From Israel National News:
Labor Court Ruling Bans Work on Sabbath on Kibbutzim
Wednesday, December 6, 2006 / 15 Kislev 5767
The National Labor Court chaired by Justice Elisheva Barak ruled Tuesday
to forbid work on collective farms and settlements on the Jewish Sabbath.
Businesses at Kibbutz Tzora which were caught operating on the Sabbath
claimed that Israel's Law of Work and Rest does not apply to them, since
they are a collective farm. The decision barring businesses on kibbutzim
from opening on Saturdays caused great anger in the Kibbutz Movement.
The Movement's heads Gavri Bargil and Ze'ev Shor said Wednesday that
the court order will be a hard blow to thousands of small businesses in
the periphery, and to the income of tens of thousands of workers including
"Our Jewishness and our lifestyle are secular, and will not be determined
by the silly criterion of working on Saturday," the two said.
Seeking to clarify the intention of the legislature in embodying the
Sabbath in Israeli law in the State's founding year, Judge Amiram Rabinovitz,
who sat on the panel, quoted extensively from early Zionist leaders regarding
the special status of the Jewish Sabbath in Israel.
Amongst those whom he quoted was the well-known secular Zionist writer
Achad Ha'am who said the following:
"One doesn't need to be a Zionist or an observant Jew to recognize
the value of the Sabbath
One who feels in his heart a connection
to Jewish national life in all generations, cannot possibly conceive of
a reality for Israel without the 'Sabbath Queen.'"
Achad Ha'am further wrote: "It is not an exaggeration to say that
more than the Jewish People kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath kept them. Were
it not for the Sabbath which returned their souls and renewed their vitality
each week, the tribulations of the weekdays would have dragged them down,
until they reached the lowest level of materialism and ethical and moral
turpitude. Therefore, one definitely not need be a Zionist in order to
feel all the glory and historical holiness which hover over this 'good
gift' [the Sabbath], and in order to rise up adamantly against those who
detract from it."