Thousands of rally goers break into spirited song.
In May of 2009, as previously in December of 1997, the Jewish Community Center of Baltimore, a complex which exists in two locations - Baltimore City and Owings Mills - considered the possibility of opening the Owings Mills location for exercise and recreational activities on Saturday afternoon - Shabbat, Shabbos, The Holy Sabbath
In response, the (Orthodox) Rabbinical Council of Greater Baltimore,
the Vaad HaRabonim, hastily called for a rally in support of
Baltimore's current policy, which is to close all Jewish communal buildings
on the Sabbath. Despite the short notice, cool weather and overcast skies,
over 6000 people
attended the outdoor event.
The Associated Jewish Charities rejected the proposal in 1997, at least in part
in deference to the strong feelings of those at the rally, and in
part due to the same concerns. Now, in 2009, the issue is being revisited.
Why is the Shabbos so special? Why would people care if others wanted to open the JCC on the Sabbath?
Please watch and listen to the recordings from the event:
(Click the arrows to the right and left to advance to the next part.)