Every year, the date for changing clocks back and forth in the autumn and spring is determined by the Orthodox/ultra-Orthodox parties in the Knesset to suit what they perceive as important religious realities. The date for the autumn change, to "winter" time, is set for just before Yom Kippur, in the quaint belief that it makes for a shorter fast.
Of course, it doesn't. The fast is 25 hours long no matter what time you're on. But on daylight saving, or "summer" time as it is called here, one can sleep through a bit more of the fast following the prayers in the evening, and before they begin again the next morning. In fact, because Tel Aviv and Miami are on roughly the same latitude, the difference between summer and winter time only changes Shabbat and holiday times by about an hour during the year, unlike the UK, for example, which because it is so far north, can bring Shabbat in at 3 p.m. in the winter and not end until 11 p.m. in the summer.
This year the High Holidays come unusually early. Yom Kippur begins on the evening of the 17th of September, so the clocks are due to go back a day or two before. There has been a loud outcry from the general public [including quite a few religious]. It's still summer, really. The temperature is hovering in the high 80s, the sky is cloudless, and will be for a couple of months yet. Besides, nearly all the countries which use a daylight savings system wait until the end of October to change back, and that causes a lot of problems with companies which need to be in frequent communication with firms overseas. But no, the religious element in the Knesset is standing firm!
Dalia Itzik, an MK, demanded that the head of the haredi bloc, Eli Yishai [Shas] come up with an "innovative solution" to the problem. After some thought, he thought he'd found a way out. Israel will still move to winter time just before Yom Kippur, but then return to summer time until the end of October, to remain in sync with the rest of the world! In other words, make an already unpalatable situation even more complicated, not to mention ridiculous.
Words fail me. As of this writing, his ingenious plan has been rejected, and we're due to spend about 6 weeks on different time from everyone else.
I haven't posted a lot recently; the cruise to Norway, and pressures of work, and family, have been pretty stiff, but I hope to remedy that soon.
Here's wishing everyone who reads Antigonos' Annals a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year.
גמר חטימה טובה לשנה של בריות ,פרנסה,ואושר