Haredim in the Israeli port city of Ashdod staged a protest on Shabbat after a shopping center was opened for business on the Jewish Sabbath. Some secular residents decried what they called haredi "coercion" and have launched a campaign to allow all store, restaurants and entertainment venues to open on Shabbat if their owners so choose.
Haredim Protest In Ashdod After Stores Open On Shabbat
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Haredim in the Israeli port city of Ashdod reportedly staged a protest on Shabbat after a shopping center was opened for business on the Jewish Sabbath.
Yeshiva World reported haredim in the city consider the breech of Shabbat observance to have broken the religious status quo in the city.
“In addition to the chilul Shabbat [profanation of the Sabbath], the stores [that opened] are in violation of the law, and [what they did] is an affront to the city’s Shabbat-observant residents,” Ephraim Weber, who heads the the City of Ashdod’s Finance Committee, reportedly told the media.
Haredi rabbis led the protest at the entrance to what is known as the Big shopping center, and issued a call for Jews to boycott the shopping center entirely.
But some secular residents in the mixed city decry what they call haredi “coercion” and demand that shops and entertainment venues be allowed to open on Shabbat.
“Enough of the harediazation of the city. We are fed up seeing small businesses, restaurants and large chain stores closed on Shabbat. The time has come for the non-religious masses in the city to take control and stop the negative migration [of secular Jews out of Ashdod, which has gone from being an overwhelmingly secular city 50 years ago to a city that is now dealing with a large and belligerent haredi population],” the “Stop Haredi Coercion” Facebook page reportedly wrote.