And Erev Hag, and Sundays, and Fridays, and other times that parents’ work schedules and kids’ vacations schedules don’t mesh.
But first, Isru hag.
Isru Hag is a day that, when there was / will be a Beit Mikdash, people stayed in Yerushalaim to extend their stay with Gd. For that, when the time comes, the government will give the day off to all working people, and not only the teachers’ lobby. But for now, Isru Hag is a big challenge for all working parents, except teachers.
Yes, Jewish holidays are exhausting. And, a Jewish country wants to make it easy for a Jewish family that observes religious laws / traditions to do so. So, there is a lot of sense in not expecting teachers and students to be full of energy, bright and early on the day after a holiday – especially if they spent the night before packing away their sukka or reorganizing their kitchen post-Pessah. The day after Shavuot is not such a challenge, though staying up till 8:30 for Havdala can be late for preschoolers. And, as with Shabbat, for the family who spent the holiday visiting the grandparents in Dimona or Metula, or even one hours’ drive away, it can be hard to get moving on Isru Hag morning – or Sunday for that matter.
I would like to propose a different solution for Isru Hag. Only until the Beit HaMikdash is rebuilt, of course, so this might never need to be taken seriously. However, my proposal is also relevant for Sundays, so even with a Beit HaMikdash on the horizon, please hear me out:
On Isru Hag, and Sundays, can we please start school, AND the workday, at 10:30am? This would allow travelers to get home AND get some sleep. It would make Isru Hag work for working parents. It might cost “The Meshek” something, but with so many parents having to take the day off to entertain their children – not to mention the regular late-show of IBS sufferers after a day of heavy eating – it is less of an additional cost than it first appears.
This also allows university students to spend Shabbat with their families, and be back on campus in time for their first class of the week, without the need of public transportation on Shabbat. I am imagining the peace that will descend upon the nation when this hot issue is defused.
Yes, the bus drivers will start their week earlier than everyone else, but that is true now as well. Starting at 7:30 will be a lot more pleasant than the current situation, when all routes start on Sundays at 5:30.
I was going to continue here with my ideas about Fridays and Erev hag, but I will stop now, so that we can all process this idea first. Perhaps it can only work in the context of other changes, such as occasional long weekends, or changing the Friday and summer vacation schedules, I don’t; know. But, as the expression goes: Cow, Cow (“para para”). One idea at a time…. More soon, PG.