Christian Requests Permit to Open Tel Aviv Store on Shabbos


tel-avivThe City of Tel Aviv has been instructed by the court to address within 60 days a request by a Christian store owner to receive permission to open his store on Shabbos and to close it on Sunday. The store owner, Simon Duka, arrived in Israel in 1995 as a Sudanese Christian refugee and was given UN refugee status. He now owns a used clothing store on Rechov Neveh Shaanan in Tel Aviv.Duka says the requests he has submitted to the municipality were rejected. He has also asked to appear before the City Council to present his request, but the council replied that previously it reached a decision not to issue a permit and its stance remains unchanged. In a petition filed to the Tel Aviv Court for Administrative Affairs, Duka claims that the refusal he received lacked authority, saying the decision was made by “officials at city hall,” while only the City Council is authorized to issue or refuse this type of permit. He says the city reneged on its initial promise to allow him to state his case before the City Council.

The judge accepted the petition, instructing the City Council to discuss the request within 60 days and to allow Duka to present his argument. She even issued orders to cancel the fines imposed on him for opening the store on Shabbos “due to selective enforcement based on arbitrariness.” In her decision she writes, “The petition and the photos appended to it indicate that while Duka’s store was fined for opening on Shabbos without a permit, the store opposite it was not fined.”

Although the petition was accepted, since Duka opened his store on Shabbos without a permit he is ineligible to be reimbursed for the court fees.

Other store owners in the area object to opening the store on Shabbos, saying it would lead to commercial competition and adding that every country in the world has an official, universally accepted day of rest.

{G. Lazer-Deiah veDibur/ Newscenter}


  1. the customers would be yiddin. this would cause chillul shabos. jews in the USA still need to heed the blue laws in some locations.