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Oct 29, 2012

Shabbos or Jachnun

I know there are no rules about these things, but I was surprised to read that aJachnun restaurant has opened on Shabbos in Jerusalem near the Mahane Yehuda shuk, to serve the youth of Nachlaot.

Jachnun, being a traditional Yementie dish, is not the type of restaurant I'd expect to open on Shabbos. Yemenite Jews are usually very traditional, if not religious. I guess in the melting pot of Israel, Jachnun is no longer just a Yemenite dish, it seems, but has become an Israeli dish.

According to Mynet, two young fellows in the Baka neighborhood decided that with all the restaurants closing on Shabbos, they would make their Jachnun and sell it. They did well enough that they decided to go bigger. They opened a shabbos "restaurant" at the edge of the Mahane Yehuda shuk in order to get the young Nahlaot crowd as customers.

They say they arent even profiting from a business perspective, based on the investment of expenses and the time they put into it. But they wanted to do it after they noticed that this area had turned into a "desert" in relation to places open to eat. A secular activist group is pushing them along and helping to promote it to make it a success.

The local UTJ branch of Jerusalem has declared this as a breach of the status quo and say they will fight this.

Will the Shabbos fights of Jerusalem return over a 2-man Jachnun stand? I doubt it, but hopefully they just wont get enough business and will decide for themselves that people are more interested in Shabbos than in Jachnun...

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  1. Old news. There is a Jachnun bar open every shabbat on hillel street. AFAIK it's been open on shabbat for at least 5 years.

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  3. The local UTJ branch of Jerusalem has declared this as a breach of the status quo and say they will fight this.

    How typical. Could UTJ not be just a tad more constructive in its approach instead of immediately saying "No!" to any innovation?

    1. possibly they are only getting into this because of the election.

    2. Innovation? They are opening a busines (so what it if is not profitable) on Shabbos. That doesn't sound so innovative to me. That sounds like increasing chilul Shabbos and that is something that the any frum Jew (not just the UTJ) would think is bad.

      An innovation might be to to open up a charitable organization that provides FREE food on shabbos for the youth of Nachalot. But opening up a restaurant doesn't sound good tome.

    3. and being that Jachnun is the Yemenite version of ashkenazi cholent, it cooks overnight and ised to be a hot meal on Shabbos day, it is very likely preparing Jachnun for Shabbos does not require these two men to be mechalel shabbos. selling it and operating a restaurant would be a problem. They, these two young men or anybody else, could, if they wanted to, easily find a way to do this without chilul shabbos.

  4. Why is that when secular people do something it's breaking the status quo but when orthodox groups change it is not a change in the status quo?

  5. dont know, but I have asked that question before as well. the "status quo" is something very difficult to pin down as to what it includes or how it works.
    Despite that, thats what the UTJ rep who spoke to the media claimed.

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  7. This - once again - boils down to the fact that every day, in every way, Israel is fast becoming a theocracy - just like Iran or Saudi Arabia.

    No longer is there room for free thought, or for taking the risk of maintaining any sort of life style other than Torah Judaism, in Israel. If these two guys have found a viable market for Jachnun let them exploit it. They are way past barmitzvah age and so know they are responsible for their own souls. Similarly, any customers who wish to buy their product will already know the moral consequences of doing so.

    Democracy and the ability to take responsibility for one's action, whether or not they fit the norms of orthodox Judaism are being sacrificed on the altar of expediency.


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