Until very recently, Israel adjusted DST (called, in Hebrew, “winter clock” and “summer clock”) according to the holidays: Before the Yom Kippur fast, we moved the clocks back, to make the fast an hour “shorter”, and help everyone out. And before Pesach, we moved them forward, to allow families more daylight time during the intermediate days of the holiday. [It was also nice having a smaller time difference between us and everyone else in the world.]
Now, starting from next October, the clocks will no longer be moved back before Yom Kippur. This is intended to save money on electricity, and allow people to wake up after sunrise and get home before it is dark. In that way, it is good. It is very good. But honestly? It is also annoying. Very annoying. Fasting for 26 hours is hard. This past Yom Kippur was the first semi-easy fast I have had in the two years since I became pregnant with my son. I think it was easier because of a combination of factors: better preparation, less expectations of myself, less time fasting while awake, and an understanding toddler.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard, though. It just means that it was manageable, with only slight dizziness, a [migraine] headache, and weakness. But those symptoms, easy as they may be as a teenager, are incredibly hard to deal with when you have an energetic toddler on your hands. I am sure that in a country so filled with children, I am not the only mother dealing with this. And as much as media blames this issue on religious Jews, the fact is that a surprisingly large number of the irreligious Jews in Israel also fast on Yom Kippur, even if that is the only religious thing they do.
So, I am against it. And at the same time, I am for it, because the reasons to change to standard time are many and valid. I am for it. And I am against it. And I know that really, my opinion doesn’t matter – and won’t matter – unless I feel like putting up a fuss and gathering people to my cause. I don’t feel like it, either because I am either lazy, realistic, or both.
But I also feel like this change is an attempt – part of the attempt – to make Israel like the rest of the world. Israel is not like the rest of the world. Israel is Israel; Israel is Jewish; Israel is a state that does not separate matters of “church and state”. We are that way because we are unique; because the ideology Israel was founded on is unique; because the people who live in it are uniquely conflicted and uniquely brothers.
And, the rest of the world doesn’t have it so good, either. So why copy?