Tel Aviv Chillul Shabbos Emboldens Other Cities

YERUSHALAYIM -
The landmark towers of the Orot Rabin Power Plant, on the coast at Hadera.  (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
The landmark towers of the Orot Rabin Power Plant, on the coast at Hadera. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The ongoing operation of businesses in Tel Aviv on Shabbos with the abetment of the municipality is influencing other cities to move in the same direction.

The city of Hadera, on the northern coast, has announced it will permit businesses to open on Shabbos. Mayor Tzvika Gendleman said that some of the stores and places of entertainment on the on the outskirts of the city, near the beach and along Highway 4, will be allowed to operate on Shabbos.

Gendleman justified the decision by saying that as Hadera approaches a population of 100,000, it becomes necessary to provide shopping and entertainment every day of the week, although he did not explain the connection between chillul Shabbos and demographic size.

The decision passed in the city council despite strenuous opposition from religious council members.

In Bat Yam, the city organized summer activities last week accompanied by mass chillul Shabbos all day long to the anguish of local observant residents.

Rafi Barness, a member of the city council, said, “There has never been anything like this in Bat Yam before.”

The city plans to continue the chillul Shabbos for three more weeks, and Barness said that they will meet with the mayor and other officials to try to persuade them to call it off. But if that fails, the religious community will resort to mass protest.