Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Can Someone Please Explain To Me The Big Fuss Over Daylight Savings Time In Israel?

It is being reported in the news that daylight savings time is being extended in Israel the end of October, as it observed in many European countries and in the United States.

The situation with daylight savings time in Israel has been a contentious issue for a number of years.  In past years, the religious parties fought to have DST end before Yom Kippur -- the reasoning behind it being that having one less hour during the end of the fast (i.e. ending the fast at 6:00 instead of 7:00) makes it easier for people.

Of course, the entire argument is nonsense.  The fast of Yom Kippur lasts approximately 25 hours, regardless of whether it falls during daylight savings time or not.  If you're going to end the fast an hour "earlier," then it's going to start an hour earlier too.  And the idea that the hour is somehow shifted from the end of the fast to the beginning is just as fallacious -- if you're going to feel a certain degree of hunger and weakness after 25 hours of fasting, then you're going to feel that same weakness at the end of the fast -- whether it's 6:00 or 7:00.

Furthermore, let's argue, for the sake of argument, that the chareidim are correct -- that the fast is somehow easier if it occurs outside of DST.  Well, there's a simple solution for that as well -- just pretend it doesn't exist.   During Yom Kippur, it's not like you have any outside appointments to keep, buses to catch or meetings to make.  On Yom Kippur, you're most likely going to be in only two places -- in shul and at home.      So, simply pretend that, for Yom Kippur, DST doesn't exist.  Turn your clocks back an hour (or simply pretend to).  If sunset happens at 7:00, you call it 6:00.  If you would normally daven Shacharis at 8:00AM on Yom Kippur, then start at 8:00 standard time (which would be 7:00AM DST).

It's not like there's an official government official going around checking the shul's clocks to make sure they adhere to DST.  So simply change your clock, or mentally subtract an hour from it for the day.  This way the chareidim can have Yom Kippur their way and everyone else can be on DST as they wish.

So, why is this such a political battle every year?

The Wolf


Anonymous said...

Because people like to argue.

It could be that for many people, the beginning night of the fast doesn't count.

From Maariv Yom Kippur night till you wake up next morning, it really doesn't feel like a fast. You just ate a hearty dinner, then you go to sleep for 6-8 hours. Just the same as any other day.

Furthermore, I have noticed even if I am awake all night after dinner, I usually don't feel hungry until after I've slept, even if in reality it's the same amount of time.

Therefore, I can understand why for some, adding an hour to the beginning of the fast will be a lot less noticeable then adding one to the end. For these people, the fast doesn't start till after Shachris.

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

It's because there's enough of the "I'll oppose something simply because you think it's important" attitude over there.

Anonymous said...

Netz will now be at 6:50 am. We charedim want to go to work and we won't be able to daven and get to work on time.
Back to kollel for me.

Yitzchak said...

Because the chilonim want daylight savings time to start after the seder so their kids can learn about Judaism, the charedim need their counter-claim.(Yes, I saw the irony too.) At least that's how a chardal guy who thinks the whole thing is nonsense explained it to me.

Glad to see you posting again.

Joseph said...
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