More and More Establishments Choose to Close on Shabbat

The ‘Kinor in the Square’ restaurant invested no less than 7 million shekels before opening its doors. But when it came to deciding what standard of kashrut they would keep they also went with the highest standard seeking a stringent level of Kashrut to satisfy the religious public who is their target customer. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but if you ask Kobi Katani the head chef he’ll tell you it was a unanimous decision without hesitation. “We come from traditional homes and this was important to us,” Kobi told Ynet in an interview. “Besides we’re talking about a major segment of customers in Jerusalem, and the level of the kashrut doesn’t have adverse effect on the quality or taste.”

Kinor in the Square is not alone in its decision rather it’s part of a growing phenomenon of many businesses, shopping centers and attractions all over Israel from North to South whose owners decided to close their doors on Shabbat, even if it seems to incur losses for it. Many establishments actually do better after closing for Shabbat but most of them close for reasons of faith.

For example in Kibbutz Tzuba, a Kibbutz 10 minutes out of Jerusalem, there was an attraction called the Galita Center, a chocolate exhibit and coffee house which has branches around Israel. The Kibbutz Tzuba branch is now going to close for Shabbat and the Kibbutz Tzuba Hotel is upgrading to become a stringently kosher hotel. “Most companies have employees that are religious and they want the high level of kashrut,” explains Kobi Epstein supervisor of tourism in Kibbutz Tzuba. “We had a conference of 100 participants at the hotel with 9 religious women which wouldn’t have been possible before we became stringently kosher.” Though this sounds purely economic Epstein points out that as far as they’re concerned “it goes beyond economics, we are also Jews.”

There’s another exhibit called the “Elevator of Time” whose owners decided to start keeping Shabbat after 17 years of being open. Ilan Rotem the head of the business says “this was a strategic decision to consider the (feelings of the) broad public and close for Shabbat and Jewish holidays. My motive is love of our nation. All in all I believe we must act to bring our hearts closer to one another and even though I’m not religious I think we must respect those who established that we shouldn’t work on Shabbat and holidays. We made a decision and we’re very happy with it.”

In a previous article we mentioned that Jordan River rafting closed its doors for Shabbat.
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As we mentioned, these people are part of a growing phenomenon of people closing up their establishments for Shabbat. When people understand that the money that earned on Shabbat has no blessing they give it up. Many of these people are actually wholeheartedly embracing Judaism and increasing their observance of many other mitzvoth.

As a customer you can encourage this phenomenon by choosing an establishment that keeps the Shabbat especially now during Israeli vacation season. They deserve your support!


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