Israel Forever

For the week ending 17 March 2007 / 27 Adar I 5767

Shabbat Observance Across the Oceans

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library
The recent battle over El Al's flying on Shabbat which culminated in the airline's capitulation will most certainly come to the mind of many Jews this Shabbat when they hear the opening passages of this week's Torah portion dealing with Shabbat observance read in the synagogue.

Shabbat observance was a major issue in a recent court case in New York. Real estate broker Tamara Cohen found a West 82nd Street townhouse for comedian Jerry Seinfeld, which he bought for close to four million dollars. But when it came to giving her the $100,000 commission due her, Seinfeld argued that she did not deserve it because she failed to show him and his wife the house on Shabbat when they wanted to see it and did not return their calls on that day.

Cohen explained to State Supreme Court Justice Rolando Accosta that as a Shabbat observer she had informed Seinfeld that she could not work between Friday evening and nightfall Saturday. The judge ruled in her favor, another victory for Shabbat observance in the world!

Despite the El Al victory there is still much to correct in private and public life in Israel regarding observance of the Shabbat, which is certainly a vital key to securing Israel forever.

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