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Secular Jews launch Sabbath bus service in Jerusalem

Young residents of Jerusalem have created a solution to the lack of public transportation in the city on Saturdays by establishing a private cooperative bus system.
Covev Yanai - Shabus, Jerusalem, May 11.jpg

Every once in a while a stormy and passionate public debate flares in Israel on the issue of public transportation on the Sabbath, the Jewish day of worship and rest. In fact, its status as a day of rest in the Jewish community was recognized even before the establishment of the State of Israel, as stipulated in the 1947 status quo letter sent by Prime Minister-designate David Ben-Gurion to the Jewish Orthodox leadership. The status quo arrangement has not changed much since, notwithstanding the position held by the majority of the public in favor of transportation on the Sabbath.

However, it seems that this time, something is indeed going to change. Social media networks have reshaped the public discourse on this issue, and its impact. This was witnessed, for instance, ahead of Passover in April 2015, when a protest against disabling public transportation on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays swept social media in Israel, and Internet surfers posted a weekend carpool board on the Facebook wall of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.

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