Chief Israeli rabbi wants Jews to extend Shabbat to protest Eurovision finals timing


(JTA) — Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi called on Jews to extend by 20 minutes the time they observe Shabbat this week to protest its violation during the Eurovision Song Contest.

“This coming Saturday there will be a massive desecration of Shabbat for all the world to see,” Rabbi David Lau said in a filmed address Thursday. “Let us extend the sanctity of Shabbat.”

Orthodox Judaism commands Jews to refrain from working, operating machines and starting any fire on Shabbat, among other prohibitions.

The Eurovision finals are set to take place in Tel Aviv on Shabbat.

Lau asked his listeners to begin observing Shabbat 10 minutes ahead of its actual beginning on Friday evening and another 10 minutes after it ends on Saturday night.

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