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Israel Rabbinate Lifts Ban on Hadera Paper Mill; Settlement Reached

The Chief Rabbinate today lifted a ban on the printing of religious texts on paper produced at the Hadera mill after arrangements were made to avoid work in the mill on the Sabbath, ending a lengthy stalemate. The settlement was achieved after owners of the America-Israel Paper Mills intervened with a request to local management to meet the demands of the Chief Rabbinate.

The settlement provides that five non-Jews will be in the plant on a stand-by basis for essential work on the Sabbath while the entire plant will be closed from dusk on Friday night until twilight Saturday. A supervisor appointed by the Ministry of Religions, to be paid by the company, will check on persons entering the plant on Saturdays.

Local and foreign printing firm suspended work on the Talmud Mishnaic and other religious tracts two months ago because of a ban on use of paper from the mill for publication of such material. The impasse of management refusal to arrange Sabbath conditions satisfactory to the Chief Rabbinate led Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog to make a direct approach to the Mazer family, American founders and largest shareholders in the mill.

Chief Rabbi Herzog’s intervention resulted in a recommendation that engineers work out a system by which the plant could halt operations weekly without loss or damage and by which five persons, placed on a stand-by basis to maintain observation of automatic machinery on Saturdays, would be enough for the purpose.

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