Did you have fun setting and clearing the table half a dozen times? Washing enough dishes to last until next year (and don’t tell me you used paper!)? I certainly hope you enjoyed the three-day marathon of cooking, praying and eating that was Rosh Hashanah followed by Shabbat, because we get to do it again next year. And again in 2013, and 2014. A small consolation: When Rosh Hashanah starts on Thursday, the rest of the holidays are singletons.
While religious Jews in Israel turned off their computers for three days I imagine the secular community was continuing to plot revenge for being forced by the charedi political parties to change the clocks so early.
“Clock of the winter,” otherwise knows as sha’on horef, or winter time, starts tonight. Israel returns to standard time six weeks before the rest of the civilized world. The ostensible reason is so that the fast on Yom Kippur will be shorter. But since the fast starts and ends at nightfall, the difference is only psychological. As one columnist wrote, in his shul there are two clocks. Last Yom Kippur one was set to daylight time, and one to standard time. And lo and behold, the fast ended simultaneously on both clocks.
My husband insists that the real reason the haredim fight so hard for less daylight time, thereby generating so much ill will, is to prevent desecration of the Sabbath. Because when Shabbat ends at 7:30 PM, people aren’t going out yet, or they are willing to wait until Shabbat is over to get into their cars. But when Shabbat ends at 8:30, it becomes too inconvenient. According to this view, Yom Kippur is simply an excuse.
A few years ago, after semi-annual battles, the sides worked out an agreement in 2005 to begin daylight time the Thursday between March 26 and April 2, and end it the Sunday before Yom Kippur.
With Yom Kippur falling so early this year, activists gathered over 230,000 names on a petition threatening to ignore the time change. But I don’t think this is realistic. Can you see the teachers agreeing to come to school an hour early every day?
Personally, I can think of other haredi–religious-secular conflicts worth starting a civil war over. But since those issues are more complex than whether or not the sun goes down a few hours after school, they will have to sit on the shelf a while longer.
I read that the city of Givatayim, near Tel Aviv, was considering keeping daylight time for longer. And Eli Yishai considered switching back to daylight time after Yom Kippur. Then he said that he didn’t think it was possible.
I wish daylight time wouldn’t end just when Shabbat is starting at 6:30 PM. The early return to standard time wastes electricity (but is air-conditioning taken into account?), hurts businesses dependent on pedestrian traffic, and leads to more car accidents. But I would like an end to these constant battles.