Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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16 Tammuz 5759 - June 30, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shabbos Tent Highlights Call To Sanctify Shabbos at Petach Tikvah Yarkonim Mall

by S. Baruchi and Yated Ne'eman staff

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 recalcitrant shopkeepers.

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 its electricity.

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- observant Jews.

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 Leftist government.

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 Solomon.

At the end of the rally, decisions regarding forthcoming measures and modes of action were made.

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