Sep 12, 2010

Turning DST into a Religious War

Nothing in Israel can happen without a fight. Things have to always get political, and almost always also become religious-secular fights. Even the changing of the clock, which is not something that is just done in Israel, but is done all over the world, has to become a regular fight and a political fight, and a religious-secular fight.

Interior Minster Eli Yishai (Shas), who is responsible for overseeing the changing of the national clock, has finally spoken up with something sensible about the issue. Until now he has said stupid things and fanned the flames of the fight. Things like he would consider canceling it after Yom Kippur, etc.

Yishai finally spoke up and said the changing of the clock has nothing to do with religion, and there are people portraying it as a religious issue because they think it will help their agenda, but people should be aware it is not a religious issue. The law was instated a few years ago for the purpose of stopping the bi-annual fights of when to change the clocks and when to change them back.

The law was established under the watch (pun intended) of a secular Minister of Interior who was at the time from the Shinui Party in coordination with Meretz. The fathers of the DST law are Avraham Poraz and Chaim Oron. Ultra-secularists. Not Yishai, not Shas, not Aguda, not the right-wingers, not Mafdal.

Everybody portraying it today as a religious issue are misrepresenting the history of the DST law. It was established for the purpose of creating a balance between social and economic needs. When the law was proposed it was thoroughly reviewed to everyone's satisfaction and there were no opponents to the law, and it was passed.

Turning it today into a religious issue is a misrepresentation and just taking advantage of an easy target and agenda, but not true.


  1. Yishai is misrepresenting the issue. The "social" need was religious. The "fights" were religiously based. So it's specious to say that this is not a religious issue.

  2. I don't know anyone who is bothered by it. The policians are simply making mischief.

  3. wheRafi the present law was a comprosmise between Meretz and Gimmel after Shinui was thrown out of Sharon's government. Shinui was against it. Yishai may have said it but things didn't happen that way.
    That being said why frum people would want this is beyond me.
    Changing the clocks
    1. makes the morning zmanim totally out of wack with reality
    2. makes Erev Yom Kippur a mad rush
    3. causes people to walk to shul on Yom Kippur morning with the sun beating on them
    3. makes Erev Sukkos a mad rush
    4. causes the sun to wake you up in the sukka at some God awful early hour
    ‎5. ruins Chol Hamoed as its pitch black by 17:30
    6. makes Hoshana Rabba a mad rush
    7. takes away any chance to nap on Simchas Torah

  4. Eli - you make good arguments against it. Personally I never thought of DST as a big deal.

  5. Historically it was Shas who was against Summer time. I remember in the mid eighties Rav Yitzhak Peretz who headed Shas before Deri came on the scene being interviewed by Haim Yavin and speaking out strongly against having summer time at all.

  6. Eli
    This is better than it was 15 years ago when they would change the clocks around mid-ellul. The reason given at the time (and the underlying reason why this is a "religious" issue) is that by the time we get to this time of year, netz is already getting to 6am or later and blue-collar sephardi workers who will daven given the opportunity, need to often be at work at 6.30 and if netz is too late, then the minyan for selichot and shacharit will be too late and these sephardim will not have a chance to daven with a minyan. Of course, like everything else that becomes an issue in this country, these people are not the darlings of the press or the white collar workers who don't necessarily need a minyan that finishes by 6am....
    Stretching DST until the end of October will mean that earliest Talit and tefillin time will be after 6am and netz at around 7...this might not bother you and me, but it could possibly mean that a whole slew of the population (and a slew of the population that generally votes for Eli Yishai and friends) will not be able to daven before work...
    So yes, frum people who work at a desk every day would love to have the extra hour to prepare on erev sukkot...but that does not necessarily mean that we should not see the reason why others do want to change away from DST now.

  7. The only people for whom summer time is an issue are really frum sefardim, a small minority of the country. the rest of the sefardim daven early, before netz, or don't daven or do something else. this is not a problem for most of the ashkenazim and certainly not the secular. if these people want to be machmir and daven after netz, kol hakavod, but why should that come on my heshbon?

  8. Changing the clocks has no effect on when the sun rises or sets. Thus:

    1. The morning zmanim are completely in line with sunrise, which is much more "reality" than the number on your clock.

    2. Feel free to daven shacharis on Erev Yom Kippur at whatever time is most convenient for you (well, from neitz onwards).

    3. In many shuls, start time on Yom Kippur is coordinated to allow for a 2-hour break - start with fast end time and work your way backwards. Start time is the same, relative to the sun.

    4. See 2

    5. Wake up whenever you want on Chol HaMoed, daven (from neitz onwards), and get started on your day. The length of the day is unaffected.

    6. See 2

    7. Don't blame the clock for your (or your shul's) inability to finish the Simchat Torah tefillot in a reasonable length (say, 3 hours).

  9. David C - זמן שקריאת שמע starts at זמן קימה and ends after even the late sleepers -בני מלכים are awake. Hence the idea that most people start getting up at 435 just isn't true.
    The idea that the zmanim should have no connection to the reality of most people in order that a small minority can daven לכתחילה made and makes no sense.
    Richie-most of us live in a society dictated by what it says on our clock, and there is no way around that.

  10. Religious issue or not; with kids who get up with the sun it's a lot harder to deal with them when the clock says 5am instead of 6am. This is especially if you have to entertain and keep them from fighting for that extra hour before school starts (when all you really want to be doing is sleeping).

  11. This just begs for the old punchline, "Our minhag is to fight about it..."


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...