The sky is getting brighter, the days are getting longer, Passover is two and something weeks away – which is that time of year when we try to figure out on a disoriented morning why everybody else is already up and about.
If you, like many Jews, run a kind of double life, with strong roots both in the U.S. and Israel, the coming few weeks are sure to disorient you even more.
At 2 AM New York time this Sunday, daylight saving time arrives in America, so the months ahead will smile at us with an extra hour daily of evening light.
Not in Israel, though. Israel will be hitting the summer of 2013 on the night between Thursday and Friday, March 28-29, also at 2 AM.
So, from now until Friday, March 29, there will only be a 6 to 9 hour difference between our two continents of interest, instead of 7 to 10 hours.
Last summer, our daughter was celebrating her 21st birthday by tripping across America on her own, and I’ll tell you, for Mom and Dad back in Netanya, the 10 hour difference was significant. When she was running up and down the West Coast, it felt like we were on different planets.
Some places, by the way, don’t observe daylight saving time: much of Arizona, and all of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas. There are also individual counties across the continental U.S. that stick with the same clock year-round.
When you get up this morning, besides changing the clocks around the house, take a look at your microwave oven, your smartphone, your remote controls, your computers, and anything else that’s keeping time for you.
Dr. Susie Kagan, a senior psychological consultant, who owns her own family therapy clinic and lectures at Bar Ilan University, told Channel 2 News that switching to the summer clock has a positive effects on people’s moods, their vitality, their desire to start the day.
“We have fewer cases of mental fatigue that accompanies the lack of sunlight. When there is darkness, people with emotional and mental difficulties don’t deal with their issues as well as in the summer. During the summer people arrive earlier at work, they are more alert and energized, and they come home in better shape in the evening.”