As efforts continue in Knesset to pass the Shabbos Bill legislation, giving authority to the Interior Minister regarding the opening of stores on Shabbos, additional cities are following the example of Tel Aviv. In Tel Aviv, the opening of grocery stores and supermarkets on Shabbos R”L now enjoys the backing of the High Court of Justice.
The Shabbos Bill is intended to prevent additional cities from following suit. However, Givatayim and now, Holon, are following Tel Aviv’s example and are taking steps to amend local regulations to permit stores to operate on Shabbos.
While Deri’s Shabbos Bill does not address Tel Aviv, since it will not deal with stores already operating, the chareidi parties in Knesset are working to push the legislation through before other cities succeed in amending their local bylaws.
Machen Tzioni party Chairman MK Avi Gabbai announced he backs Connick and his effort to open stores on Shabbos. He feels amending local regulations is the way to change the reality vis-à-vis stores opening on Shabbos. Gabbai feels that each municipality should be permitted to make this determination on its own. The chareidi parties in Knesset however insist the religious status of stores operating on Shabbos must remain as it has been since coalition agreements safeguard the Shabbos status quo.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)