Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thou shall not cheat thy god

A few weeks back, I told you about Saturdays, which are the weekend-days (like the American Sunday). I also said that during the day of rest you cannot work, operate machinery or electronics. You can’t turn on your oven, so religious families have electric hotplates, because you can turn them on before the weekend starts, and the thermostat keeps them safe until Saturday evening. The electric hotplate is a perfect example for a major industry in Israel – products that can cheat the no-work rule. For example, riding an elevator would require you to press a button, which is “work”, so every elevator in Israel has a Shabbat mode, in which it automatically stops at every floor, so you don’t have to actively press anything. Also, dialing the phone is forbidden, because pressing the numbers is “work” too, so some company came up with a genius solution. Their phone scrolls through the digits 0-9, and you stop it on the digit you need, thereby building up the number step-by-step…like cracking a combination lock. Another company is selling pens with disappearing ink, which make them ‘legal’ to use on a Saturday. The industrial union estimates the market for such products to be at 10 million dollar a year.

So…god bless the Israeli mind for coming up with clever circumvention, but the stupid thing is that the religious folk actually think that they can outsmart their god. I mean…if you really believe that your creator wants you to rest on the weekend, what do you think will happen when you’re judged after you die? Do Smarty-pants go to heaven?

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