Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gintel Inside

There is an interesting development in the Intel story.

Haaretz is reporting that a proposed solution has been reached by Intel and was presented to UTJ MK Uri Maklev, who presented it to Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin.

The multi-part proposal is that the Intel Shabbat workforce will be comprised solely of non-Jews.

Haaretz Talkbacker Stanley Korman coined a new term describing Intel's Gentile Shabbat workers: "Gintels".

If this solution comes to fruition, it solves a few major problems (Jews working on Shabbat, Chareidi employment, etc.) but creates a new problem (the law of unintended consequences) by opening up the door to all companies to stay open on Shabbat by solely employing non-Jewish employees.

I wonder if the MKs are considering now how to deal with that Genie released from the bottle.

Jameel and I have been having a long-term discussion (behind the scenes) as to how a modern Jewish state is supposed to function on Shabbat. Sometime in the future we will post (a lot) about it, but I will say that Jameel position is that a Jewish state should not be reliant at all on non-Jewish workers to resolve its Shabbat difficulties (he's not saying Jews should work on Shabbat either, but that throwing it all onto non-Jews is not the solution).


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19 comments:

Greystoke said...

the genie is that real world halchic discussions by rabbinc experts serious about both halacha and living in a modern Jewish state need to be had.

With just a little will I am sure both halacha and the realities of the modern Jewish state can be dealt l'mehadrin min hamehadrin on both ends.

dj said...

I don't think it can be dealt with on a l'mehadrin min hamehadrin basis, at least not in the current understanding of having to follow all the chumrurs type of way. I think people need to start following the ikar din and be satisfied with that i.e. giving a real pesak rather than being choshesh for every daas yochid and this needs to be universally accepted for national issues, a bit like a sanhedrin...

N said...

I have to say that growing up in London, I have no problem seeing people, especially Gentiles, break Shabbos. Our laws are not theirs. It is in fact assur with a chiyuv misah I beleive for a non-Jew to keep Shabbos. Although not the done thing, I can't imagine why a non-Jewish company employing non-Jews on Shabbos should be a problem just by their proximity to Jews.

Anonymous said...

A Shabbos Gintel. I love it!
Jameel, you're a genius.

QuietusLeo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QuietusLeo said...

I remember an article in a magazine that advised religious jews who need to see a doctor to be examined by a a religious jewish doctor. The rationale being that such a doctor would do the utmost to avoid desecrating the sabbath unnecessarily.
Perhaps this should be the approach to the Intel conundrum.

Neshama said...

First of all, it needs to be determined what kind of work it is that NEEDS to be done on Shabbat? If its work that could easily be done during the week, then it should not be done on Shabbat. This is a management decision that should be dealt with. It doesn't make sense to hire alot of gentiles to do the work that a Jew should be doing. What is the purpose of having such a company sitting on Jewish soil. Nu, to hire gintels? The company needs an "expert" to assess the the type and scope of work needed to be done on Shabbat.

Don't they want THE BRACHA for success?

The back of the hill said...

I wonder how many Gentiles can survive on ONE day of work.

They eat less than Jews?

This also begs the theological question "how many Gentiles can dance on the head of a pin?"

Really, I think the rioting fringe needs to think before acting. These worms will be hard to stuff back into the can. And, inevitably, will result in bad press.
Chillul Hashem goreres chillul Hashem.

The back of the hill said...

B'yad achar, how many work hours per week are there at the plant?

Perhaps the solution lies in overtime at regular pay for everyone.

Not an eight hour work day, but a ten hour work day.

While 'Gintelim' would object to an arrangement that essentially penalizes them by paying the same amount per hour for the extra two hours, shomer shabbes leite would surely appreciate the opportunity to add to the mitzvah.

Yes?

Greystoke's legend said...

dj, you misunderstand my meharin point.

I do not mean chumras.

My point is that certainly there halachic guidelines for any situation that might arise - a modus operandi if you will. it just needs to be looked into and sought after in a serious way.

it is unfortunate that you have been conditioned to kneejerk and equate mehadrin to mean 'chumra'. It just means following guidleines that are grounded in solid halacha.

JoeSettler said...

