Court okays Shabbat hours for Tel Aviv markets

More markets will be open in Tel Aviv on Shabbat thanks to a recent court ruling [kajikawa]
More markets will be open in Tel Aviv on Shabbat thanks to a recent court ruling [kajikawa]
Yesterday, the High Court of Justice okayed the Tel Aviv government’s plan to allow more businesses–namely mini-marts–to operate on Shabbat. 

It was the result of a long court battle that began in 2014, according to The Times of Israel, when the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality drafted a new law calling for 164 grocery stores and kiosks to open on Shabbat, assuming that each business was physically small, which is to say less than 500 square meters.

The government had asked for a delay in this final proceeding, a request which this court rejected. “There‘s no way to avoid seeing this avoidance as a kind of decision to deny, without explanation, the bylaws of Tel Aviv-Jaffa,” wrote Justice Esther Hayut.

A number of liberal and secular politicians in Israel cheered the decision, including Zehava Galon, leader of the left-wing Meretz Party, and Tel Aviv’s own mayor, Ron Huldai.

 Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also supported the decision. “Tel Aviv has a certain character that has emerged since the establishment of the state, and there’s no need for the government to intervene and damage the urban fabric that has developed,” he said.
However, religious politicians were quick to criticize it. For instance, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri called it “a serious blow to the holy Shabbat and the character of the Jewish people,” while in Health Minister Yaakov Litzman’s words, it represented “vulgar legal meddling with the values of religion and religious law.”

04/20/2017 10:25 AM by David Kinzer
Tags: Israel Shabbat

More from Israel