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Huldai: There will be buses in Tel Aviv on Shabbat (JERUSALEM POST) By BEN HARTMAN AND JPOST.COM STAFF 02/22/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=258879 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Wednesday stood by a Tel Aviv Municipal Council decision to seek permission from the Transportation Ministry to operate buses in the city on Shabbat.

Despite criticism, there will be public transport in Tel Aviv on Shabbat, Huldai told Army Radio.

On Tuesday, Yisrael Meir Lau, chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, several religious MKs and the Tzohar national-religious rabbinical association called on the municipality to reverse the decision.

“A feeling of deep disappointment and pain filled me when I heard about this decision,” Lau wrote. “[It] would be a serious injury to the sanctity of Shabbat – which is a reminder of the creation of the universe, a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt, a day of rest for all workers and a day of spiritual elevation and family togetherness.”

A Transportation Ministry spokesman indicated Tuesday that the ministry would not approve Tel Aviv´s request. The Transportation Ministry will "not infringe [upon] the status quo which has been in place for decades regarding all aspects of public transport on Shabbat,” the spokesman said.

Nevertheless, Huldai on Wednesday vowed to continue the mission to bring buses to Tel Aviv on Shabbat. "We must determine if we want to live in a democratic, Jewish state or a solely Jewish state - which will be similar to Iran," Huldai told Army Radio. "The citizens have the right to visit their relatives on Shabbat or go out for a trip," he added.

The Tel Aviv mayor cited Brooklyn as an example of a place where Orthodox Jews practice their religion while public transportation operates everyday of the week. Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 02/22/12)

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