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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Let's not copy the Americans on this one

Of all the foolish things the Shas party did during its years holding the Interior Ministry, one of the most foolish things it did was play games with daylight savings time. As someone who prays at sunrise seven days a week for the last 16+ years, I appreciate more than most the desire to avoid wild fluctuations in sunrise and sunset. But what Shas did was simply selfish. In order to try to have a small portion of their voters saying slichoth prayers at 11:30 pm instead of 12:30 am, they gamed daylight savings time every year to try to ensure that it would end before the Jewish month of Elul started. The problem was that there are years like this year that the month of Elul starts in early August....

Eventually, the Knesset had enough and set a minimum number of days for daylight savings time. But the Shas ministers kept insisting that Yom Kippur had to be on standard (winter) time, because after all, 25 hours that end at 7:00 pm are much different than 25 hours that end at 6:00 pm.... And they also wanted the seder night to be on standard time (which it was this year for the first time in a long time), although not as much as they wanted as much of Elul as possible to be standard time....

But on the other hand, Meretz's Nitzan Horowitz goes way too far. He wants to keep daylight savings time into November. That's the same foolishness they have in the US, where the sun comes up at 8:00 am in November in many parts of the country. (In Europe, they can do that without daylight savings time, but that's because much of the continent is in the wrong time zone). If we were to have daylight savings time until November, sunrise would be close to 7:00 am. But in this country, many people start school and work at 8:00 am, so you're asking people to get to work in the dark (and for those of us who pray to pray even more in the dark). I often marvel how God made this country so hospitable to Judaism by our relatively small fluctuations in sunrise and sunset. And this is the world's only Jewish country - Nitzan Horowitz and Meretz notwithstanding.

I'm okay with extending daylight savings time, so long as sunrise in Jerusalem doesn't get later than the time it reaches naturally in January - 6:38 am. On my calendar, October 10 is as late as we can go without crossing that line.

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At 8:08 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

Simple solution: fix Israel time to GMT+1:30 all year round.


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