Religion Magazine

Shabbat Chazzanut in Richon Letzion Might Be Canceled

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
in two weeks, on "Shabbos Nachamu", in honor of Tu b'Av, the city of Rishon Letzion will be putting on its now annual "Shabbat Chazzanut and Piyut" in the Heichal Hatarbut (cultural center) of the city.
Entry to the davening is free of charge. Davening will begin on Shabbos morning at 8:30am, to be lead by Shlomo Glick and Yaniv Ben Mashiach,, and conducted by Dr. Mordechai Sobol. There will be a kidudsh at 11am, followed by Mussaf at 11:20am.
As you can see at the bottom of the flyer, it even includes the little fact of not involving any chilul shabbat.
Shabbat Chazzanut in Richon Letzion might be canceled
Rabbonim in Rishon Letzion have called for the cancellation of the Shabbat Chazzanut. They claim that it will definitely involve and  cause chilul shabbos, and should therefore be canceled to prevent that. They think it is inappropriate to hold this event in the same place that during the year hosts missionary events and other events that cause chilul shabbos.
Rav Shmuel Toledano, rav of the Abramovitz neighborhood, says he participated last year but later discovered that the event did involve chilul shabbos, and therefore will not be participating this year.
It seems that despite assurances, in previous years, that workers would be non-Jews, they actually had Jews doing some of the work. The chilul shabbos included driving to the location, turning on and off alarms, electricity, clocking in and out as employees, setting air conditioners, etc.
source: Kikar
A "Shabbat Chazzanut" event should definitely not involve chilul shabbos. It is not worth hosting such an event if it means Shabbos is being desecrated in the process. It is one thing to say the water park is open, the movie theater is open, on Shabbos, and there is nothign we can do about it. It is another thing to host an event that is meant to involve dvarim she'bkdusha and accomplish it via chilul shabbos. And the religious community desecrating Shabbos to have its own events weakens it in the efforts against others desecrating Shabbos.
That being said, I see no reason why the event must include chilul shabbos. All the issues mentioned above seem easy to resolve. In Bet Shemesh, in the RBS A neighborhood, there is an annual Shabbat Chazzanut that takes place in the Matnas and Ulam Sport - community center and in the Sport Center - and no chilul shabbos is involved, and that even includes Friday night services (rather than just daytime services as in Rishon Letzion). Lights can be set in advance, as can air conditioners. In the 21st century we even have something known as "shabbos clocks" that can help with that and waste less electricity. Any city employees needed can be told not to clock in to work or out, and non-Jewish workers should be hired if necessary. Alternatively, don't use city employees at all. In Bet Shemesh they did not. Let the gabboim of the participating shuls get together and make the arrangements and find volunteers (or even pay people) to set up the chairs and the kiddush.
It is a shame to have to cancel such an event because they think they cannot do it without chilul shabbos, but if they are too pig-headed to find the easy solutions to the issues, then it should be canceled.
I would like to hear similar calls to cancel the big hilulas in Meron or elsewhere when Lag B'Omer falls out on Shabbos or Motzei Shabbat and that causes chilul shabbos on a much larger scale.
------------------------------------------------------ Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel ------------------------------------------------------

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog