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Non-Jewish stores in Israel opening on Shabbat


Shalom Dinonline,
An issue raised by one political party in the present Israel Elections is the right of store owners in Israel to open their stores on Shabbat.
>> Please consider the case of a non-Jewish store owner in Israel all of whose employees who would work on Shabbat are also non-Jews. Does halakhic Jewish law allow such a store to do business on Shabbat?
Thank you for your help.


From a technical halachic standpoint, if the owner of the store and all of his workers are gentiles, it can be open on Shabbat. The torah does not want non-Jews to keep Shabbat, as it is a special covenant between G-d and the Jews. However from a practical angle, when a country is being run, the stores being open makes an ambiance of desecrating the holy Shabbat, the same way running public transportation aside from a public desecration as disregard of the Shabbat, it ruins the special ambiance of it.

Best wishes


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1 Comment

  1. We should also consider; that even if the store owner is non-Jewish, and all the employees are also non-Jews, but who is the store catering to? Who is their clientele?
    If the store is in a Jewish neighborhood, then we must assume that the store is targeting Jewish customers.
    Therefore, the presence of such a store is considered a stumbling block for those Jews who don’t know better.

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