Jerusalem: Ultra-Orthodox Jews force restaurant owner to close for ‘Shabbat’


On Friday afternoon five orthodox Jewish protested against an Ethiopian restaurant in Jaffa Street, West Jerusalem, for being open in Shabbat day.

The Sabbath (rest for Hebrew) begins at nightfall on Friday and lasts until nightfall on Saturday. After the sunset, the Jewish stop working, drinking, smoking and using electronic devices, such as TV, phones etc. until the following night in order to welcome the Shabbat.

Two internationals women from the United States and Italy witnessed the protest while they were seating outside the restaurant resting after a day tour in Jerusalem. One of them recorded the fact.

“I didn’t understand what was going on. But as soon as I saw the owner of the restaurant taking all the chairs and tables, I understood that something was happening and that those people were protesting against the restaurant,” she said.

Starting chanting Shabbat kodesh repeatedly, the Orthodox group stood outside the restaurant for about thirty minutes and made the owner withdraw all the chairs and tables inside, while other tourists stopped trying to understand why.

After being “peacefully” forced to go inside, the two women claimed: “We think that everybody should respect everybody else’s life, and even it was Shabbat, an Ethiopian restaurant should have the right to stay open and work. Instead, they had to move everything and ask the customers to stay inside”.

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