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Religious kibbutz blocks visitors' access on Shabbat

Kibbutz Hanatziv prevents visitors from accessing spring located within its bounds due to observance of Shabbat, claim 'secular visitors violate weekend atmosphere'

Visitors wishing to splash in the cool waters of the spring located in the religious Kibbutz of Ein Hanatziv were disappointed to find the site closed for visitors on Saturday. The reason: Swimming in the spring desecrates the Shabbat.


Ran Rosenberg, who planned to spend the day in the spring with his friends, told Ynet that the spring is located within the limits of the kibbutz and the only way to access it is through the kibbutz' main entrance. However, when they arrived at the gate, they were greeted by a sign saying that there was no entry to the spring. "When we asked the guard, he said there is no swimming on Shabbat," said Rosenberg, adding that when he asked whether the spring belonged to the kibbutz, the Guard said it didn't.


Rosenberg noted that the kibbutz' head of security arrived at the entrance and told him that even though the spring does not belong to the kibbutz, "it is behind the gate, and they do not intend to open it for anyone, seeing that the kibbutz observes the Shabbat."


When Rosenberg offered to leave the car outside the gate and walk to the spring, the security officer replied that "the mere fact you are swimming in the water desecrates the Shabbat."


Rosenberg and his friends turned to the police, but eventually had to give up their quest to reach the spring. "It is inconceivable that religion is taking over nature, which belongs to me, you and the entire people of Israel," Rosenberg lamented.


Ein Hanatziv is not the only place visitors have been facing difficulty accessing on Shabbat. Roadblocks set up last year have blocked access to other popular sites in the area, including Nahal Hakibutzim and Ein Muda.


The police stated in response that there is no prevention from entering the Ein Hanatziv spring by foot on Saturdays, and that other kibbutzim in the area allow visitors to park their cars outside and walk to the springs.


Kibbutz Ein Hanatziv stated in response: "The spring is located within the limits of the kibbutz and it is impossible to access it without entering the residential area. Ein Hanatziv is a religious kibbutz and its members are afforded certain rights such as preserving the Shabbat atmosphere. The secular public that visits the kibbutz on Shabbat, even by foot, violates this atmosphere and disturbes the residents."


Ahiya Raved contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 06.14.12, 07:23
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