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May 18, 2022

not losing because of Shabbos

Srugim is reporting on a story first publicized by Sivan Rahav Meir. 

A young man on Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi, a religious kibbutz in northern Israel, named Nateh Eiger in 11th grade qualified for an international competition in chemistry. He traveled to Europe to participate in the event. 5 other young chemists went from Israel to participate along with Nateh. Eiger advanced through the first two rounds with excellence but had to bow out when he discovered the third round would take place on Shabbos.

While it seems organizers had promised Eiger that if relevant he would be able to do his presentation no either Friday or Saturday night, when push came to shove they did not allow him to and he decided to bow out of the competition rather than to be mechalel shabbos.

He left the event early and went home for Shabbos where his community prepared a grand welcome to celebrate his success and his decision that Shabbos has priority, despite having prepared 3 years for this.

That is an amazing story. This is a kiddush hashem. And Nateh Eiger is a direct descendant of the great and famous Rabbi Akiva Eiger. I am sure he is shepping nachas right now up there..

Kikar adds another twist. MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) has called upon the Ministry of Education to award Eiger with some sort of respectable compensation for this. Maklev says the system should stand behind Eiger, and as a Jewish state, keeping Shabbos is a central value held by the State. Eiger should not lose because of Shabbos. Minister of Education Yifat Shasha Biton said she would consider it, and would look into making official arrangements for future international competitions so things like this should not happen again.

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