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Aug 26, 2015

Support Henri's for staying closed on Shabbos

This is surprising. And shocking.

Henri's, a dairy restaurant chain with a branch in the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, is being fined on a weekly basis to the tune of 3500nis because the owner wants to stay closed on Shabbos. The contract he signed when he took the location in this new mall stipulates that the shop must be open on Shabbos, as the owner of the mall wants the place to be in business all week long. The owner of Henri's claims that despite the contract there was an oral acceptance of the fact that they might not stay open on Shabbos, or at least it would be open for discussion. This branch of Henri's is also the only place in Sarona that has a hechsher because it is the only place closed on Shabbos.
source: Srugim and Kooker

Shocking that the law states businesses must be closed and can be fined for operating on Shabbos, while the mall owner forces the businesses to stay open on Shabbos. I wonder which fine is larger - the City/State or the mall, though the State is not that good about enforcing the Shabbos laws in most cities, so the mall is probably better about fining Henri's than the State is about fining Sarona.

I propose a suggestion that this restaurant deserves to be supported by people who respect the fact that he does not want to be forced to work on Shabbos. Go eat at Henri's, if you may, and tell him you support him remaining closed on Shabbos.

And the State should step up its enforcement of Sarona and fine it heavily for doing business on Shabbos. I don't know how this can be dealt with legally, considering he signed a contract. Maybe lawyers can weigh in - perhaps it is an illegal clause as it violates a State law or City ordinance. Even if at one point he intended to be open 7 days a week, perhaps he might change his mind at a later date, for business or personal reasons, and choose to close. People should not be forced to work on Shabbos in Israel.

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  1. Important to note that the mall owner stipulated that all businesses there must be open 7 days a week. Henri's has always opened its doors for business on motzaei shabbat, so the Henri's owners claim is that they are not in violation of their contract, since they are indeed open all 7 days of the week as is required. Either way, it's a really anti-dati, anti-religious freedom stipulation in the contract which should be condemned and challenged in court. I wouldn't be surprised if it were found to be illegal.

  2. Shmash, I don't understand your math: If they are closed for sabbath, how come they are still open 7 days a week?
    Also the contract is voluntary, nobody forced Henri's owner to sign it, and I bet there are other business owners who would have been pleased to do so and still respect it. He knowingly signed a contract he knew he will have to break. This is not anti-religious freedom, since nobody is telling him what to do.
    He was presented with a business opportunity with certain conditions. Even though he knew he wouldn't be able to respect those conditions, he signed anyway. I think he's in breach and should pay a fine.

  3. Dan - He is open Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday AND Saturday, just his hours are different on different days of the week. Friday he closes earlier than usual and Saturday he opens later than usual.

    Also, if it is illegal to be open on Shabbos then the contract is probably not enforceable. I can't imagine a mall in Bergen County NJ require a store to be open on Sunday where it is against the law. You could bypass all sorts of labor laws like that, which would defeat the purpose of the laws!

  4. Yet, another reason why we need to implement Jewish BDS. :-)

    Oh, yeah, and ask the dude in this post if he still would shop and/or give free publicity to Sarona Market.

    Inquiring minds want to know... (He still hasn't gotten back to me on this.)

  5. BR: I get what you say about the law. When you are shown a contract with a clause that is against the law, you don't sign it, you ask for that clause to be removed. I am not a lawyer, but when I sign a contract I ask for professional counsel.

    As for how you count "open days"... let's not be childish about it.

    1. Following the letter of the contract is sufficient. It doesn't matter how childish it is. Henri's could be open for 5 minutes every day of the week, and it would satisfy the contract, as related here. If the mall owner meant "open during normal daytime hours", he should have written that in the contract (along with a definition of said "normal daytime hours").

  6. it seems all the publicity worked. according to http://www.srugim.co.il/124407-%D7%91%D7%95%D7%98%D7%9C-%D7%94%D7%A7%D7%A0%D7%A1-%D7%9C%D7%91%D7%A2%D7%9C-%D7%94%D7%A2%D7%A1%D7%A7-%D7%A9%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%91-%D7%9C%D7%A4%D7%AA%D7%95%D7%97-%D7%91%D7%A9%D7%91%D7%AA the owner of Sarona Market has decided to cancel the fines, though he is looking into the option of suing Henri's for breach of contract.

    and then there is a law deacon who says such a clause in the contract is illegal and would not be supported inc court http://www.srugim.co.il/124400-%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%A4-%D7%90%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A2%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%9B%D7%94%D7%9F-%D7%97%D7%95%D7%96%D7%94-%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%97%D7%99%D7%99%D7%91-%D7%A2%D7%91%D7%95%D7%93%D7%94-%D7%91%D7%A9%D7%91


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