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Ruling on Shabbat Work Appealed

January 11, 1999
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel’s attorney general has weighed in on a case that recently ignited religious-secular tensions.

On Sunday, Elyakim Rubinstein appealed a district court ruling allowing a kibbutz store to operate on the Sabbath.

In his appeal, Rubinstein said the judge’s interpretation of the labor law barring work on the Sabbath was erroneous.

Israeli law bars citizens from working on the day deemed by their religion as the Sabbath. For most Israelis, this is the Jewish Sabbath.

But in his ruling, the judge said that a cooperative association such as a kibbutz is free to determine its own day of rest.

The ruling in favor of Kibbutz Tzora, located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, elicited strong protests from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and leaders of Israel’s religious political parties.

Netanyahu charged that the ruling implied that kibbutz members are somehow not a part of the Jewish people.

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