Knesset Members Ze’ev Elkin and Yariv Levine formally proposed a bill Tuesday that would instate a 2.5-day weekend in the Israeli work week. The bill would turn Sunday into a day of rest with Friday – currently a rest day - turning into a shortened day of work.
An extra half hour of work would be added Thursday, so that the total work hours in the week would remain the same as today.
The initiative would allow Israelis to have a holiday from work on Sundays, while also being able to shop and travel on that day.
These things are not possible on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, on which Jewish religion forbids all forms of work. They are possible in a limited way on Fridays, because shops and transportation close down early in preparation for the Sabbath.
The initiative was originally proposed this year by Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) but the government has been dragging its feet on implementing it, according to Levine and Elkin. They therefore decided to help Shalom’s initiative by presenting it to the Knesset.
MK Levine explained that the law would enhance Israel’s integration into the global market and synchronize Israel’s trade days with the international standard. The move will also increase private consumption and assist the tourism sector and other services.