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November 22, 1991 - Image 69

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

Introducing...

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The '92

Jewish Sabbath begins at
sunset on Friday and ends at
sunset on Saturday. Rabbi
Porush proposed to close
cinemas, theaters, restau-
rants and cafes on Friday
night, and beachside kiosks
and snack bars also on Satur-
day. In short, every enterprise
employing Jews without a
permit.
The mayor of Tiberias,
himself an observant Jew,
warned that Rabbi Porush's
campaign threatened to ruin
the tourist trade on which his
town's economy depends. A
similar warning was issued
by the mayor of Eilat.
Rabbi Porush also proposed
to close Ben Gurion airport
on the Sabbath, including the
cargo terminal. El Al, the
Israel national airline, stop-
ped operating on the Sabbath
years ago under Orthodox
pressure. Rabbi Porush
demanded that foreign
airlines operating at the air-
port also stop employing
Jewish workers on the Sab-
bath. Transport minister
Moshe Katsav said this was
an uneconomical proposition
as it would discourage
airlines from employing
Jewish workers even during
the week, and possibly from
flying to Ben Gurion airport
at all. Mr. Katsav warned
that he would use his powers
to keep the airport open.
It might be expected that
Orthodox voters would en-
thusiastically support Rabbi
Porush's campaign, and in
fact no one was prepared to
criticize Rabbi Porush in
public. However, in private
conversations they expressed
consternation. The general
view was that Rabbi Porush
was aggravating tension bet-
ween religious and secular
Jews. Some expressed the fear
that the controversy would
revive the secular demand for
conscription. of yeshiva
students to the Israel Defense
Force.

Others accused Rabbi
Porush of trying to increase
his influence in his own com-
munity, to ensure that his son
Meir succeeds him in the
Knesset, and to force Agudat
Israel's ruling Council of
Torah Sages to approve his re-
quest to become minister in-
stead of deputy minister.
Professor Friedman does
not accept these interpreta-
tions of Rabbi Porush's
motives, but found it difficult
to explain the 75-year-old
politician's behavior.
Whatever the motive, Rab-
bi Porush aroused the deter-
mined opposition of secular
Jews throughout the country
and a great many religious
Jews. 0

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

69

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