[VIDEO BELOW] There has been lots of momentum in recent weeks in the halls of power in the Israeli government on behalf of protecting Shabbos observance among Israeli businesses and workers. The big break came on January 4th, when MK Bezalel Smotrich of the Habayit HaYehudi party, led by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, wrote an official letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, in representation of his party, supporting the charedi parties’ position in support of Shabbos.
Previously, Habayit HaYehudi did not join its charedi counterparts who were battling the bills that would change the longstanding Israeli status quo in which shopping and business centers were closed on Shabbos, and employees could not be fired for their refusal to work on Shabbos.
This big move from Habayit HaYehudi came the day after Duvi Honig, Founder and Director of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, delivered a fiery speech in the halls of the Knesset. Reb Duvi led the Chamber’s “U.S.-Israel Business Alliance” mission, and utilized the mission’s Knesset symposium to implore Knesset members not to forsake Shabbos and the Torah on the altar of democracy, ch”v. “It is shameful to hear in the United States, on Chanuka, that the Knesset is debating a bill about firing people for not working on Shabbos,” Reb Duvi exclaimed. “This gives a statement of confusion to the world…If we don’t respect ourselves, how can we expect the world to respect us?”
MK Smotrich participated in that Knesset symposium, as well as other U.S.-Israel Business Alliance mission events. Reb Duvi and other members of the mission also met privately with Naftali Bennett and echoed these sentiments. As a result of the broadened opposition to changing the Shabbos status quo, supporters of the bill have delayed their push, putting the bill’s future in doubt. Hopefully, the day that the anti-Shabbos forces envision will never come.
(Click here for letter)
“I’ve been touched by all that transpired,” Reb Duvi reflects. “It shows that when we get together and use our k’oach harabim to speak up, we can literally change the trajectory of Eretz Yisroel – and the world.”
So inspiring! One person can change the world, one action at a time. Kol hakavod.
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