The religious community in Ashdod is protesting a massive chillul Shabbos at the opening of the BIG shopping mall at the southern entrance to the city.
Thousands of shoppers from Ashdod and the surrounding area filled the various stores that opened in the mall on Shabbos, outraging the religious and secular communities alike. The indignation is widespread and a protest campaign is being organized.
Last Thursday, municipal inspectors arrive to distribute notices of closing times before Shabbos, as is customary in newly opened businesses. To their surprise, they found signs in some of the stores announcing hours during Shabbos, despite the fact that the mall management had committed itself to observing Shabbos closure laws.
The municipality was duly notified, and representatives of the local Mishmeres HaShabbos who came to see for themselves, witnessed a large-scale, public desecration of the holy day.
“We couldn’t believe our eyes, a huge chillul Shabbos like this, with complete disregard for the sanctity of the Shabbos,” they said.
Rabbanim in the city devoted parts of their Shabbos HaGadol drashos in response, warned the public not to patronize any business that operates on Shabbos, and declared that they would not consent to the mall being open on Shabbos, which would lead to even more chillul Shabbos elsewhere in the city.