United Torah Judaism MKs Rabbi Moshe Gafni and Rabbi Uri Maklev have sent an urgent letter to Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev protesting an event called the Jerusalem Writers Festival, set to take place at the end of next week – including on Shabbos. In the letter, the two protest “the mass chillul Shabbos that will be caused by this festival.
“It is certainly unnecessary to emphasize the seriousness of this matter, which is a significant injury to the status quo. It will also be injurious to the sentiments and sensibilities of tens of thousands of shomrei Shabbos Jerusalemites. It is untenable that such massive chillul Shabbos will be undertaken with the support of a government office, and so much more so when it is being done with the support of the Culture Ministry, which in this instance is insulting the eternal culture of Israel, and violating the symbol of connection with Hashem. We ask that you immediately act to cancel the portion of the festival that will take place on Shabbos.”
In response, the Ministry said that it would examine the matter. “We are supporting the entire event and not just the specific events that take place on Shabbos. This has been the situation in the past with this festival and others as well.”
In response, MK Rabbi Maklev said that the Ministry’s position was unacceptable. “This is a serious violation of the status quo and the cheapening the honor of Shabbos. We demand that that the Shabbos portion of this event be canceled. We cannot and will not ignore this. It is shameful for us that people from around the world will come to the Holy Land and see how we are ignoring our holy day.”