The cry of Shabbos was sounded this past Friday by the
moro de'asra of Petach Tikvah, HaRav Boruch Shimon
Solomon, who is also the rosh yeshiva of Nachlas
Dovid, who, along with other rabbonim of the city, went down
to the shopping mall at the city's Yarkonim junction to
protest the opening of stores and marketing chains there on
Shabbos for commercial purposes.
HaRav Solomon and the other rabbonim went from store to store
to try to persuade the owners to close their concerns on
Shabbos and to honor the sanctity of the Shabbos in the city.
The rabbonim were received very warmly by the employees of
these stores, who entreated the rabbonim to take every
measure possible to close the stores on Shabbos. "The owners
threatened to fire us if we don't agree to work on Shabbos,"
workers told the rabbonim, noting that most of the workers in
the stores are from traditional families which until now have
observed Shabbos, and have been coerced to accept the
dictates of the store owners who compel them to work on
Shabbos for purely financial motives.
Twelve huge stores were recently opened at the Yarkonim
junction, seven of which are open on Shabbos and which employ
scores of workers. The operating of stores on Shabbos in
Petach Tikvah constitutes a terrible breach in the walls of
Shabbos, whose outcome may cause an erosion of Shabbos
observance throughout the entire country.
The rabbonim distributed a special circular addressed to
"those who cherish Shabbos Hamalka." The circular,
signed by HaRav Boruch Shimon Solomon, read: "In the past,
when Shabbos kodesh descended in all of its glory, the
spiritual stature of all Jews would rise far above their
weekday stature, and there was no one who did not yearn for
the arrival of Shabbos Hamalka as a day of rest and
kedusha. To our great dismay, breaches have been made
in the walls of the Shabbos, and for mercenary reasons it is
being treated like a weekday -- a day of business and
entertainment. Shabbos is chas vesholom, being
uprooted from am Yisroel, and who knows how far this
trend will go."
In this letter, HaRav Solomon further says: "There are
storekeepers who responded to our request that they close
their stores, and they must be strengthened and encouraged.
But there are also storekeepers who are persisting in their
mutiny. As Jews who are responsible for the upholding of the
Torah, we must do our utmost to prevent this. As a result, we
are turning to the public, from the depths of our hearts, and
are charging them not to do business with such stores and
concerns until those stores discontinue their misdeeds."
In this circular, the moro de'asra lists the stores
which are open on Shabbos, including: Tsomet Books, Sport
Depot, Zu Haartez, Home Center, Daphne, Hyper-Toy, Office
Depot, and Ace Kenei uBnei (Buy and Build).
The following stores, which are closed on Shabbos, are also
listed: Hamashbir, Machsanei Ofnah, Machsanei Chashmal, and
HaRav Solomon's appeal was distributed to the large crowd of
people who arrived on Friday at the shopping center, and many
of them left the area immediately in protest of the Shabbos
desecration and the breaches in the walls of the Shabbos.
A number of storekeepers posted signs saying that their
stores close on Shabbos and open only after motzei
Shabbos. However, when responding to telephone calls,
these very same storekeepers say that they are open on
Shabbos from ten in the morning.
Gedolei haTorah, rabbonim, and activists involved in
safeguarding the Shabbos said that "the chareidi sector of
the country must rally around the wall of Shabbos and make
efforts to guard it like a fortified wall. The store owners
must understand that Torah observant Jewry, en masse, will
take sharp and vigorous steps against all of those
storekeepers who seek to undermine one of the most important
values of Yiddishkeit -- Shabbos kodesh, for whose
sake our forebears sacrificed their lives.
The issue is a social as well as a religious issue. The
breaches in Shabbos have a tendency to spread, as competitive
pressures force other stores to follow the lead of those who
remain open at those times. The 5-day work week is considered
such a social achievement, and it is undermined when stores
do business on Shabbos.
HaRav Solomon told a Yated Ne'eman reporter that he is
considering removing the kashrus certificate of the Greenberg
chain stores in Petach Tikvah if the administration of that
chain does not close its Hyper-Toy store on Shabbos. "It is
inconceivable that the owners of the Greenberg chain, who
also own the Hyper-Toy chain, will operate in a building,
half of which is closed on Shabbos and half of which is open -
- half of which keeps Shabbos, and half of which desecrates
Askonim on behalf of Shabbos observance in the city
warned that the consequences of this affair are liable to
spark Shabbos desecration in the huge Avnet shopping mall,
being built near the Beilinson hospital. "Store owners all
over the country must know that Torah observant Jewry will
take every measure possible in order boycott those who breach
the walls of Shabbos. The owners of the mall, the Supersol
company, promised that they would not lend a hand to Shabbos
desecration in the mall they own. Supersol's management must
know that if Shabbos desecration takes place in the mall,
then their chain will suffer much damage, and the large
chareidi community which shops in the Yad Ezra and Birkas
Rochel supermarkets which Supersol owns, will boycott these
The measures taken by the rabbonim of the city, led by the
Chief Rabbi of the city, HaRav Boruch Shimon Solomon, this
past Friday, mark the beginning of an uncompromising battle
against the breach in the walls of the Shabbos, which is a
nothing less than a battle over the image of Shabbos in the
city, and the image of Shabbos throughout the entire