In an effort to convince stores in Petach Tikvah's Yarkonim
Junction Mall not to open on Shabbos, a "Shabbos tent" was
set up near stores which continue to open on Shabbos. Last
Shabbos, hundreds of people walked from their homes to the
Shabbos tent. The city's eruv was extended until the
Yarkonim junction in order to accommodate them.
After numerous attempts to persuade storekeepers to close
their shops on Shabbos, some indeed complied while others
persisted. As a result, a committee of activists decided to
protest near those stores which still desecrate Shabbos. The
goal: to spread the light of Torah and Shabbos to the
In the tent, avreichim study maseches Shabbos
as well as distribute explanatory material about the sanctity
of Shabbos. Since it was erected, hundreds of city residents
have come to the tent and participated in the Torah
shiurim delivered there at all hours of the day.
Throughout last Shabbos, hundreds of city residents, headed
by the moro de'asra, HaRav Boruch Shimon Solomon and
rabbonim of the city flocked to the tent. In the afternoon,
HaRav Solomon attended an oneg Shabbos in the tent and
also delivered a shiur to the many visitors.
During the day, secular demonstrators -- wearing T-shirts
bearing the slogan: "To be a Free Nation," arrived on the
scene. They shouted abusively at the shomrei Shabbos
visitors to the tent. One of the demonstrators even tried to
disrupt the quiet activity in the Shabbos tent by turning off
Throngs of people streamed to the tent in the afternoon.
After mincha, a seuda shelishis was held for
the large crowd.
On motzei Shabbos, the guests returned home in busses
provided by the city's "Shabbos activists."
Torah activities in the Shabbos tent will continue throughout
the week. Activists are organizing other special activities
to attract people to the Shabbos tent.
The erection of the Shabbos tent was proceeded by a call by
maranan verabonon to strengthen Shabbos observance in
Petach Tikvah which was circulated throughout the city's
synagogues as well as to thousands of the city's Torah-
The proclamation, entitled, Kriyoh Ne'emono lema'an
Shabbos Kodesh, calling upon Petach Tikvah residents to
fortify the walls of Shabbos in their city, was issued by the
Chief Rabbi of Petach Tikvah, HaRav Boruch Shimon Solomon.
Other signatories to the proclamation were Maran HaRav Yosef
Sholom Eliashiv, HaRav Yehuda Leib Steinman, HaRav Simcha
Zissel Broide and HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner. The
proclamation entreats all residents of Petach Tikvah and its
environs not to patronize stores in the Yarkonim junction
mall that desecrate Shabbos.
The call closes with the blessing that by fortifying the
sanctity of Shabbos we will merit abundant brocho,
since Shabbos is the source of brocho.
The call of maranan verabonon was accompanied by an
unprecedented emergency meeting held in Petach Tikvah's
Mishkan Yosef hall. Approximately 150 municipal chief rabbis,
neighborhood rabbis, and other official rabbis from the
entire Dan and Sharon regions participated in the meeting as
an expression of protest over the distressing breach in the
walls of Shabbos. Out of fear that this phenomenon is liable
to spread throughout the country, the purpose of the meeting
was to devise plans to curtail the ever-increasing trend of
turning Shabbos kodesh into a weekday: This trend is
unfortunately gaining impetus in light of the rise of the
The meeting opened with the recitation of chapters of
Tehillim for the deliverance of klal Yisroel,
led by the admor of Petach Tikvah. Stirring speeches
decrying the terrible deterioration in Shabbos observance in
our times were delivered by HaRav Y. Nagar of Hod Hasharon,
HaRav Y. Edelstein of Ramat Hasharon, HaRav Yitzchok Peretz
of Raanana , HaRav S. Unsdorfer, and HaRav Stern of Elkana.
Closing remarks were delivered by HaRav Boruch Shimon
At the end of the rally, decisions regarding forthcoming
measures and modes of action were made.