Shabbat wars: Hundreds in Acre protest opening of store on Saturday
The general manager of the home improvement store says he is responding to requests from local clients to open the store on Saturdays.
By Jack Khoury | Nov.11, 2012 | 4:53 PM
Some 350 Acre residents demonstrated outside the Home Center in the city's Azrieli shopping center on Thursday, protesting the management's decision to open the home improvement store on Shabbat.
Students at military hesder yeshivas protested alongside ultra-Orthodox, young, middle-aged and even many secular citizens.
“It's an important struggle for the city's identity,” said members of the group that organized the protest. “Opening the branch on Shabbat breaks down a barrier, from which there is no return.”
The store was open on Saturday, but there were few customers. “It's important to preserve Shabbat, but everyone in Acre knows that the store is located in a commercial area, not in the heart of a residential neighborhood, and no group's feelings have been hurt,” said Eli, an Acre resident who'd come to purchase parts to repair a sink. “There's no reason to compel the store to be closed. People don't come here to have a good time, they come to buy items they need for their homes.”