Israeli Supreme Court to hold additional hearing concerning closing businesses on Shabbat

Less than three months after the previous ruling that allowed businesses and supermarkets in Tel Aviv to remain open on Shabbat, the Israeli Supreme Court will soon hold another hearing regarding the matter.
Will the supermarkets run on Shabbat? Photo Credit: Neta Ya’ari/Channel 2 News

Judge Elyakim Rubinstein, who is retiring from the Israeli Supreme Court, ruled today (Wednesday) that the Supreme Court will hold another hearing regarding supermarkets and stores being open on Shabbat. “I decided to give a further hearing,” the ruling read, noting that “Whatever the outcome may be it is fitting that the case of Shabbat, whose status in the Jewish world needs no elaboration, will be discussed and understood with all of the positions before the court.”

Rubinstein noted that he deliberated prior to the decision, but decided upon an additional hearing “in light of public sensitivity concerning the subject.” The General Association of Merchants and the Self-Employed requested to hold another hearing, while the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality opposed the hearing, as the court permitted businesses within the municipal order to remain open on Shabbat three months ago. Currently, Israeli Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor will determine the composition of the additional hearing.

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“The importance of the subject is therefore clear to me,” Rubinstein wrote. “Of course, I realize that the verdict was unanimous, but the entire picture was not laid out before the panel due to the authority’s conduct. Small grocery owners against supermarkets and their employment options are also found in every locality. The additional hearing is thereby given and at this point, I do not see room to determine that it will only apply to one part of the verdict that is the subject of the request as proposed by the Attorney General, with all due respect. The additional hearing will apply to the entire verdict and the panel will, of course, decide on its own course of action.”



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