Friday, December 10, 2004

Bank Leumi goes holy

Bank Leumi's new 'Shomer-Shabbat' credit card has received quite a lot of exposure over the past week, with some reports, such as this one, explaining that "A special chip will be added to the card so that it won't work on the Sabbath."
Now it appears that isn't quite true -- and that in fact, the card will be fully operative on Shabbat. One of the group behind the initiative explains why this was not deemed important:
"Hollander explained that the consortium's concept had not been to enforce the Sabbath, but to try to persuade companies to rest on Shabbat and let their workers rest, too. Therefore, they did not insist that the new card be inoperative on Shabbat."
The way it works, certain participating 'Shomer-Shabbat' companies will offer users of the card a 2-10% discount. However, if you look at the list of companies accepting the card, you quickly realize why the card is basically worthless as far as the consumers are concerned. At the moment, the only major chains Ha'aretz could list were Traklin Hashmal (electrical goods), Kfar Ha-shashuim (an amusement park), Gali shoes, Rav-Kat, Happening (posters and kitsch) and Sheshet home appliances. None of them, with the exception perhaps of Gali if you have 10 kids, are places where people shop regularly, and at least one of them, Happening, doesn't really have much to offer to Haredi shoppers. The main winner, it seems, is Bank Leumi, which suddenly has access to thousands of new haredi customers. I'm surprised, though, no one has asked yet whether it is really either appropriate or sensible for a national bank to be taking part in a crude effort to sway the outcome of one of the most controversial, complex, emotional and delicate political questions currently occupying the Jewish state, that is, the extent to which Shabbat should be enforced in the public domain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Saw your blog about apply card credit online - as it is along the same lines I thought I would share this link with you. We were paying far too much for family things like clothes for us and the kids, games consoles inc the new Wii and soon to be PS3, car insurance/home insurance/pet insurance, broadband, mobile phones, landline calls, home and garden items, camping equipment and utilities/loans etc - you name it, we were spending too much on it.

Then a friend of mine recommended a site called We were able to get cheaper electricity, gas, mobile phone, broadband and loan deals at bargainplace. Thanks to my friend (and the site) I am saving something like £100 a month and can afford an extra holiday abroard each year. Booked of course on Thanks bargainplace ;-) !!