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Kiddush Hashem: The Yohananoff Supermarket Sacrifices for the Shabbat

This past Friday afternoon Shabbat was greatly honored by a Ramat Hasharon supremarket from the Yohananoff supermarket chain. On Friday afternoon there was a power outage in Ramat Hasharon due to the stormy weather and high winds. In the Yohananoff Supermarket the generators kicked in to power the freezers and refrigerators so the produce and frozen goods wouldn’t get ruined or spoiled. However the cash registers were down because the generators didn’t provide them with power also.

Zvi Avraham, the branch manager had a choice. He could make everyone wait for the power to go back on. This was something that was out of his control and there was no guarantee that the people waiting to pay would be able to make it home for Shabbat if they had to wait too long. The other choice was to send the customers home emptyhanded as they couldn’t pay for what they needed since the power was down.  Some would go to another store that might have power and start their shopping all over again and come home late for Shabbat.

Zvi chose a third option; he told everyone to take their cartloads of food home without paying. Zvi told Y-Net about why he chose that option in an interview. “There were many elderly people with cartloads full of merchandise, some of them were religious. They waited with admirable patience for the power to go back on but I knew they wouldn’t have the time to go to another store and refill the carts all over again and still make it home for Shabbat. That’s why I decided what I did.”

Zvi didn’t make this courageous and honorable decision on his own. “I called up the owner of the supermarket chain and he agreed and that’s how about 100 people walked out of the store without checking out. They all left names and phone numbers and said they’d come back to pay on Sunday.  I totally trust them.”

One woman who left with a cartload full of food said: “I wanted to pay for the meat with cash so I could start preparing it before Shabbat but the manager wouldn’t hear of it and sent me home with it without my paying. I plan on coming back on Sunday to pay it all. What they did for us is not something self-understood and we shouldn’t take it for granted.”

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