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Non-Jewish stores in Israel opening on Shabbat

Question:

B S D
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.

Answer:

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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