Israel To Consider Extending Daylight Savings Time


hebrew-clockOn Monday, Israel welcomes the spring, and will transition into Daylights Savings Time (DST) during the weekend, pushing the clocks one hour forward.

This year, in the wake of new legislation, Daylight Savings Time will stay in effect longer than usual and end on October 6, three weeks after its original ending – Yom Kippur – which falls on September 13, and two weeks later than it did last year – September 23.

The shift stems from new legislation led by former Interior Minster Eli Yishai, who adopted a recommendation of a committee formed to examine Israel’s legislation in the matter in comparison to other countries.

According to the new law, Daylight Savings Time will last 193 days, from the end of March until the beginning of October.

The committee, headed by Dov Kahat, was formed in the wake of a wave of public criticism, which peaked with a petition signed by 400,000 people calling for a revision of Israel’s previous custom regarding Day Light Savings to match to one customary in the world.

The Kahat Committee found that in comparison with other nations, no evidence could be found supporting the claim that an extension of Daylight Savings until November would lead to energy savings or a reduction in number of traffic accidents.

On the other hand, organizations and MKs active on the topic claimed that the DST should be extended even further.

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) has already proposed alternative legislation calling on Israel to align with the European custom and extend the DST to 218 days, until the beginning of November.

The haredi factions, led by Shas, are expected to oppose this legislation, and it appears that the issue will fall to the hands of the new Interior Minister – Gideon Sa’ar.

Asked by Ynet about his intentions in this regard, Sa’ar said: “It is my intention to reexamine the new legislative arraignment formulated during the previous Knesset.”

MK Horowoitz, on his part, said that he expected the Likud Interior Ministry to support his legislation initiative.

“The last Knesset saw a meaningful, yet partial, success,” MK Horowitz said, “the Israeli public deserves an additional month of daylight, a month that would lower the number of accidents and will give people an additional hour of light during the day’s most important time.”

The Israel Chofshit organization, whose mission is to promote freedom of religion and pluralism in Israel, sent Minister Sa’ar a letter requesting he reexamine the issue.

“The decision taken by the previous government has still left Israel trailing behind the rest of the developed world in regards to Daylight Savings Time and effective utilization of daylight,” Miki Gitzin, the organization’s general manger, said.


{ Israel}


  1. Perhaps I am ignorant, but I don’t understand the problem with Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time as it is called in Israel).

    Apparently, the argument is that Daylight time has to end before Yom Kippur to make the fast shorter. However, it is still 25 hours. Because of the early shkiah, many kehillos start davening very early (eg. at 6:30 or 7 in the morning). If shkiah was an hour later, davening could start an hour later and be the same length.

    What is troublesome is that the argument regarding Yom Kippur ignores the rest of the year when Daylight time is advantageous. For example, keeping Daylight Time through Sukkos makes it easier for families to take Chol Hamoed trips. It also allows for a later z’man krias shema, meaning that many people who, unfortunately, sleep in past the z’man would have a better chance to be mekayem a mitzvah d’oraisa, especially in the spring and fall when the first z’man comes before 8 a.m.

    Thus I again ask … what is wrong with Daylight Saving Time????

  2. “What is troublesome is that the argument regarding Yom Kippur ignores the rest of the year when Daylight time is advantageous. For example, keeping Daylight Time through Sukkos makes it easier for families to take Chol Hamoed trips.”

    For heavens’ sake, since when have chol hamo’ed trips been anchored in ‘halacha’?

    There is a guy on another Jewish-orientated website promoting what he calls the “Shmendrik Awards”. “For example, keeping Daylight Time through Sukkos makes it easier for families to take Chol Hamoed trips” would easily make its way to the finals without any problems at all!

  3. You are correct that Yom Kippur is the same 25 hours. However, there is a psychological element that needs to be taken into account. Namely, that for a person fasting it is psychologically harder to fast an hour longer. Interestingly enough, this concept has a basis in a Mishnah in Yuma. The Mishnah discusses the person who takes the goat to be thrown off the cliff, the sa’ir la’azazel. There were a series of huts on the way to the precipice, and as he approached each one, he was offered food and drink. The commentaries note that although it was Yom Kippur and he was not allowed to eat, the offer was intended that he should feel at ease knowing that if he really needed it, the food was available.

    Another issue of Daylight Savings Time over Sukkos is the fact that the hakafos during the night of Simchas Torah begin an hour later. This is difficult for the young children who come to shul to participate in the festivities.

    Another point about Daylight Savings Time is the old argument that who says it saves any money. If an hour of daylight is added to the day, thereby requiring less electricity to light the home, people will tend to leave their air conditioners running an hour longer as it does not cool down until sunset.