In a letter from the CEO of Neka Chemicals Company to Chief
Rabbi of Petach Tikvah HaRav Boruch Shimon Solomon, the
company announced that it has decided to stop advertising in
the electronic media on Shabbos.
Neka Chemicals, which makes household cleaning products, is
located in Petach Tikvah and it has a longstanding
relationship with the rabbinate there. The company has a
mehadrin certification from the Petach Tikvah
rabbinate for many of its products.
In addition to his duties as Chief Rabbi of Petach Tikvah,
HaRav Solomon is the rosh yeshiva of the Nachalas
Dovid yeshiva in Petach Tikvah and a tireless activist for
Religious spokesman greeted the announcement with great
pleasure, saying that the decision was in important one for
the common Jewish cause of Shabbos kodesh. "The entire
religious community deeply appreciates the decision of Neka
and goes out of its way to show its appreciation of the bold
and proud actions of the company. We hope that Neka will
serve as a model for other companies who do business in the
Holy Land but have not internalized the lesson that
chillul Shabbos is not the way to increased profits,"
said a spokesman in the Hebrew Yated Ne'eman.
HaRav Solomon wrote back to CEO Chaim Regev of Neka:
"It is my pleasant duty to acknowledge your decision to
refrain from advertising the products of your company on
Shabbos kodesh. What you can expect is known, and illustrated
by the story quoted in Shabbos (119a) about Yosef
Mokir Shabbos, who was so-called because of his well known
efforts to honor Shabbos in any way that he could. In the
merit of his efforts for Shabbos, he once bought a large fish
in honor of Shabbos (for which no one else wanted to pay the
high price) and he found within it a precious stone that
enriched him materially.
"My blessing to you is that you should enjoy financial
success because of your courageous decision to honor Shabbos,
and that a `fish' with a precious stone will turn up in your
Companies and their senior officers often come under public
pressure from the anti-religious press and politicians who
say that the "cave in" to "religious blackmail" for keeping
In another Shabbos story, the Israel Airport Authority and
its Workers Committee told the Knesset Committee for Labor
and Welfare that they do not, nor will they ever, create
difficulties for shomer Shabbos employees.
A discussion on this issue was raised at a Committee meeting
last week by MKs Rabbi Moshe Gafni of United Torah Judaism
and Yitzchok Gaugola of Shas. Rabbi Gafni noted that many
workers have told him that the Airport Authority has
discriminated against them became they are shomrei
Shabbos. "The fact that the Airport Authority works on
Shabbos is bad enough. A Jewish state is obligated to observe
the Shabbos, even at its airport, except for emergency or
life-threatening cases. However, it is inconceivable to
violate the law and then to hinder the advancement of
shomrei Shabbos personnel," Rabbi Gafni declared.
Rabbi Gafni cited a number of complaints by Airport Authority
workers on this issue. He noted that in addition to the
public and ethical offense of this phenomenon, it is in
violation of the laws of the State of Israel.