Shufersal store
Photo: Avi Valdman

Rabbis target another retail food chain

After initiating boycott of Shefa Shuk chain, haredi rabbis threaten to launch similar sanctions against Shufersal stores if retail chain decides to go on with purchasing part of Steimatzky, which operates branches on Shabbat

After the boycott they declared on supermarket chain Shefa Shuk several months ago dealt a devastating financial blow to the company, the ultra-Orthodox Committee for the Sanctity of Shabbat has now turned its attention to Shufersal.


The large retail chain is currently in negotiations to buy 20% of book store chain Steimatzky, which operates several branches on Shabbat, and Ynet has learned that the rabbinic committee is already deliberating how the haredi public should regard Shufersal once the deal is finalized. One of Shufersal's subsidiaries is Yesh, a supermarket chain for the ultra-Orthodox sector.


The committee is not only concerned by the fact that Steimatzky keeps some stores open on the weekend; the rabbis also hold Steimatzky responsible for mass desecration of the Shabbat during the launching of the seventh Harry Potter book in Israel on a Friday night last year.


The committee's secretary, Rabbi Yitzhak Goldknopf, told Ynet that Shufersal's owner Nochi Dankner would be wise to reconsider the deal. He claimed that 50% of Shufersal's customers were ultra-Orthodox, and added, "It's no secret that this is a very sensitive period in this regard, and all the rabbis are now fighting for the sanctity of the Shabbat."


A spokesman for Shufersal said in response that the chain was in initial talks with Steimatzky regarding a possible acquisition of 20% of the company. He stressed that "the Shufersal chain has made an unequivocal decision, upon the instruction of majority shareholder Nochi Dankner, not to sell food on Shabbat and therefore all its branches are closed on Shabbat."


פרסום ראשון: 12.27.08, 10:35
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