Shalom Life | October 25, 2014

Israel Considering Second Day of Rest

Sunday may finally be added to the weekend over in the Holy Land

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: July 6th, 2011 in News » Israel

Israel Considering Second Day of Rest

The Israeli government is pondering the possibility of adding Sunday as an official day of rest. Currently, the work week runs from Sunday to Thursday in Israel, with many citizens also using half of Friday to conduct business. The new proposal, put forward by Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, Silvan Shalom, would officially designate Friday as a half-day of work followed by a two-day weekend. Details of the proposed plan would include longer school and work hours for Israelis from Mondays to Thursdays, in order to compensate for the lost working time on Sundays.

The new format is similar to the ones used by Western countries, argued Shalom, who stated that introducing a “long weekend” is desirable because it is adopted by “developed world states.” According to Shalom, this would be a rare opportunity for Israel to adopt Western culture without risking the abandonment of Jewish values to do so.

The proposed new weekend would “enable coordinated trading in currency, foreign equities, commodities, mutual funds and other financial instruments connected with international markets,” according to a report from Shalom’s office. He says that financial markets in Israel would benefit more if weekends were aligned with the Western world, rather than with Israel’s Muslim neighbours. Israeli business people involved in export businesses supported the proposal, feeling that Sunday is quite pointless currently due to the lack of North American businesses operating on that day.

Shalom also felt that a two-day weekend would provide positive contributions to the Israeli economy from observant Jews, who would have an extra non-work day to go on vacations and buying trips.

“The main creator of jobs in Israel today is not the manufacturing sector but trade and services,” said Uriel Lynn, president of the Israeli Chambers of Commerce. “If Sunday is a full holiday when people can go out with their families to shop and enjoy themselves, it will create more jobs in trade and services.”

Shalom’s main opposition regarding the issue is Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz, who prefers making Friday an official part of the Israeli weekend. Steinitz argued that Israelis are already very unproductive on Fridays as it is and that civil service expenses would increase on Sunday if it were a day off.

Fellow Muslim citizens and MKs supported Steinitz’s position, as Friday is the Muslim day of rest. Many argue that this would make more sense than Shalom’s idea as Islam is Israel’s second largest religion and it would thus accommodate a more diverse population.

“Israel is in the Middle East, not Europe. We see this proposal as political and nonsensical,” said United Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa. “It’s part of this government’s attempt to harm everything connected to the Arab population in Israel.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed Eugene Kandel, head of the National Economic Council, to look into the implications of Shalom’s proposal.

Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project Trending‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust ‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust TrendingFor the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel For the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel Trending
 

Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

A hilarious video shows Michael Richards asking Seinfeld to take out Netflix and Hulu.

Read More

Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

Rogen and Fox will be co-starring alongside Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Dave Franco

Read More

Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

Adorable dolls featuring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum in 'Jupiter Ascending' are coming out in January

Read More

Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

October 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

Jews in 460 cities across the world to take part in the inspirational Jewish initiative, including Paula Abdul and Mayim Bialik

Read More

Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

October 24, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

Inc. magazine credits Israeli DIY website creation platform with taking a complicated task and making it enjoyable

Read More

‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

October 24, 2014 | By Jason Stack, JNS.org
‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

The Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf-starring film essentially omits the brunt of the Holocaust from World War II

Read More

Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

October 24, 2014 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

The eTree is a solar-powered urban habitat that is constructed from metal pipes and topped with solar panels

Read More

For the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel

October 24, 2014 | By Kobi Nachshoni
For the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel

Western Wall rabbi says "This will never happen again" after the group managed to smuggle a tiny scroll into the women's section of the Western Wall

Read More

More Headlines