'Shabbat more important than Western Wall'

Conservative Movement in Israel Chairman Yizhar Hess mocks haredi politicians' inaction on government Shabbat desecration.

Tzvi Lev,

Work being done on Shabbat
Work being done on Shabbat
Flash 90

Conservative movement in Israel chairman Yizhar Hess mocked hareidi politicians in a Facebook post for their inaction on government Shabbat desecration, deeming them hypocritical for investing their political capital to scuttle the Western Wall compromise plan while ignoring Shabbat desecration by the Israeli government.

The issue of infrastructure work on the Jewish holy day has been a politically explosive subject for the Netanyahu government, with ministry officials claiming the work must be done on the weekend, when traffic is lightest and the disruption minimal – and the danger of traffic accidents stemming from such disruptions are the least likely to occur.

The haredi political parties are currently up in arms over ongoing maintenance work the Israel Railways is doing on Shabbat, and held an urgent meeting last Thursday with the haredi rabbinical leadership in order to decide how to stop this phenomenon.

"Remember the ultra-Orthodox factions who who threatened to dismantle the coalition as early as tomorrow morning in order to liberate the Western Wall from the clutches of the Reform movement?" Hess asked. "The last two Saturdays of August, Israel Railways is working on Shabbat, and the ultra-Orthodox leadership is doing nothing."

"They send warnings, angry letters, and hold meetings, but actually agree to it. With all due respect to the Western Wall, Shabbat is a more important commandment then the Kotel."

Hess blamed the haredi media for causing a furor over the Western Wall compromise, while keeping silent on the ongoing Shabbat desecration. "You drank our blood over giving away a piece of the Western Wall to Reform Jewry, but you remain silent over Shabbat violations. Excellent journalism," he finished sarcastically.

Hess has been bitterly criticizing the haredi political parties ever since they used their political clout to scuttle a plan that would have given the southern section of the Western Wall over to non-traditional Jewish movements, including the 'Masorti' sect of Conservative Judaism that he heads.