Praying outdoors during the coronavirus outbreak
Praying outdoors during the coronavirus outbreakGershon Elinson/Flash90

Rabbis from the Tzohar organization sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, calling on him to end daylight saving time early, ahead of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

Daylight saving time is scheduled to end on October 25, while Yom Kippur begins the evening of September 27, and ends after nightfall on September 28. The letter calls for daylight saving time to end on September 26, a month early and the day prior to Yom Kippur.

According to Tzohar, the change will help millions of Israelis, who due to the coronavirus outbreak will be forced to hold prayers outdoors in the summer heat. Moving the clock back one hour would significantly improve conditions, they said.

In addition, moving the clock back would reduce gatherings during the daytime hours for those weeks.

Tzohar Chairman Rabbi David Stav said: "The government's decision to restrict prayers in synagogues will force hundreds of thousands to pray outdoors. In order to make things easier for those who are fasting, we should allow them as many chillier hours as possible."

"Despite the legislative challenge, I am sure that the call of the hour requires us to protect the health of those fasting on Yom Kippur, and I hope the Israeli government will do its part to make this happen."