Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

3 Teves 5765 - December 15, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Credit Card for Shabbos-Observant Consumers to be Launched Soon

By Betzalel Kahn

Organizers are busy at work making final preparations before introducing a special credit card for Shabbos-observant consumers following an agreement signed between Visa CAL and Zaakat HaShabbat.

Advertising has begun in order to allow businesses, factories, retail chains and stores to join the program and to offer Shabbos-observant customers benefits and discounts. The first credit card of its kind anywhere in the world, the magnetic strip contains instructions to render the card void on Shabbos and Jewish holidays.

During meetings held recently and in light of announcements indicating that many Jews and delegations from the US, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, France and other countries plan to participate in the worldwide rally for Shabbos scheduled to take place at Yad Eliyahu Stadium in Tel Aviv on 29 Teves, the possibility of expanding the shoppers' club to include Shabbos-observant Jews in other countries is also being assessed.

This would be achieved by distributing the card through CAL affiliates around the world or through a company based in Israel. Economists who took part in the discussions said that expanding the shoppers' club to other countries would make it one of the biggest of its kind operated by credit card companies. Details of this matter, together with a series of other issues, were discussed at a meeting in Jerusalem early last week of the Steering Committee in charge of arrangements for the Shabbos rally, which is supervised by maranan verabonon.

Since the agreement to issue a credit card was signed between CAL and Zaakat HaShabbat, several other companies have indicated that they would like to sign an agreement to issue a similar credit card to Shabbos-observant consumers. Although they rejected previous proposals by Rabbi Refoel Halperin, now they are prepared to issue a credit card and meet the condition of rendering it invalid on Shabbos and holidays.

Details on how to obtain these special credit cards will be published in Yated Ne'eman when available, be'ezras Hashem.

In addition to these activities, efforts are still in progress to persuade several factories and businesses to close their doors on Shabbos. Based on the respective owners' explicit requests, their names are not being publicized until final decisions are reached. In conversations with these entities it became clear the owners take into account the fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews have pledged not to buy from business that desecrate Shabbos and that a special customer club has been set up with CAL, transforming the Shabbos-observant sector into an entity with tremendous buying power of over one million potential customers.

Company owners also took note of the results of a survey conducted by Dachaf showing the vast majority of Israelis would like to preserve the character of Shabbos and its sanctity in public.


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