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It’s Official: Israel to Fast on Yom Kippur like Americans

The Knesset has driven the last nail in the once holy coffin of changing the clocks twice a year according to the timing of Passover and Yom Kippur. Daylight Time will remain until the end of October.
Time goes on, and Israelis this year will celebrate and fast on Yom Kippur during Daylight Savings Time

Time goes on, and Israelis this year will celebrate and fast on Yom Kippur during Daylight Savings Time

Israelis will fast on Yom Kippur this year just like Americans, starting and finishing the fast one hour later due to Daylight Savings Time, known in Israel as summer time, remaining in effect until the end of October.

The Knesset Monday night overwhelmingly voted for the change, ending years of arguments between secular Jews, who want a longer period of an extra hour of daylight just like most of the world, and religious leaders who have argued that continuing the fast later in the evening will cause many people to break the prohibition against eating or drinking on the holy day.

In the past, Daylight Time ended the week before Yom Kippur, and the fast would began around 5 p.m. and end around 6 p.m.

Similarly, Daylight Time used to be postponed until after the Passover holiday so that families would not have to extend the traditional family Seder meal until the later hours, when children were more likely to have fallen asleep instead of participating in the observance. The clocks now move forward at the end of March, regardless of when Passover begins.

“If people can’t pray because of the [new] law, we’ll discuss it again,” commented  Likud Knesset Member Miri Regev in the Knesset.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at last week’s Cabinet meeting, where the measure was approved along with the proposal for exporting natural gas, “We now have a land flowing with milk, gas and sunshine.”

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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2 Responses to “It’s Official: Israel to Fast on Yom Kippur like Americans”

  1. Ch Hoffman says:

    1. the length of the fast remains unchanged at 25 hrs.
    2. just start services at the same halachic time regardless of the secular or clock time and there's no "longer fast".
    3. see 2
    4. see 1

  2. Anonymous says:

    Come on. You really don't understand? Fasting after ma'ariv isn't so difficult for most. T'filot begins at 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning whether daylight savings time or not. Fasting gets difficult for some late in the afternoon. Without daylight savings time (summer time), the fast ends around 6:30 or so. With daylight savings time, it ends at 7:30pm or so. That extra hour makes the fast much "longer", even though, as you say, it's still 25 hours. The difference is WHICH 25 hours.

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