Feb 21, 2018

Opening of High Speed Rail Line Delayed

Today's news has an announcement that the opening of new high speed rail line will be delayed by half a year in light of the issues recently raised of security flaws in the system.

That is bad news in general, but the target date of Erev Pesach was considered unrealistically ambitious anyway. The good news is that it means the line won't be opened too early and lead to some sort of disastrous tragedy.

There are two interesting aspects to this:

1. MK Yaakov Asher (UTJ) compared the delays due to safety and regulatory matters to the need to work on the rail lines on Shabbos to avoid delays. Asher finds it unacceptable that they will delay the new rail line just like that for 6 months due to regulatory issues but Shabbos isn't considered a valid reason to delay the line and take longer to build it. He does not seem to get that the people behind it don't care about Shabbos or about what he thinks about Shabbos. To them it is just another day of the week that they are waiving the right to not work in order to speed up the work on the line.

2. Behadrei's reporting on this calls it a "blow to the mechalelei shabbos". I am not sure why ti is more of a blow to the secular people who don't keep Shabbos than it is to religious people. All sorts of people, Jews and non-Jews, religious, secular and Haredi alike would have used this train and will be inconvenienced by its delay. The delay is a blow to everyone, and is good (from a safety perspective) for everyone.

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