Spat over Sponsoring Supermarket
Tel Aviv turns 100 this year. Predictably enough, the City is going to celebrate this fact, and just as predictably these celebrations have already caused controversy.
The small, but well-organized, Haredi community in the City of Sin is enraged by the fact that a special festive Shabbat morning prayer service planned to be held in the dilapidated Great Synagogue on Allenby Street is sponsored by AM : PM. The problem is that AM : PM is a supermarket chain that stays open 24/7 — i.e. violates Shabbat every single week. Local rabbis are up in arms, likening the decision to spitting in the face of religious Tel Avivians and calling for a boycott of the event.
This, in turn, has annoyed City Council member Tami Zandberg (Meretz):
“There is nothing wrong with choosing AM : PM as the sponsors. It’s not a part of any discourse. This is a delusional, benighted call. I’m not praising the fact the a commercial chain was chosen as a sponsor – I would have preferred to see the events sponsored by a cultural institute, and I, myself, oppose opening businesses on Shabbat because of social reasons.
It is a shame that the rabbis cannot see their way to form cooperation on the matter and choose instead to hail obsolete messages”.
Incidentally, the 100% secular Amos Oz is quoted in today’s Yediot saying that he thinks that shopping malls etc. should keep closed on the day of rest.
I guess that’s easy to say if you’re a world famous author and don’t have to work 45 hours a week. You just go to the mall on a regular Tuesday morning, when all the Shabbat desecrating wage-slaves are at work.