Israeli Gov’t Considers Adding Sunday as Day of Rest, Chacham Ovadiah Opposes Idea


rav-ovadia-yosefIsraeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on Monday tasked the Head of the National Economic Council, Professor Eugene Kandel, with examining the possibility of making Sunday an additional day of rest instead of a regular work day.

According to the proposal, Shabbos and Sunday will be official days of rest while Friday will become a half day work-wise.

Netanyahu instructed Kandel to set up a special committee, made up of governmental representatives from every ministry, which will consider the proposal’s repercussions. The committee’s recommendations will be presented to the government.

The proposal was drawn up by Minister for Regional Development Silvan Shalom several months ago. Shalom believes Israel’s economy would benefit from a shift to long weekends, as is customary in the rest of the western world.

¬†“It’s a cosmopolitan move. Those who wish to join the world must adopt this ‘long weekend’ model of Saturday-Sunday as done by many countries across the world, such as India, China, Japan and Muslim countries such as Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and more,” explained Shalom.

“Nearly 75% of the world’s population work according to this model, and Israel must join and align itself with the world,” he added.

Yediot Achronot recently reported that Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer has expressed his support of the concept.

 According to Shalom, the majority of the Israeli public is interested in working until noon on Fridays and turning Sunday into a day of rest, both in places of work and schools.

According to the proposal, banks and the stock exchange will be closed on Sundays, while businesses will remain open. Soccer matches will be held on Sundays – perhaps to lessen the desecration of the Shabbos.

Meanwhile, Shas Chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Sunday that his party was against the move, by orders of Chacham Ovadia Yosef.

¬†According to Yishai, the move’s disadvantages outweigh its advantages.

Shas sources said the despite the party’s position on the matter, should the prime minister’s committee’s recommendations support such a move, the matter would be brought before Rav Yosef once more.

{Ynet/ Newscenter}


  1. Makes more sense to just give Friday off. This way it’s in accordance with regional customs and the religious don’t have to leave early.

  2. Wrong. Friday can’t be the day off, even if Muslims would be flattered. It’s a short day because of Shabbos at sunset.

    Sunday off is an excellent idea. All of us here in the US, and people worldwide, love the idea of a long weekend. Sunday off would allow people to play and attend sports and entertainment venues on Sunday and might increase Shabbos observance. It’s worth a shot.

    Face it: working 6 days a week is a major drag.
    Notice that no reason in opposition was offered…that’s because there isn’t any! Who wants to work more than he has to?

  3. shmuel #2: consider where the i dea of having “sunday” as a day of rest comes from.

    Also Torah says do your work for 6 days

  4. I think with the yerida of the generation having a day to rest from a stressful week and maybe get some shurim in on places you can’t go on shabbat and exercise in is not a bad idea especially when you work 7:30 am to 5pm and commute about 2 hours! I think it’s not a bad idea. Also the torah is to live by not die by. If people take the extra day to dedicate it to their spiritual, physical and mental health what wrong?

  5. Another advantage, which I remember from my own days in EY – it will give people time to do their laundry. Especially in those days when there were no laundromats around (are there any now?) doing laundry by hand was the biggest tircha, getting it dry in the rainy season, too. You could always stop by the makolet on the way home from work, but that basket of dirty laundry – Oy!