taxes and contributing their fair share to building the jewish state (gay Dave going to naked ecstasy parties in Tel Aviv is paying his taxes).. muhahahah

  21. Um,...would everyone please stop calling me "Ben."

    It's not my name.

    Try Ben-Yehudah, BY, Ya'aqov, or Esser Agaroth.

    If those are not satisfactory, then I'm sure I can come up with some alternatives.

    Thank you.

  22. Ya'aqov,

    You sound like a young man I onced encountered at the shuk one day. Don't worry keep hanging around your buddy in Rehovot and you'll stay on the right path.



  23. Happy YBY,

    I added two new legends to my blog.



  24. Rafi
    The owner(s) of AM:PM is the same as Shefa Shuk. This explains a lot.

  25. I am aware of that.
    but while the shefa ban at least made some sense, because they would stop shopping in shefa and shefa is a major store in haredi neighborhoods, what does banning the tel aviv celebrations have to do with them?

  26. Ben Yehuda:

    Then vote with your feet, and don't shop there. They're open on Shabbat, so they probably haven't got teudat kashrut anyway.

  27. I have a question for those of you who've studied Halacha.

    A store that doesn't have a teudat kashrut will almost certainly have products that have heksher from recognized bodies.

    Does this make the products treif?

  28. Bob - it depends.
    if you are talking about a restaurant, while technically the fruit platter is still kosher, it would be recommendednot to go eat it anyway, because of the environment, and who knows what else is going on with open food and utensils in the restaurant. With no hechsher, you cannot rely on them to keep things separate, unless you are in a situation in which you have to. If you are sick and need to run in to McDonalds for a drink, for example. better not to, but in tight situations it would be understandable.

    In a supermarket it is totally different. there is no such a thing as a hechsher on a store. Every food item within either has its own hechsher or not, and you should buy accordingly. If a store does not meet your standards - there is a ban, for example, you dont like its business practices or whatever, the food within still remains kosher to the degree of the hechsher on each individual item, but you might prefer not to shop there for other reasons.

    That is how I see it.

  29. Yes, thank you, Michael, for that bit of enlightenment.

  30. Questions to readers:

    How many of you have ever shopped in AM:PM?

    Knowing that some branches are open on Shabbat, would you stop shopping there?

    Would you encourage others not to shop there?


    Religion and State in Israel

  31. So far as I know, I've never shopped in AM:PM.

    Rafi's response about the circumstances that would justify shopping in such places is worth looking at.

  32. I have shopped in AM:PM only two or three times, and only went in for one or two small items. not because I have anything against them necessarily, but because they dont have stores where I live nor where I work. I was at a course and ran in to get a snack as I passed a store...

  33. Joel,

    1. Yes, a couple of times in the distant past

    2. Yes, and I have stopped.

    3. Yes, I would, and do encourage others to stop.

    4. The answer to the question you didn't ask, but might have,....

    Yes, I believe in the encouragement of a Torah - based government.

    Yes, there are others like me.

    Question for you: How do you feel about that?

    Feel feel to email me directly.


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