Grocers throughout Tel Aviv chose to remain open on Shabbos, despite Interior Minster Gideon Sa’ar’s recent ruling to have them close on Shabbat.
The majority of the grocers and supermarkets affected by Sa’ars decision were open over the weekend as usual. Shoppers were confused at first, having expected stores to be closed, but rallied in support of the grocers and made their purchases.
Tel Aviv Municipality clerks began handing out 730 shekel ($214) fines Shabbos afternoon to all the grocers that were open. Store owners said they were pleased to see shoppers still coming in and making purchases as usual. “Up until last week, the vast majority of the city was content with the status quo. Why won’t they let me live in peace in my city as I have until now?” Shai, a shopper who came to purchase a few essential items, said.
Store owners did not hide the fact that they are unsure whether they will be able to keep fighting Sa’ars decision. Kobi Cohen, manager of the Super Yuda chain which has nine branches in Tel Aviv, said his chain “decided to stay open on Shabbat, despite the warning letters we received that forbade us from being open then. We opened our stores as an act of protest and operated like we normally would. Many customers came, and in the end so did the city clerks with their fines. They [the clerks] are working thoroughly with a list of the stores that stayed open and going one by one. Clearly we cannot keep this going for a long time, Tel Aviv’s municipality is enforcing the law much more strictly. We are resting our hopes on that next week something will happen.”
Read more at ISRAEL HAYOM.