Neshama: It may be that it is work that can't be interrupted and must be done on Shabbat. For instance the plant's wafer ovens probably can't be turned on and off at a moment's notice and therefore requires someone to watch them all the time.

That Intel says it will use a skeleton staff on Shabbat (instead of a full production staff of hundred of people) seems to indicate that they will be minimizing the production on Shabbat to simply keeping the in-process processes running.

But why can't/shouldn't Gintels be part of the project of rebuilding the land?

If Gintels can do work that helps the Jewish people and the Jewish State, that is Avodat Kodesh.

Judaism is not meant to be an isolationist religion. We're supposed to help raise the level of kedushah in the world and create a Kiddush Hashem - a recognition/acknowledgement of God in the world. The world in turn is supposed to raise their kedushah, recognize Hashem and help us fulfill our task.

Intel, by not having Jews work on Shabbat, and Gentils, working so that Jews needn't work on Shabbat, certainly seems to be a step in the right direction.

Everyone has an important role to play.

Gee a Moron said...

There are other very similar dilemmas. For example (not the only one but off the top of my head) the perennial (actually every seven year) favorite: "How should a modern Jewish State observe shmitta?"

All these questions can be abstracted as pertaining to the halachot of macroeconomics in a modern Jewish economy.

It's going to be very hard to get consensus on this because consensus implies first and foremost that all agree that there is a problem and want to work it out. But these issues seem to concern only a fraction of the Israeli population.

Measuring Israelis with my "frumometer" I see a spectrum from the secularlists at one end to the ultra-orthodox at the other end. Neither end of the spectrum concerns itself with these issues. The secularlists, for the most part, are perfectly content to scrap halacha as a component of Jewish identity - though Shelly Yichimovitz's thoughts above give some room for hope. The ultra-Orthodox believe that they are required to live in the daled amot of personal halacha and not have a state ad biat goel tzedek (the coming of the moshiach). If you are not allowed to have a state then there are no issues about how to run it.

Interestingly, in the distant past such intrusions of "modernity" into the state have been resolved. Is there any halachik authority today that doesn't accept the legitimacy of pruzbul?

Anonymous said...

I visited Israel several years ago and was invited to a Shabbat dinner at an Orthodox Rabbi's home. I am not Jewish. His wife demanded that my friend and I turn off the oven for her since we were Gentiles.

Although I certainly am not bound by Orthodox Jewish tradition, I was raised in a Christian home where portions of the Torah/Tanakh were read daily. I memorized sections of Scripture, including Ezekiel 20. I was always taught that obedience to the Law brought blessing, especially when laboring through the Kings and Chronicles!

Why does Intel have to stay open on the Sabbath anyway? Sabbaths were modeled in Genesis first. I believe businesses are blessed when they follow the Creator's model. Despite "Gentiles" not being under Jewish law, working on the Sabbath is still clearly against the Law, no matter who does it (even the servants, animals, the sojourner within the gates, etc. Ex.20,10).

Just a Gentile's opinion.
-Emily

JoeSettler said...

Emily: Actually in Jewish law, a Gentile is NOT allowed to keep the Shabbat in its entirety.

A potential convert is often explicitly told during his conversion training process to light a match on Shabbat so that he is not keeping the Shabbat before he/she becomes Jewish.

Anonymous said...

From here in the U.S. - I'm puzzled. The issue of a company operating seven days a week has surely come up before. Why are there riots all of a sudden over Intel?

Lisa

jonathan becker said...

hey, saw this post quoted in jpost "in jerusalem" this morning, in an article about this issue. congratulations, you're a "source".

jonathan becker said...

also, i think intel would be wise to hire bad penguin to straighten this shit out.

Zionist Jew said...

Hey Jameel what happened to the post I sent a couple of days ago?
It was on tis forum,and when Idecided to review it ,it was lost!
I said many things pertaining Judaism and subjects.I cannot now remember exactly what,but it was relevant.Next time I will not go to review.I did so to correct my typos.
If you cn find it fine,if not,no bones broken.
Regards
K.K

Gee a Moron said...

Here's the article that Jonathan Becker referred to:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1258624590595&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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