הרב פנחס גולדשמידט
הרב פנחס גולדשמידט צילום: יוני קמפינסקי

The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) on Wednesday responded to the Norway Jewish community's promise to petition the country’s Supreme Court unless observant Jews get more of their holidays recognized in the national calendar system.

The current law on national holidays, which was updated last year, guarantees all employees 12 days off, many of them in connection with Christian holidays. In addition to those, non-Christians are entitled to paid leave on two additional days of their choosing. As a result, observant Jews employed in the public sector are forced to work on some of their holidays.

In his response, Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), stated: "We stand fully behind the Jewish community of Norway in pursuing their human right to freedom of religion."

"In an era where the benefits of employers being more flexible to meet the needs of their employees is rightly high on the agenda, there can be no justification for denying this accommodation to religious minorities.

"We hope that the Norwegian Government will make the necessary changes."

On the recent sentencing of a 101-year-old Nazi guard, Rabbi Goldschmidt added, "Murder is a crime that cannot be washed away by the passage of time."

"Josef Schütz was recently found guilty of aiding and abetting in the shooting and gassing of thousands at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp 80 years ago. It is impossible to procure justice for his victims. As the Bible writes, their blood still cries out, and he stands to face eternal judgement and retribution; we shall always remember."