Soccer On Shabbos in Israel

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The High Court of Israel has ordered Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to explain within ninety days why soccer games in Israel’s second tier national league are held on Shabbos while regular Shabbos work is illegal.

The Football League said that if no satisfactory answer is forthcoming, it may become necessary to get individual permits for individuals involved in professional games on Shabbos instead of the blanket approval granted until now. Shabbos observant players would be required to participate on Shabbos but lodgings would be provided for them at games.

Yisroel Zair, Chairman of the Movement for a Jewish State which submitted the petition, was encouraged by the court’s response.

“We hope that stopping games in the National League will become the policy for all leagues, so that eight hundred soccer players who signed their desire to play solely on weekdays will be able to fulfill their desire, to the satisfaction of most of the people of Israel,” he said.

Last year, former attorney general Yehuda Weinstein opined that it was inappropriate to ban professional soccer on Shabbos because such games have taken place for decades.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

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