Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

5 Tishrei 5760 - September 15, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Positive Reactions to the Strong Stand of UTJ on the Sanctity of Shabbos

By Betzalel Kahn

Chareidi Jewry has reacted favorably to the firm position taken by the UTJ Knesset representatives in withdrawing from membership in the Government coalition over the issue of Shabbos desecration. They have been commended for resigning from the coalition in the wake of the directives of maranan verabonon, members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah issued after a turbine component was transferred on Shabbos night parshas Nitzovim in spite of promises made by the Office of the Prime Minister.

On motzei Shabbos kodesh, the gedolei haTorah told the members of the UTJ party in the Knesset to withdraw from the coalition. The next day, party representatives sent a letter to the Prime Minister announcing their resignation from the coalition, saying, "The Shabbos desecration constitutes contempt for the feelings of the hundreds of thousands of people who sanctify Shabbos."

They noted that the failure of the Office of the Prime Minister to fulfill its promises, in addition to the recent lack of good faith, is also a "breach of the coalition agreement with the party regarding honoring Shabbos."

The chareidi community was very pleased with this decision and with the resolute insistence of the UTJ party regarding the sanctity of Shabbos. This may be contrasted with other parties who are delaying their decision on this issue, displaying full support for a Government which violates the status quo day-in and day-out, especially with respect to Shabbos observance.

It should be noted that on Thursday, the 26th of Elul, the Committee of Directors General which was founded for the purpose of examining the possibilities of a weekday turbine transfer inspected the route on which the components are transferred, checking a number of possibilities for preparing parking lots to enable the transfer of the equipment on weekdays, especially between the Ganot interchange and the Ashdod junction.

The Ganot interchange was found to be suitable as an immediate stopover point. An area between the Yavneh and Rishon leZion interchanges could also be prepared within a month-and-a-half, pending approval of the planning committee. The Ashdod interchange area itself was disqualified by the police. Another suitable area was also found in the vicinity of the Gan Yavneh interchange on the way to Ashkelon.

It is estimated that it will take a month-and-a-half to prepare the parking lots. The committee recommends that these lots serve as a permanent solution in order to limit future Shabbos desecration. Last Tuesday, Michael Melchior said yesterday that "an effort will be made to ask the companies involved in the project to postpone the transfer of the remaining turbines by a month-and-a-half."

Melchior also said that, "this coming Shabbos, the turbine will not be transferred, out of the Freidenson Company's consideration for the sanctity of Rosh Hashanah."

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