'Why not have a dialogue about Shabbat?'

MK Aliza Lavie argues that Supermarket Law will only cause more Shabbat desecration, urges dialogue.

Benny Tocker ,

Aliza Lavie
Aliza Lavie
Meir Bulka

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), who heads the Knesset Lobby of Religion and State, claimed on Monday that the so-called “Supermarket Law” will only cause a greater desecration of Shabbat than what is currently happening in Israel.

The law would grant the Interior Minister the power to block bylaws passed by municipal authorities that allow grocery stores and mini markets to open on Shabbat.

The Knesset was debating the law on Monday night but it was unclear whether there was a majority in the coalition to approve the law in its second and third readings, due to the death of the mother of MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) and his absence from the plenum.

The coalition had already postponed the vote, which was to have taken place last week, after coalition leaders understood that they would not be able to muster the majority needed to approve the bill.

"I love Shabbat and keep Shabbat, and I wish there was no commerce in the State of Israel on Shabbat as I was raised and educated and as I raised and educated my children to do, but this is not the reality in Israel,” Lavie told Arutz Sheva in an interview Monday.

"What happened in the meantime is that the local authorities rushed to amend the bylaws [before the law is enacted] and today, cities where shops had been previously closed on Shabbat approved a bylaw that allows the shops to be open,” she continued.

"Instead of holding a discussion that will allow for limited arrangements according to the character of the region, they created more desecration of the Sabbath, division and hatred. All this is being done so that Minister Deri can come to his public with some sort of accomplishment,” said Lavie.

"This law will not do us any good, we all know that the shopping centers will remain open on Shabbat. Let’s not destroy what we have. It’s not too late to cancel the law,” added Lavie, who called for resolving the issue of Shabbat through dialogue.

“Let us create a dialogue around Shabbat, not through a law that brings hatred and condemnation.”

"In two weeks, I am convening a meeting at the Lobby of Religion and State, which I head, with all the organizations that deal with this issue of Shabbat. We need to realize that there are more and more groups today that mark Shabbat in a variety of ways,” she concluded.