a different side of Israel

The 24/7 Shopping War

The struggle between religious and secular people in Israel continues. Religious groups in Israel can mark another small victory – the 24/7 AM:PM chain store has decided to close a number of its branches on Shabbat following continuous pressure. The rabbis have threatened to boycott the network if their demands are not answered.

This store chain works as a 24-hour supermarket, and in Tel Aviv you can find a branch on every other corner. It goes without saying that the vast majority of Tel Aviv’s population is secular.

Negotiations between one of the AM:PM owners, David Wiessman and the rabbis bore no fruit. Another controversial development on this issue took place last week when a court judge authorized secular stores to sell Chametz on Passover, contrary to the status quo.

Personally, I think that Rabbis should invest their resources in bettering the lives of their own communities instead of fighting people who will eventually do what they want. You cannot enforce seculars to keep the Shabbat or eat Matzahs if they don’t want to. The freezer and microwave have been invented, whether you like it or not. This little victory doesn’t achieve much; if anything, it only raises antagonism in the Israeli secular sector. Both seculars and religious folk should allow each other the freedom of choice. All we ask is that you treat us like consenting adults.

1 Comment

  1. Wait till Pesach and Tiv Taam’s bread products.

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