Shabbat: A day off for everyone?

A bill which would allow anyone to skip work on Shabbat, not just the religious, is being considered by the Knesset.

Rachel Kaplan ,

MK Aliza Lavie initiated the bill
MK Aliza Lavie initiated the bill

Despite the government's opposition, the Labour and Welfare Committee unanimously passed, for its first reading in the Knesset, a law which would allow all workers, not just religious ones, to refuse to work on his religious day of rest. A bill must pass three readings to be issued into law.

"With all due respect to the warnings we received, the Knesset does not have to jump in line with the government's position, or that of the Cabinet," exhorted Committee Chairman Eli Alaluf (Kulanu). "This proposed bill is important socially, and will be pushed through. In the following readings, we can delve into the proposal, and continue to discuss its details."

A sponsor of the bill, MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), celebrated: "This proposed bill ends discrimination between religious people and non-religious people. Today, only the religious are allowed not to work on their day of rest. Shabbat belongs to all Jews, not just to the religious. Every Jew needs to be allowed to stop for a moment, to rest, and to take a break from the rat race."

However, some requested that a clause, which incudes workers with permits to work on Shabbat, be struck from the bill.

"Such a permit can only be granted after careful examination," comments Attorney Segal Sudai of the Chamber of Commerce Association, considering the effect of every Israeli worker taking off on Shabbat. "The economy needs it."