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Study and Theory/

Shelly Yachimovich

Shabbat Slaves

Excerpt from a Newspaper Article

Most of those who work on Shabbat do not do it out of their free will – they would not be accepted on the job if they wouldn't commit themselves to work on Shabbat, and they would be fired if they'd refuse to work on Shabbat. A good number of workers do not receive fair legal indemnity for working on Shabbat and they are not given an alternative day of rest.


The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor inspectors have reported the incidence of "black cards" they have encountered in the course of their inspections. Such black cards are completely punched: seven days a week, 365 days a year. What an employee was entitled to thousands of years ago, a cashier from Migdal HaEmek does not get nowadays.


A neighborhood grocery shop does not open on Shabbat, neither does a clothing shop. In the meantime, shoppers spend Shabbats at malls, so on Sunday they do not need to purchase anything that their neighborhood stores. Placing concentrated commerce in the hands of huge businesses and starving small businesses, is harmful – not only for the small businesses, but also to their employees and primarily - to economy at large.


Does my privilege to be able to purchase an armchair on Shabbat justify suppression of a poor worker on Shabbat and the wreckage of small merchants? In my opinion -no.

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