Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

8 Adar 5759 - Feb. 24, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Downtown Yerushalayim Drugstore Opens on Shabbos

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

In a deep affront to the holiness of Yerushalayim, an assault on Israeli law, and a further attempt to pressure religious observance in Israel, a new store has opened on downtown Yerushalayim that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The owners of the store were helped extensively by Meretz leaders, including the head of Meretz Yossi Sarid, despite the fact that -- really because of the fact that -- the store is a declared lawbreaker. Meretz leaders generally champion the rule of law, and they organized the recent rally in support of the Israeli High Court. Nonetheless, in this case they encouraged this store to break the labor laws by operating on Shabbos.

Drugstore 2000 opened this past Shabbos in the Ben Yehuda Street mall. A group of chareidim came to protest and were faced with a very small group identified with Meretz.

Under police protection, Druse inspectors from the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry came earlier in the day and fined the owners of the new store NIS 15,000 for violating work and rest hour laws.

Aside from the damage that such business does to the holiness of Shabbos, it causes unfair competition to the businesses that remain closed, and puts pressure on them to open as well.

The secretary general of Degel HaTorah, Rabbi Moshe Gafni, said that "the Leftists, who only a week ago led the inciters who demonstrated in favored of the rule of law, are now calling for the violation of the work and rest hour law.

"They are not concerned with the rule of law, and don't care whether or not it is violated. All that concerns them is to undermine Judaism in every possible manner. When the principle of the of the rule of law is on their side, they advocate it. When it conflicts with their aims, they disregard it.

"The hypocritical mask must be removed from their faces, and we must wage an uncompromising struggle against them."

Labor Minister Eli Yishai accused Yossi Sarid of incitement to break the law.

"All of laws passed by the Knesset should be upheld, even if we don't like them. One who calls for law breaking, creates anarchy in the country,"he said.

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