Globes, Israel's main financial newspaper, recently
revealed that Bank Hamizrachi will soon begin to operate its
automatic banking machines (ATMs) on Shabbosim. The first
automatic banking device the bank plans to open on Shabbosim
is located in its branch at the Savyonim shopping mall.
The bank's new administration, headed by Victor Medina, is
trying to expand its secular clientele. The decision to
operate automatic banking services on Shabbosim is part of
The assistant director of the bank's marketing department,
bank, Avi Nota, said that the Tsomet Institute has sanctioned
the use of the ATM machines on Shabbosim from an halachic
point of view. According to Nota, the Tsomet Institute has
determined that it is possible to operate automatic banking
devices on Shabbos, because they do not involve the use of
manpower or require any human contact. "I am not certain that
the chareidim will accept this opinion," Nota added.
The bank's chareidi clients sharply protested this new
policy, and said that "although the bank thought to gain
secular clients, it will now lose religious ones due to the
Shabbos desecration which will be caused by the operation of
the ATM devices."