Religious man riding a bus 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Salem)
The bill extending daylight saving time until the end of October cleared another
hurdle Monday, passing a vote in the Knesset Interior Committee.
legislation sets DST as beginning the Friday before the last Sunday of March and
ending the last Sunday in October.
UTJ MKs opposed the change, explaining
that it will force people to pray before sunrise, which is religiously
problematic, because the sun will rise after 7 a.m. for part of
MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) also pointed out that there will be more
waking hours on Yom Kippur because of the DST law, making it more difficult to
Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) pointed out that existing
laws require employers to allow people to pray in the workplace, and as such,
there should be no religious problem with the bill.
“This bill has many
advantages, and the issue of morning prayer is not enough of a reason to oppose
it,” he said. “As a God-fearing Jew, I think we there are solutions to
Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Eli Ben-Dahan said Bayit
Yehudi supports extending DST, because it is a social and cultural issue, not a
However, Ben-Dahan asked that an article be added to the
law that will allow workers to be late to work if they are saying morning
If such a change is not made, “workers will have to choose
between saying morning prayers on time or arriving at work on time, because most
workplaces do not have the proper conditions to pray in a minyan [group of 10
men] or with a Torah,” he said.
Still, Ben Dahan pointed out that this
only applies to 10 work days.
“Once again, we see that the Bayit Yehudi
is forced to vote against its conscience on matters that harm their voters and
not just haredim,” UTJ MK Ya’acov Asher responded. “It can’t be that a party
representing religious and traditional people, who pray before going to work,
doesn’t protect that group’s interests.”