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Jun 9, 2024

chilul shabbos or shared destiny

Yesterday, on Shabbos, as news of the successful hostage rescue operation got out, signs similar to the one below were posted in many buildings around Israel:

These signs were posted by secular neighbors overjoyed by the news wanting to share it with their religious neighbors who they know would not otherwise find out until several hours later after Shabbos.

I did see online that many religious neighbors appreciated the sentiment, the recognition that we are all in this together and all care and share the same concern for the hostages... while many religious neighbors would have preferred to not be told (and some were not told by similar signs and said after that they prefer it that way), Shabbos should not be desecrated for the news, important and joyful as the announcement might be, and they could have waited until after Shabbos to find out.

It is an interesting question to ponder. I am not sure what the right thing to do is, but I think we can appreciate the feeling of unity and shared destiny even if we think it should have been handled in a way that does not employ chilul shabbos.

And speaking of chilul shabbos... MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ), has become accustomed to criticizing Minister Benny Gantz every time he puts out a message on Shabbos (doesn't happen often but has happened a couple of times throughout the war), yet he did not criticize Netanyahu's many messages released to the press yesterday and his publication of footage of the rescue operation.

My assumption is that Gafni used the lenient opinions on the issues of media and electricity regarding Shabbos and nothing Netanyahu did entailed chilul Shabbos. Had it, Gafni would surely have criticized it.

I laugh but the truth is I find it shameful how Gafni has politicized the issue of Shabbos.

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  1. Garnel IronheartJune 09, 2024 7:22 PM

    In our community out here in Canada, something similar happened. Israelis in the community went around Shabbos afternoon to spread the word.
    Look, would I have preferred they kept Shabbos? Sure. But look at the intention - it's clear the seculars want to share the good news so we could all celebrate together, not because they had any negative intentions towards Shabbos.

    1. A lot of the signs used phrases like "Our dear shomrei Shabbat neighbors" and "Bezrat Hashem" and the like.

    2. Garnel IronheartJune 10, 2024 7:25 PM

      And that's the point. The Chareidi viewpoint has always been "they know they're supposed to keep Shabbos and they purposefully desecrate it" but for most Shabbos is something the religious do and they have their own ways of observing it.

  2. I found out about the overwhelming news at Mincha time in shul, a woman came up to the Mechitza and told me that one of her neighbors had left a sign similar to the one above on her door, and she wanted to spread the news.

    I was overwhelmed by the expression of caring and unity - even though I would have been happier if the secular neighbor had kept Shabbat, the fact that they wanted to spread this wonderful news and include their Shmoer Shabbat neighbors was a wonderful sentiment.

    L'Havdil, on Simchat Torah there was a secular person in our building giving us regular updates of what was going on. But I was amazed that after Maariv that night, many people in shul had absolutely no idea that full scale war had broken out, other than the siren we heard earlier that day and constant booms, they had no idea of the scale of what was going on less than 50 km from our homes.


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