Photo: Gabi Menashe
Uri Orbach
Photo: Gabi Menashe

Praise without profit

Motti Zisser could have acted as an ignoramus and kept the prestigious Arena shopping mall, operating it by gentile. The fact that people work on a Shabbat in his place of business made him get rid of the asset

Letter of Commitment


Sealed and signed on 18 February 2007

I, the undersigned, author of this article, attached to this letter of commitment as Appendix A, hereby pledge before the readers:


Given that I mainly engage in writing commentaries, and/or praise, and/or criticism in as much as I feel like it, and/or as it suits me, and/or however I see fit and, without impairing on the above statement, which are subject to my prevailing mood at the time of writing;


And Given that, according to the media, Mr. Motti Zisser (hereunder: Zisser) sold the property on block 3459 of section 251, otherwise known as the Arena Shopping Mall, for a fee that carried no profit and did so only for reasons to do with sanctity of the Shabbat;


And Given that any praise I may lavish on Zisser might be interpreted by the observant public (as wall as talkbacks no's 80-87, 112-137, ibid, ibid) as pure flattery with no intentions of profit, and/or as flattery for future financial profit, and/or as flattery of any kind, as well as future flattery, and/or by third parties;


And to remove all doubt, I hereby, therefore, declare the following:


1. Zisser and I maintain no business ties through any partnership, control nucleus, or a risk capital fund, etc.

2. Zisser and I maintain no relations such as employer-employee, donor-donee, trusted-trustee, wiper-wipee, or family, or other connections, including through a corporation that my grandma controls.

3. To the best of my knowledge, and not because I did not try, there is no deal on the agenda that could have improved my living conditions in view of, or in relation with this article.

4. I have not, nor will I receive anything in return, directly or indirectly, in neither fund nor asset, or benefit from the subject of this article.

5. The praise detailed hereunder was lavished on my own accord, is my exclusive responsibility, has been kept secret, and Zisser had no previous knowledge about the contents of this article, or that it was even written.


Here's the praise: 

Motti Zisser sold the Arena Shopping Mall. He did that either because he wanted to observe the sanctity of the Shabbat, or because he was pressured by religious circles. He could have acted as an ignoramus and kept the prestigious Arena shopping mall, operating it by gentile or with a Shabbat clock that works on Passover based on Australian time. The fact that people work on a Shabbat in his place of business and that a non-kosher meat shop opened there recently, made him get rid of the asset.


It is very easy to sit on the sidelines and preach business ethics to a religious rich man while pressuring him to observe the Shabbat in each of his extended enterprises. Managing businesses, including large commercial assets, while keeping them closed on the Shabbat is non-negligible on both the economic and the administrative levels.


The fact that Zisser eventually decided to sell the problematic asset to others is, therefore, praiseworthy. He proved that being a religious person is nothing like running a limited company. He showed there is a clear link between being an observant individual and managing your businesses and economic activities.


Regrettably, now that he is no longer there, Shabbat and Kashrus will be observed even less in the Arena Mall, but at least Zisser is not party to that. He did not even leave an appearance of a Jew who ignores the love of the Shabbat for the love of money.


Selling a business because the Shabbat was violated in it is of public, not only private value. The fact that there are still many religious businesspersons whose assets operate and produce income on a Shabbat and no one is bothering them only serves to emphasize Zisser's deed.


Given that he lost a fortune, or at least denied himself serious profit by selling the asset for a low price - and because the religious sector hates to say a kind word about anyone, especially about the rich (mainly about the rich who donate to the other yeshiva, not yours) - I insist on praising Mr. Zisser for his action.


This letter of commitment applies to this article only. The author reserves the right to write anything he feels like writing about Zisser and his public or other activities, as he will see fit in the give time. The praise lavished above does not deny the author's right to criticize Zisser to the letter of the law.


Undersigned: Uri Orbach.


פרסום ראשון: 02.18.07, 15:48
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