Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

13 Av 5768 - August 14, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Tel Aviv Authorities Fail to Enforce Tisha B'Av Law

By Yechiel Sever

In a letter to Justice Minister Prof. Daniel Friedman, MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni said he was deeply upset by the disdain shown for Tisha B'Av through the failure to enforce the law against opening entertainment spots on this day. In his letter Rabbi Moshe demands clarification regarding the ministry's inconsistent policy of strictly enforcing the law requiring closing of such establishments on Fallen Soldiers Remembrance Day (Yom Hazikoron that immediately precedes Yom Haatzmaut) while allowing Tel Aviv nightclubs and other establishments to operate in plain view on Tisha B'Av.

When a bar mitzvah was held in a chareidi area on Remembrance Day the media had a field day documenting the "violators" of the law, but when the law applies to a Jewish date it seems nonexistent.

"The Fallen Soldiers Remembrance Day Law and the Holocaust Remembrance Day Law state, `On Remembrance Day public pleasure events will not be held,'" wrote Rabbi Gafni in his letter to the Justice Minister. "The law prohibiting the opening of [these] establishments on Tisha B'Av (a special agreement) states, `The local authority will be authorized to enact an ordinance prohibiting entertainment events from taking place on a day of mourning or eating establishments from opening on the night of the day of mourning, from the beginning of the mourning period until sunset the following day.'

"According to media reports, places of entertainment in Tel Aviv were open on the night of Tisha B'Av and as far as we are aware no efforts whatsoever were made to enforce the law, while in the case of [Remembrance Day] efforts are made to enforce it — not to mention the fact that the media deliberately presents violations of the [Remembrance Day] Law while practically applauding the violations of the [Tisha B'Av] Law."

In closing Rabbi Gafni asks the Justice Minister to explain the parameters of enforcing the law, noting the glaring inequality in enforcement regarding the respective laws.

In Petach Tikva the Tisha B'Av law was enforced. Deputy Mayor Uriel Bosso patrolled the city with a team of municipal inspectors. A summary of the data shows despite the enforcement efforts, nine businesses remained open, six of which acceded to the inspectors request to close, while the other three received fines of NIS 660 ($185) each.

The city said it was pleased to see that every year more and more businesses honor this law by closing on Tisha B'Av.


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