California Rabbis Complain About Organizational Violations of Sabbath

The Board of Rabbis of Northern California has complained that Jewish organizations were holding events which violate the Sabbath and are thereby excluding observant Jews from participating in them. The rabbis, in a statement issued here, mentioned Sabbath fund-raising, Sabbath gambling trips to Nevada and overseas charter flights that begin or terminate on the Sabbath.

“We are particularly distressed that some of the activities we oppose are promulgated in the name of Tzedakah (charity).” the statement said. “There is no philanthropic cause, however worthy, which cannot be supported the other six days of the week.” The Board of Rabbis said that it “does not presume to be the watchdog of individual Sabbath practices. An individual is free to observe or not. But we reiterate that organizations which purport to be Jewish have a special responsibility to the entire Jewish community–Reform, Conservative and Orthodox.”

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