Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu requested that Professfor Eugene Kandel, the Chairman of the National Economic Council, to examine the possibility of making Sunday an additional day of rest in addition to Shabbat/Saturday.
According to the proposal, Saturday and Sunday will be official days of rest while Friday will become a half day work-wise...and an extra 30 - 60 minutes would be added to Monday to Thursday's workdays. (source)
Netanyahu requested that the committee bring recommendations by the Winter Plenum of the Knesset in 4 more months.
Who is against?
- The Arabs will demand from the Supreme Court to over-rule this option, since Friday is the Muslim "day of rest"
- Manufacturing / High Tech Companies already get more than 8.5 hours a day from workers, so requiring an extra 30-60 minutes will be irrelevant, Friday will not be much for a work day...and now Sunday will be chopped from the work week. If the Sunday "day of rest" passes into law, I predict that salaries in the high tech sector will be slashed by 5-15%.
- There will be problems for people who need to get home before Shabbat in the winter-time, and I'm sure traffic will be a nightmare.
- There are probably halachik issues with working on Friday afternoon (I recall hearing some of them a few years ago)
Why its crucial?
Today, there is so much conflict within Israel surrounding the day of Shabbat; should there be public transportation, what should be open, what entertainment should be available? Creating Sunday as an additional day of rest would greatly reduce the tension and in-fighting within the country. Everyone would agree that Sunday would be a relaxing day...with public transportation and all shopping centers and entertainment locations would be open.
Finally, there could be social interaction between more sectors of society on a day without the religious restrictions of Shabbat.
Children could do more project related homework, with the help of their parents.
Families could go on trips, enjoy recreational time, participate in a variety of social, cultural, educational and sport activities.
People would be more relaxed, blood pressures would go down, and there would be a reduction in traffic accidents.
For the sake of Israel's future - I believe that Sunday, as an additional day of rest for Israel -- is a must.
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