What do Israelis think about the prospect of longer weekends?

When asked at the market following the announcement that the Knesset signed a bill to give six Sunday’s in the year as an off-day, many Israelis were excited for the potential extra day of rest.

By SYDNEY DENMARK,
June 27, 2016 00:30
1 minute read.
Mahane Yehuda shuk

Mahane Yehuda shuk. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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If you were given an extra day of rest, would you use it?

Many Israelis at Mahaneh Yehuda Market would love to spend the extra weekend day on themselves. Some would go to the beach, while others would just continue on and work.

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“Who cares. Six extra days, that’s fine. We have Shabbat already so that’s actually better than the rest of the world,” Bartender Moria Chase, 21, said.

When asked at the market following the announcement that the Knesset signed a bill to give six Sunday’s in the year as an off-day, many Israelis were excited for the potential extra day of rest – but the reality of a free day seemed fallacious.

Mali Yanushi, 58, relaxing at a cafe at the marketplace, said she would go and workout with the extra Sunday, devoting another day to personal rest.

“I would take this day for myself because the weekend, it’s a little bit short for me,” Yanushi said. “Friday and Saturday in Israel for me is most of the time around family and food and dinner and it doesn’t give me enough time for myself, so one more extra day gives me much more time for myself.”

But with just six Sundays and not one every month, or one every Sunday, it’s tough to stretch the day into a long weekend for travel or more regular and less sporadic relaxing, she said.



Tzion Binyamin, 22, who works in the market, thinks it’s good and would spend the day at the beach with his wife, but knows that idea is unlikely. On Sundays, he works.

Yeshiva student Solomon Brisk, 22, doesn’t see it changing anything for him.

However, some fully bought into the idea of an extra weekend, like shopkeeper Yoram Shabtay, 55.

“Most people in Israel work six to seven at night,” he said. “It’s good that Sunday’s off.”

Others completely denounced the concept, like Eric Dahan, 37, who works at a cafe in the market and spent time in Italy before coming to Israel. “I think it’s a fantasy and it will never happen.” Dahan said. “The evil of the earth will never let it happen.”

For now, we wait to see how Jerusalem and the rest of Israel will treat an extra day of rest.

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