The “Grocery Store Bill” that passed today in the Knesset is an excellent example of why the State should not be involved in religious affairs. What is the story behind this bill? In the beginning, there was a law prohibiting the opening of businesses, including grocery stores, on Shabbat. In Tel Aviv, the law was ignored. The High Court supported Tel Aviv. The Knesset opposed Tel Aviv.
The bill turned into a major political battle. After a full course of baseless hatred all around, we have come full circle: The new bill says what had already been the case in practice: In communities that wish to have open groceries on Shabbat, the groceries will be open. In communities that wish to have closed groceries on Shabbat, the groceries will be closed.
What does Zehut say?
We must remove the entire issue from the Knesset and its conflict-instigators, and give the authority to decide on Shabbat observance for private businesses to the communities. In the words of President Trump, “All we are doing is recognizing reality”. (Reality, by the way, is the secular name for the Master of the Universe). For more on Religion and State, see our Platform Synopsis.