The Jerusalem Shabbat Bus Controversy

Don’t throw Shabbat under the bus.

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Comments (11)

(7) Keith, UK, May 8, 2015 6:09 PM

I Agree...

Having stayed in Jerusalem several times, and loving that City with an immense, almost inexplicable love, I am in full agreement with you about this, Rabbi. You are right; there is something very special indeed about the atmosphere of Jerusalem over the whole of Shabbat and this, I believe, could well start to erode it, and encourage others to do likewise. Let's pray that if it does come about, people don't use it, and that it would therefore be withdrawn... Oh.. & by the way.. I have been a bus driver for many years!!.. (no - not for Egged !)... Shalom... Keith, UK.. :)

(6) Avi, May 7, 2015 8:38 PM

You can't force your religious views on others

You can't force your religious views on other people and expect a positive outcome. It is precisely this mindset that is pushing many Israeli Jews away from Judaism. The more you try to force your beliefs on others, the more they go out of their way to assert their autonomy. Having spent a lot of time in Israel and Yerushalayim, I was surprised by the anger and hatred many Israeli's have towards the "religious minority constantly trying to run their lives". What happens when you try to force an Israeli to do something, they'll go out of their way to do the opposite for example, barbecuing pork chops for lunch on Yom Kippur! When I was walking to shule on Shabbat in Yerushalayim, there were cars on the road so what difference will a few extra vehicles make? My secular friends say, Israel has a one day weekend - Saturday because Sunday is a regular work day and school day. For many people, that is their only day off from work, the only day their children are home. My enjoyment of Shabbat is not diminished because someone in the neighborhood isn't doing it my way.

Anonymous, May 10, 2015 8:04 AM

Exactly - well said.

Baruch, May 12, 2015 8:48 PM

Buses, Planes & Shabbat

Is it forcing? Listen to what Prime Minister Menachem Begin said to the Knesset about the huge significance of grounding not just buses, but even El AL's airplane fleet, on Shabbat. Read Aish's article:

Your Airplanes Shall Rest on Shabbat:
Recalling the day when Menachem Begin stopped Israel’s national airline, El Al, from flying on Shabbat.

... then, after explaining the reasons to groung the planes on Shabbat, before the Knesset, Prime Minister Begin turned to limp back to his seat, amid cheers and jeers. But hardly had he taken a step when, struck by a sudden additional thought, he hobbled back to the microphone, and declared:

"Mr. Speaker, allow me just one further point. This House should know, it is not necessary to be an observant Jew to appreciate the full historic and sacred aura that enshrines this ‘perfect gift' called Shabbat. Its prohibitions are not arbitrary. They provide insulation against corrosive everydayness, they build fences against invasions by the profane, and they enrich the soul by creating a space for sacred time. In a word, one need not be pious to accept the cherished principle of Shabbat. One merely needs to be a proud Jew."

(5) chava, May 7, 2015 6:29 PM

I agree. It's a sad commentary on not passing on tradition, with or without observance.

I agree with you. I remember when I was young in the USA, Sunday (which was not a special day for me) had a different feel about it. It was quiet, calm. Restaurants & movies were open, but stores and offices were not. Today that quiet feeling is gone, and Sunday has lost its special feel. But here, in Jerusalem, Shabbat is more than just a quiet, peaceful day. There's another dimension to it, which many non-observant and even many non-Jews feel. What a shame to lose that. On the positive side (if there is one), the bus is a private one. You have to join it (pay yearly "dues") in order to ride it. It's not run by Egged or any other public or government company. And they say that the drivers won't be Jewish. It'll be interesting to see reactions to it.

(4) Richard, May 7, 2015 2:08 PM


So sorry to hear the news about the buses on Shabbat. I'm sad for us all.

(3) Sarah Hershenson, May 7, 2015 1:25 PM

Against the Shabus

Please tell us what we can do to protest theShabus service.

Nancy, May 10, 2015 8:04 AM

Don't use it.

(2) Dvirah, May 5, 2015 6:39 PM

It's Up to Us

If people refuse to use the bus, it will soon be discontinued. However, it may be that non-Jewish residents of Jerusalem will be the main clientele. I agree however, about the name. Clever, but not wise.

(1) David, May 4, 2015 3:57 PM

Pluralistic Society

The greatness of Israel is that it can and does evolve. It takes into consideration the wants and needs of ALL its People, religious or not. It is not public transportation unless it is available to all the public all the time.

Sidney, May 7, 2015 2:39 AM

2,000 Years of Sabbath Observance

That may be one point of view.
However consider if Sabbath observance and many other things had been optional over the last 2,000 years, THERE WOULD BE NO JEWISH PEOPLE and hence no State of Israel. I wonder what our great-great-great-great-grandparents would have thought of the notion that there could be a Jewish State but with a watered down or non-existent Judaism?


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