Don't touch Shabbat
Don't touch Shabbat צילום: איסטוק

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) spoke on Sunday morning about the government's pending discussion regarding Tel Aviv businesses which are open on Shabbat (Sabbath).

"Shabbat is a Jewish and national value... Any change in its character which is not unanimously agreed upon will cause irreversible damage. I will oppose any efforts to cause such a change," Ariel said.

"Everyone understands that government approval of businesses which are open on Shabbat - even if it is only a few businesses - is a change of policy which will affect all sectors of Israeli society.

"We need to understand that a change in the status quo is a slippery slope which will influence everyone. If one side changes it, the other side will change the status quo as well," he said. "The government needs to find a solution to extend the weekend to Sunday as well. This will make most of the arguments about Shabbat irrelevant."

While the haredi parties are pushing for the government to crack down on Tel Aviv businesses which are illegally open on Shabbat, other factors in the government are working to allow the businesses to legally open on Shabbat.

Those in favor of closing businesses on Shabbat note that workers deserve a day off, and those who wish to keep Shabbat will be unfairly discriminated against if the status quo is changed. However, many secular Jews want to be able to spend Shabbat shopping and going to places of entertainment, and find the status quo limits their choices.

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