The hour change for Yom Kippur

October 1, 2009 by

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It isn’t as if I don’t appreciate it. It’s just that it feels so nerdy.

You know what I’m talking about – it’s the hour change. Throughout the year we automatically learn the hour difference between Israel and the rest of the world, except for this embarrassing month when Israel is all out of step.

In order to make life easier for those of us (in fact a vast majority of Jews in Israel) who fast on Yom Kippur, the clocks go back immediately before the fast. Every year. It means in practice that instead of fasting until about 7 in the evening, we fast until about 6.

So on the one hand, there’s something rather beautiful about it all. An idea where Zionist and religious dreams come together. After all, we were creating this State so that we Jews could make our own decisions. Enough of being the minority where the alien State decides for us – in Israel the Jews can make decisions according to Jewish priorities. And if the Jewish State can make decisions about Time itself, then why not use this power to lessen our burden on Yom Kippur?

But on the other hand, it just feels so wimpy, doesn’t it? What – we have an hour’s less to atone for here? Are we so reconstructed now that the macho sabra can’t even fast for a full whack? Quite apart from the fact that this hour shift means our proud Jewish State spends an extra several billion shekels on electricity and lighting – not to mention the added danger of kids going to school in the dark.

After the fast I called my parents in the UK to talk to them about it. They were still at shul. Fasting.

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