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Warsaw Community Appeals for Revision of Sunday Closing Law

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

The memorandum of the Board of the Jewish Community, appealing for an amendment of the Compulsory Sunday Closing Law of December 1919, presented the economic situation of the Jewish population to Vice-Premier Bartel, to whom it was addressed.

“The Compulsory Sunday Observance Law.” the meorandum stated, “has fallen heavily upon the Jewish population of Poland and the Jewish community of Warsaw, representing the largest Jewish community in Poland, feels itself compelled to make representations to the Government with a view to obtaining an alleviation of the provisions of this law.

“The operation of the law for the past seven years has shown that both from the point of view of the general interests of the State and of the individuals, the results of the law are catastrophic, injuring commerce and the State and reducing the Jewish traders to bankruptcy and rain. The Board of the Jewish Community in Warsaw joins with the Jewish population in the whole of Poland in expressing their common view that it is absolutely essential to have this law amended in consonance with the spirit of tolerance, which will take into due account the interests of the Jewish working masses. It is deplorable that this law which was to have stabilized a day of rest for the workers and to have been an expression of social justice has been made the means of doing a grave injustice to the Jewish population of Poland which numbers three million souls.

“The law was based upon two main principles: the protection of the workers, and labor productivity. From the points of view of both these considerations the results have been of the utmost gravity to the Jewish population. Both the Jewish employers and the Jewish employees observe the Jewish Sabbath and do no work on this day. In winter they are therefore compelled to do no work for two and a half days each week, and counting the Jewish and Christian religious festivals, the result is that the Jewish population is compelled to be idle for 137 days in the year, a third part of the year.

“There is no need to dwell upon the importance of the Sabbath day to the Jews. Why, keeping the Sabbath, should they be compelled to rest also on Sunday?

“The Board of the Jewish Community therefore appeals to the Government in the name of the whole of the Jewish population of Poland for a revision of Article 10 of this law, in order to release those Jews who observe the Sabbath and the other Jewish religious festivals from having to observe also the compulsory Sunday rest day and the Christian religious festivals,” the memorandum read.

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