Ynet Poll: Most Chareidim Believe Demonstrations Hurt Shabbos


protestA majority of the Israeli Jewish public believes that the protests surrounding the Karta parking lot in Yerushalayim spur hatred and conflict between the sectors and do not promote Shabbos observing. In a poll conducted for Ynet and the Yesodot organization by the Panels Research Institute, 510 respondents were asked to answer questions surrounding the controversial issue. When asked whether the Yerushalayim municipality should allow the opening of parking lots on Shabbos, 74% responded positively, while 21% said the status quo should be maintained.Meanwhile, 63% of respondents stated that the violent riots against the opening of the parking lots in Yerushalayim mainly fueled tensions and hatred between chareidim and seculars; 19% said the rallies dishonored Judaism and the Shabbos; and only 12% said they believe these protests help preserve the holy day’s dignity.

A breakdown of the respondents according to religious affiliation revealed that in all sectors the riots were perceived as a dividing factor: 71% of seculars, 53% of traditional Israelis, 52% of chareidim and 42% of religious Jews viewed them as such.

Only 30% of chareidim said the demonstrations helped protect the Shabbos, while 18% of them said these constitute chillul Shabbos.

Head of the Yesodot Center for Torah and Democracy Shoshi Becker said that in her opinion the Karta parking lot should stay open on Shabbos, because it is not located in a residential area and serves several tourist sites that are visited by many non-Jewish tourists.

“Of course a religious person is saddened when he sees or hears of en masse Shabbat desecration, but in a democratic country this sentiment cannot force a secular person to remain cooped at home,” said Becker.

“It should be made clear to the religious and chareidi public that they can use educational and cultural mthods to persuade people not to drive on Shabbat. But using violent rallies only evokes hatred towards the ultra-Orthodox society as a whole, and undermines the place and status of the Shabbat,” she added.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel/Ynet}


  1. And not just in Israel. The hafganos have been reported around the world, especially in English.

    How is someone in Kiruv going to explain this idiocy to someone who thinks it was mandated by the Torah?

  2. Quite nice that 29% of secular israelis don’t think this widens the split.

    Who is this becker person? Apparently God is anti democratic for expecting secular israelis to keep shabbos. Which He does as the torah is for all Jews. But if shabbos is only a sentiment, then what is God?

    Unfortunately, becker is so open minded that her brains fell out. Just proving that religious zionism is an oxymoron.

  3. A reply to rachel r. I work in kiruv. I have no more trouble explaining this than I do explaining what Pinches did. Or about makkos. Or the 4 mises bezdin. Not nice. Not politically correct. But emes because God said so. And the Rabonim are to be listened to just like Him, as honour for Him is the same as them. Sorry, we can’t water down the torah for kiruv reasons. Unless you’re reform.

  4. Mr. Walter: You’re explaining, but are they listening? As a “civilian” once involved in kiruv I found myself many times being asked about the official kiruv rabbi’s explanations by people who were trying to understand Yiddishkeit but didn’t understand why, for example, a $2,000 sheitel and a load of diamond jewelry are znius, or why screaming at someone who just bumped your fender is proper behavior for a frum/Chasidishe Jew.

    My answer – which I had received from wise, older rebbetzins – “The Torah is perfect, but people aren’t.” Sometimes people who are part of the Torah camp act in ways which are not acceptable to the Torah, because we’re all human and therefore fallible, and sometimes succumb to the Yetzer Hara.

    The Torah is sacred – that’s why it should be defended with dignity and eidelkeit. Throwing rocks is wrong (besides, they’re muktzeh and you can’t move them on Shabbos). There are many mutar ways to protest effectively. The rock-throwers were wrong in their actions, although well-meaning in their intentions.

  5. Having personally witnessed many of there events, I have never ever seen a rock being thrown or violence not in self defence. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but only by a tiny minority. The majority are peaceful and provoked. My brother in law was once attacked and arrested by police for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was 10 years old at the time. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, was very naive, and didn’t know what was going on. Just passing through.

    The gedoylim have said to protest PEACEFULLY. My comment was to the woman who said even this was wrong as a shabbos sentiment (sic) was not enough reason to close a car park as you can’t expect these secular people to have to sit at home all day.