Most Israelis were forced to contend with hot and humid weather conditions over the weekend, but some people suffered more than others.
Hundreds of residents in the haredi enclave of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, remained with no electricity over the weekend, after the Israel Electric company refrained from repairing a malfunction as not to offend Shabbat observers, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
A few minutes before Shabbat, a malfunction left dozens of buildings in town without electricity.
"We called the electric company, but the receptionist said they don't enter Bnei Brak on Shabbat for fear that their technicians would be stoned," local resident Bela Wolfman said.
Other residents who called to report the problem said Electric Company call center representatives told them of an agreement with Bnei Braq city that prevents company employees from entering the town on Saturdays.
"We spent the whole Shabbat in darkness and suffered the heat. It was terribly depressing," one resident said. "All the food we had in the freezer melted. By noontime Saturday we had to get out of our home because the heat inside was unbearable. Families who had electricity gave us cold water bottles."
The malfunction was repaired only late Saturday, around 9:30 pm.
"They simply pushed one switch up and the electricity was back. I saw it with my own eyes," Wolfman said. "There are many elderly people and babies here. It's simply a miracle that nobody collapsed during this terrible Saturday."
The Electric Company said that most of its customers asked that the malfunction not be repaired as not to desecrate the Shabbat. Previous repair work undertaken in Bnei Brak on Shabbat prompted great anger among local residents, the company said.
Amir Ben-David contributed to the report
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