Orthodox Group Asks Congressman to Withdraw Year-round Daylight Time Bill

Rep. Daniel Rostenkowski (D, Ill.) was urged by the Agudath Israel of America today to withdraw a bill he introduced last week to extend daylight saving time throughout the entire calendar year. This request, by Rabbi Moshe Sherer, executive president of Agudath Israel and Rabbi Chaim C. Keller, chairman of its Public Affairs Commission in Chicago, noted that despite the possible benefits accruing from an extra hour of daylight during the early evening hours, year-round daylight saving time would create a major problem for religious Jews.

According to Jewish religious law, the earliest time for morning prayers is one hour before sunrise. As a result, during winter time, prayers cannot begin before 6:15 a.m., the Agudath Israel officials explained. By advancing the clock one hour, the observant Jew would not be able to begin his morning prayers until 7:15 a.m. The Agudath Israel spokesmen said this would “create an anomalous situation for thousands of religious Jews who must be at work prior to 8 or 8:30 a.m.”

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