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How many congressmen do observe Rosh Hashanah?

 
 
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 04:05 am
Most, I suppose, even if they're not Jewish.

And they must be very serious about it.

Otherwise it wouldn't make make sense that the entire U.S. Congress takes two days off for Rosh Hashana, in the middle of the week, during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
 
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 06:26 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I object to this post in the strongest terms. Judaism is a respected religious tradition in the US.

The alternative to taking two days of for an important religious holiday that is sacred to a number of members, is to keep going without them (or force them to choose between their religious belief and their job). This would mean that negotiations in what everyone agrees is a crucial agreement would happen with everyone except the Jews. You don't see how this would be troubling?

If it were Easter or Christmas... do you think they wouldn't take a couple of days?

Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 06:30 am
@ebrown p,
You are correct.

I didn't know it was a public holiday. Embarrassed
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 08:09 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Besides, from eating all the traditonal foods, everyone in Congress would have a bad case of Challa-tosis
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 02:41 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
This comes up in school too. We can't learn new content or assign homework, or give quizzes and tests during certain holidays throughout the year. We observe Christian, Jewish and Muslim holidays in this way. All kids get the break, not just those who celebrate/observe.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 02:47 pm
@littlek,
As said: I didn't know that.

In schools, pupils can stay at home when they've certain (high) religious holidays which aren't public holidays.

All the rest has to work - besides it's a public holiday (or a company/firm allows it on own costs).
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 02:50 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
The holiday thing is in flux here. Last year they disallowed good friday as a holiday because a jewish mother noted that christians had more holidays than jews. About 50% of the staff and students showed up to school that good friday - this year we have it off.

In Germany, when students take the time off, do they then have to make up the missed work? I wish I was still in contact with the german students I knew last year.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 02:55 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
It's not a public holiday, and here on the west coast, kids go to school and
people go to work, regardless of their religion.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 03:00 pm
@littlek,
Well, students at colleges/university can attend or stay away any day - there are only very few courses where you have to attend (and mostly only a couple of times).

At schools, you either have to ask friends, try to catch up by yourself or join a repertory course.


(Good Friday is not only a public holiday but in the Ester holidays in all states.)
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 03:03 pm
@CalamityJane,
CalamityJane wrote:

It's not a public holiday, and here on the west coast, kids go to school and
people go to work, regardless of their religion.

Jews here only celebrate the first day ... if they can get away from work.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 04:07 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter, in this country it doesn't need to be a legal public holiday for Congress to decide that it's time to take a break. They'll take a two-day break just because it's the first day of the baseball season. Any excuse will do. But in this case, I think, taking a break for Rosh Hoshana makes sense because of the gravity of the present financial situation. It's a situation where the leadership wants to ensure that all members are present to cast a vote. I don't know how many members of Congress are Jewish, but it's a sizeable number. It wouldn't be fair to them to bring so important an issue to a vote while they are absent for a quite legitimate reason. Listening to the news today, I gather there's a lot of action on Capitol Hill today; just nothing that needs to be voted on until the full membership is back in their seats.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 04:32 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

If it were Easter or Christmas... do you think they wouldn't take a couple of days?


there was some discussion of this on CNN - apparently there are examples of times when Congress has been in session (sat?) during Christmas and Easter.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 05:17 pm
the bible clearly states that if the ox is in the ditch on the sabbath...pull him out.
that's old testament.
Miller
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 05:25 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Most, I suppose, even if they're not Jewish.

And they must be very serious about it.

Otherwise it wouldn't make make sense that the entire U.S. Congress takes two days off for Rosh Hashana, in the middle of the week, during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.


It was a beautiful day for Rosh Hashanah here in Boston, so I'll assume the weather was also pleasant down in DC.

From Slate.com:
Does Congress Always Take Off for Rosh Hashanah?Yes, but members do have to work on Sukkot.
By Abby Callard
Posted Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008, at 6:17 PM ET

The House of Representatives is taking two days off this week for Rosh Hashanah in the midst of an unresolved financial crisis. Meanwhile, the Senate is still in session. Do members of the House take off for every religious holiday?

No. Representatives get a break for Easter, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Christmas Day. The Senate operates according to a very similar schedule, except it remains in session for Yom Kippur and, at least in 2008, for Rosh Hashanah.

The holiday schedule can vary from year to year. Leaders from both parties set up a tentative list of days off every January, before Congress convenes. Lawmakers can adjust the schedule as needed and suspend holidays in case of an emergency. The tentative 2008 schedule for the Senate, for example, listed two days off for Rosh Hashanah. The chamber remained in session anyway, although no votes were scheduled to take place between Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon.

In the early days of Congress, when it was more difficult to travel long distances home, sessions lasted only from December to early spring"so the Jewish High Holidays were de facto days off. Members often met on religious holidays that fell within the session, including Christmas Day. (Religious services for members and their staffs were sometimes held inside the Capitol building.) Congress typically recessed for Easter, but on some occasions, such as during World War II, the holiday break was delayed or canceled.

It wasn't until 1958 that members began traveling home on the weekends and a yearlong session evolved. Since then, the party leaders have regularly scheduled days off for Christian and Jewish holidays, although there is no official law that requires them.

Bonus Explainer: How many members of Congress are Jewish? Twenty-nine in the House and 13 in the Senate. There are also two Muslim and two Buddhist lawmakers, all serving in the House, and 16 Mormons.

Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.

Explainer thanks Sen. Dick Durbin's office and Don Ritchie of the Senate Historical Office.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2008 11:46 pm
Thanks for explaining.

(Parliament can be called back for any reason here - even during the official parliamentary holidays. And that's done nearly regularly.)
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Oct, 2008 12:15 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Most, I suppose, even if they're not Jewish.

And they must be very serious about it.

Otherwise it wouldn't make make sense that the entire U.S. Congress takes two days off for Rosh Hashana, in the middle of the week, during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Fine post. I don't care if its Christmas or any other holiday... 2 days off right now is flat out irresponsible.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Oct, 2008 12:27 am
@blueveinedthrobber,
Thats fine for an ox in a ditch, but what if our ass were in a sling?
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Oct, 2008 07:29 am
Jon Stewart had great fun with this last night in his opening segment. I'm sure it's available as a video but I'm not good at that sort of thing. Coming from Jon, a Jew who was working on the holiday, it was hysterical.
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Oct, 2008 08:15 am
@JPB,
it was great....funny but he was also seriously pissed off. I loved "Wall Street was open and I guarantee you there's more Jews there than in Washington"
0 Replies
 
SYNRON
 
  0  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2008 10:43 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter--Two questions.

Are there any legislators in Germany who celebrate Rosh Hashanah?

How did they miss getting picked up?
0 Replies
 
 

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