Sabbath compromise at Philly museum of U.S. Jewish history

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The five-story museum next to Independence Mall, scheduled to open Nov. 26, is dedicated to chronicling 350 years of Jewish life in America and establishing a home base for scholarly meetings and community discussions.

But The Philadelphia Inquirer says officials had to decide whether to open on Saturdays, even though Jewish law forbids work and commercial transactions on the Sabbath. The alternative was closing on the day and turning away thousands of visitors — as well as up to a quarter of the anticipated admission revenue.

Michael Rosenzweig, the museum's president and chief executive officer, says there was "not a simple answer."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchArtHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism* Theology

Posted October 18, 2010 at 9:58 am

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1. A Senior Priest wrote:

A rather nuanced decision. However, if they’d actually taken the problem to their local Rav the decision would undoubtedly have been stricter, if the place were to open at all. I’d have had the entire museum staffed by gentiles on Shabbat and left everything as normal.

October 18, 11:26 am | [comment link]
2. sophy0075 wrote:

Senior Priest,

You clearly know about the tradition of the “Shabbat goy”!

October 18, 9:17 pm | [comment link]

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