Menu JTA Search

Synagogue Council Takes Stand Against Calendar Change Affecting Sabbath

A statement opposing any change in the calendar which would affect the fixity of the Sabbath, was issued by the Squagogue Council of America. The Synagogue Council is composed of representatives of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Rabbinical Council of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Central Conference of American Rabbis, United Synagogue of America, Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

The statement declared: “The Synagogue Council of America, speaking in the name of millions of Jews in the United States, orthodox, conservative and reform alike, makes solemn affirmation of the abiding sanctity of the seventh day Sabbath. Judaism has never substituted, and can not substitute, another day for the divinely sanctioned Sabbath of the Ten Commandments and of numerous other passages in the Bible.

“The observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath is the cardinal religious observance of Jewish life. It has been held sacred by every generation of Jews throughout their centuried story, even at the price of martyrdom in less tolerant eras than our own. It may not and can not be transferred to any other day of the astronomical week, even though that day might conveniently be called Saturday, without destroying its essential spirit. The Sabbath must be observed on the true Sabbath day of history.

“A reform of the calendar which would cause the Jewish Sabbath, now identified with Saturday, to occur on a different day of the week in successive years, would create for Jewry a religious and a socio-economic problem of such insuperable difficulties as in effect to condemn the historic Sabbath to destruction. Therefore the Jews of the United States comprised in their representative organization, the Synagogue Council of America, are unitedly opposed to the local or international adoption of any system of reform of the calendar which would alter or interfere with the regular periodicity of the seven day week through the insertion of a blank day in the year. Only such correction or reform of the calendar is acceptable to the Jews of the United States as would never disturb the recurrence of the seventh day Sabbath on that astronomical day which from time immemorial has been recognized and sanctified as the seventh day of the week.”

NEXT STORY