Why Jewish Observance Would Suffer Were Daylight Savings Time Made Permanent

April 18 2022

As rabbinic tradition mandates that the Passover seder begin after nightfall, many Orthodox Jews did not sit down to the very long ritual meal until after 8:00 p.m. this year, thanks to Daylight Savings Time (DST). The Senate has recently passed a bill, yet to go before the House, that would keep the country on DST year-round. In addition to other insalubrious effects, writes Yaakov Menken, the legislation would impose burdens on the religious and communal life of observant Jews:

With permanent DST, the sun would rise after 8 a.m. for three months or more in dozens of major American cities, and, at its latest, nearly or after 9 a.m. in northern cities like Detroit, South Bend, and Seattle; . . . permanent DST would have a significant, detrimental effect on the millions of Americans whose religious practices are tied to the rising and setting of the sun, including Orthodox Jews, who constitute the fastest-growing part of the American Jewish community.

For Jewish men, the daily morning service, shaḥarit, is a time-bound obligation—ideally observed in a synagogue and in the company of at least nine others—during the first quarter of the day after sunrise. That is why permanent DST would prove such an impediment: during the winter months, it would be impossible for those in northern parts of the country to pray in this fashion and still get to work by 9 a.m. Those with early shifts would need to interrupt their work abruptly every morning in order to fulfill their religious obligations in rushed and abbreviated fashion. In turn, they would lose out on much of what is meant to be a spiritual and uplifting beginning to the day.

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Read more at RealClear Religion

More about: American Jewry, Congress, Prayer

 

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela