The Great Daylight Saving Debate Explained; How Would You Vote?

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On 11/18/1883 the United States adopted 4 times zones. Until that point every city had their own local time zone based on when sun was overhead at noon, but that system became untenable as trains had to set schedules incorporating hundreds of local times zones.

On 3/19/1918 the United States copied Germany in moving to a daylight saving system by moving the clocks forward an hour in the summer and backward in the fall. It was not used in all places at all times and didn’t become the federal standard until 1967.

Currently, 48 states go through the rigmarole of changing the clocks twice a year. Arizona and Hawaii use standard time year-round.

As a parent, I despise changing the clocks. When we “fall backward” the kids wake up an hour earlier and when we “spring forward” the kids won’t fall asleep on time and have trouble waking up on time for the bus to school.

There is finally progress in fixing the system.

Dozens of states have proposals to change to year-round daylight saving time or year-round standard time.

  • CA, FL, OR, and WA are trying to move to year-round daylight saving time. However the federal government currently only allows states to have year-round standard time, not year-round daylight saving time.
  • KS, OK, and TX are trying to move to year-round standard time.
  • CT, MA, ME, NH, and RI want to move from the Eastern time zone to the Atlantic time zone, which is 1 hour ahead. They also want to move to year-round standard time. That move would effectively give them year-round daylight saving time compared to what they have now.

That’s why it’s probably a good thing that Marco Rubio and Vern Buchanan introduced bills into the Senate and the House to move the entire country to year-round daylight saving time. That’s a lot better than a patchwork of laws across the country.

Among other issues, permanent daylight saving time would mean that my own kids would be waiting for the bus in the pitch black during the winter months, creating a potentially dangerous situation. The National PTA is opposed to daylight saving time during the winter months for that reason.

For example:

  • In NYC sunrise on January 5 would go from 7:20AM to 8:20AM
  • In Cleveland sunrise on January 5 would go from 7:53AM to 8:53AM
  • In Detroit sunrise on January 5 would go from 8:01AM to 9:01AM

However, permanent daylight saving time would also mean that there is less crime, which typically takes place after nightfall.

Many of the original reasons, such as energy savings, no longer apply today. What is known is that heart attacks and other health issues are more common after we “spring forward,” so there is solid logic to eliminating time changes.

Time changes also have some unique factors for religious Jews.

Permanent daylight saving time would mean the earliest time to daven the morning prayers would be quite late, which would cause serious problems for those who want to daven with a minyan and then go to work.

  • In NYC the earliest time to daven on January 5 would go from 6:26AM to 7:26AM
  • In Cleveland the earliest time to daven on January 5 would go from 6:58AM to 7:58AM
  • In Detroit the earliest time to daven on January 5 would go from 7:06AM to 8:06AM

But permanent daylight saving time would also mean not having to rush home as early on Fridays in December to make it on time for Shabbos, though it would also mean longer winter fast days.

  • In NYC the earliest time for sunset in December would go from 4:28PM to 5:28PM
  • In Cleveland the earliest time for sunset in December would go from 4:56PM to 5:56PM
  • In Detroit the earliest time for sunset in December would go from 5:00PM to 6:00PM

Permanent standard time robs people of long summer evenings, but on the other hand it would mean the end of the super late Friday night Shabbos dinner and long summer fast days.

  • In NYC the latest time for sunset in June would go from 8:31PM to 7:31PM
  • In Cleveland the latest time for sunset in June would go from 9:04PM to 8:04PM
  • In Detroit the latest time for sunset in June would go from 9:13PM to 8:13PM

That’s a whole lot to unpack and it also shows that there actually may be an advantage for religious Jews to the craziness of twice yearly clock changes.

The Forward reports that Agudath Israel of Florida lobbied against Florida trying to adopt permanent daylight saving time. Florida wound up passing that bill, though they are still awaiting permission from the federal government to implement the change.

Besides, when will you change the batteries on your smoke alarm and check if you have any miles expiring if not for the time change 😉

There are certainly pros and cons for any of the options and we may well wind up with states that observe permanent standard time, states that observe permanent daylight saving time, and states that change the clocks twice a year.

Which side of the debate are you on? Would you spring forward and not fall back, fall back and not spring forward, or leave things the way they are?

Would you prefer permanent daylight saving time, permanent standard time, or keep changing the clocks twice a year?

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106 Comments On "The Great Daylight Saving Debate Explained; How Would You Vote?"

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I would move the clockin the winter we and leave out summer we should have winter a longer Friday and summer a smaller Shabbos afternoon…


I totally agree!


i would vote to change the clock but not as bring in DST as early as we do now and bring back EST earlier as well


“Of course that would have other consequences. Someone living in Greenwich, CT and working in NYC would leave work at 5pm, drive for an hour, and get home at 8pm due to the 2 hour time difference in the winter.”

They would get home at 7 Greenwich, CT time. CT would be just 1 hr ahead in winter and same time as NY in summer (assuming NY stays the same)



Dan, it would only be a two hour difference if CT switched to Atlantic Time AND used DST all year. What they are proposing to do is to switch to AST which, as you said, would effectively give them EDT all year so it would never be more than an hour difference from NY.


I wondered the same, because Dan doesn’t mistake too often


What are you using for the earliest zman Tefillah? Personally, I’m for year round DST. You can always make early Shabbos, but can’t just decide to make late shabbos. Shabbos starting after 5 in vthe winter instead of shortly after 4 would be a fame changer.


I would prefer standard time, but daylight savings still beats changing the clocks twice a year.

When I was a kid I think they stayed on DST one year and I remember waiting for the bus to Kindergarten in pitch black. It was in the early 70s.


That was winter of 73-74, it was due to the Arab oil embargo. I was also in kindergarten then, waiting for the bus in the pitch black! I’m trying to think if I remember you….


It was way to dark, i do not think you guys would have seen each other 🙂


Standard Time Year Round. Let’s keep things the way G-d intended!!!


Dan, love the commentary posts!

“Besides, when will you change the batteries on your smoke alarm” Lol!

NYC and CLE are understandable, but what’s up with Detroit? How about LA?


#fallback All of the yomtovim take place in daylight savings, making Purim, the Seder etc all super late


Good point on the Seder! Keep in mind though Chatzos would be an hour earlier. #afikomen


For those who stay up Seder night and shavuos night it makes no difference and for Purim daylight savings is good could you imagine having to finish giving out all that mishloach manos etc an hour earlier so as to make the seudah before shkia.

Zach Shermani

I think we should abolish time zones. It’s so hard figuring out what time it is by my cousins in Ramat Beit Shemesh. I agree. Better if we were all on the same time.

Ben Langsteini

Very Wise!!!!


UTC for all!


For starters if we are going to keep switching back and forth – we need to go back to the regular schedule to match up with the world.

These extra 3-4 weeks that we have on both sides (making DST longer) is a real pain when coordinating things internationally….flights, conference calls, etc…

DST all the time effectively eliminates any ability to go out on Motzei Shabbat though — business opening in the winter after Shabbat are not going to be able to do that

reb yid

“and get home at 8pm after the kids are asleep ”
Wow. Your family is a lot more disciplined than mine LOL

Victor Elo

Would it help at all with Indiana’s confusing time zones ?

I once drove from Nashville Tennessee, to Evansville, Indiana, to Jeffersonville, Indiana, not realizing that Jeffersonville is an hour ahead, not only missing my last meeting, also almost missing my flight at SDF Airport too!


It appears that you are using Misheyakir as your earliest time to Daven. That is already BiDieved. As it is, the Zmanim are difficult for Davening in the winter. If we switched to Daylight Savings all year I would probably never be able to Daven with a Minyan in the winter.

Ben Langsteini

Guys I work at Rikers!!! The Time Zone change wont matter because its always dark in their. Also, their busses are super confusing too so extra dark wont make that better!

Hate leaving work in the dark

Dan, you lost me at “On 11/18/1883…”!


Well if we had permanent daylight savings time children would be going to school before its fully light more risk for חס ושלום pedestrians getting hit


Do you feel good busting out the word rigmarole?


Now take this a step further and get into passing the international dateline over Sefira. And then take it even further with the question of what happens if you travel the polar route.


Dan, were you always into time zones and zmanim, or is this a new hobby since Antarctica after studying the topic in depth? 😉


9:00 earliest Shachris in Detroit?! I’m moving there tomorrow.

Steve Gold

What about just moving the clock half an hour and stay in the middle all year!!


It’s time to just become למעלה מן הזמן


I vote to turn the clocks back and forward every year, but by 12 hours each time.

It will have HUGE advantages. It’ll be like a full 360 degree change from before.


Actually it would be a 180. A 360 is a complete circle and puts you right back where you started


On a 12hr clock that is 360 degrees


The bus thing will be a problem the other way around when coming home it’ll be pitch dark during the summer


Meaning if we remove dst


If you come home at 8:00 during the summer then your correct…

Moishie Hersko

Eh, we should just all move to Kosher Antarctica Standard Time. 24h fasts, Maariv>Havdala>Shachris>Melava Malka every week, and so on.


Seems legit


The issue with a permanent daylight savings time is that during the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973 a number of kids got hit by cars while waiting for school buses in the dark. I think the current situation is fine for most states. I do think southern states could just go one way or the other.

I do wonder how come no one ever brings up moving the clock forward/back half an hour once and just be done with it?


First of all, thanks for explaining it in simple terms (except for that rigor mortis thingy).

I would go for #springforward any day as long as it comes packaged with spring.

I am totally anti-waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night!

What would the zmanim be like in a place that has no sunset half the year?


Let’s do DST and start school a bit later


I’m not sure how anyone can answer this question without being well versed in statistics and economics


Same way the 737-MAX8 thread is full of licensed pilots and aerospace engineers


The day should be split into 26 hours


In Canada the kids come home from school when it is dark during the winter so that part doesn’t bother me as much.
The later shachris times would be problematic for many who have to be at work early.


I would choose standard time when dan posts awesome deal about to expire to give ourselves that extra hour if anybody up that time!


I would vote that we move the clock forward Monday afternoon at 4 o’clock instead of Saturday midnight. This way we don’t lose sleep on the weekend but get ti finish work early.


That’s a great idea. I love it.


Definitely voting for year-long standard time. It’s a lot easier to for the boss to understand that you need to get out early once a week for Shabbos than to come in late every day so you can daven with a minyan. And if you can pull off a 4:00 Shabbos in the winter currently, why can’t you get it together for a 6:00 summer Shabbos?


I don’t mind the switching back and forth. I mind that they’ve moved the start and end dates so close together. Keep standard time for longer.




Just use UTC Time/Zulu Time


I would vote for only one universal time zone in the whole world. People would have to get used that sunrise is at 10pm, or Sunset at 11am in some places. Or school starts 1am. But otherwise everything would be so more simple: If you have flight, meeting or any event you don’t have to take in mind time difference and so on.

R u nuts

R.i.p. circadian rhythm….


@Dan you didn’t take into account the latest Zman Krias Shma in the summer for those who hold of Chasidic Standard Time.

Jack out of the Box

Standard time in summer would be very hard for סוף זמן קריאת שמע.

nsx at FlyerTalk

A good fraction of people supporting permanent daylight time believe that this will create an extra hour of sunlight in winter. They will be so surprised when it’s dark at 8am. Then they will scream until we change it back.

Jack out of the Box

Pretty much my thoughts when I saw that a very high-level government official supports the idea.


What about the Half an hour ahead permeately proposal?


1973 @ the oil embargo the clock was not moved back to winter time.
Kids went to school @ 8 AM pitch dark.
It didn’t work then & not gonna work out ever.


There was an idea to have eastern time in permanent standard, central in permanent dst, mountain in permanent standard and pacific in permanent dst. The cool effect would be that there would only be 2 time zones and the east and west coast will only be 1 hour apart.

For the dansdeals readers, there would be no jetlag when flying from NY>LA


why can’t we meeet in the middle and permanently switch the clock half an hour over for daylight saving.


@Dan we need 1 more option (I guess 2 jews – 3 opinions are the right saying 🙂
– Either Daylight Saving Time or Standard Time, but as long as it does not change yearly.


One of the poll options should be- keep changing the clocks twice a year, but have the 2 parts of the year actually be equal to each other!! I.e., 6 months each for Daylight and Standard, like it is in much of the world and like it used to be here as well. None of this 8-months of DST. Switch in April and October like it used to be.

Liam K. Nuj

In Yeshiva we changed the clocks for DST/EST on Friday at 12pm. There was no problem acclimating over Shabbos.

Liam K. Nuj

How about keep moving the clock forward 1 hour every 6 months.


Many countries seem to be doing just fine without changing clocks back and forth.


DST all year. I simply like the longer sunlight in the evening.


China manages with just one time zone. Our States would be more United if we cut it back to two. Think of how Election Night would be improved!. Western Standard Time and Eastern Standard Time is all we really need.


Maybe klal Yisroel will adopt “camp time” running on their own schedule.


I heard AOC and company say it must be dem Jews with the benjamins controlling the country’s time policies. Either that or Bibi is hypnotizing amd whispering into the ear of the head clockmaker.

dan wiener

we could all live in israel as i do and fridays are not a problem at all. noone works. the much higher pcntg of religious jews here work out davening w/o a problem in winter


Charedim don’t work at all there, so of course there’s no problem.

Liam K. Nuj

Got in a little hate in the morning before you start work. Nice!


How about we just change the zman tefila back an hour, start shabbos later, and move the zman for milchigs after fleishigs an hour earlier? There. Problem solved.


Or we can simply change the time the sun rises and leave the clocks alone.


Keep it simple and have Standard Time year round. And also start using metric system, it’s long overdue.


IN THE WINTER HAVE A 22 HOUR DAY, AND IN THE SUMMER HAVE A 26 HOUR DAY! Then, it with be pitch black, it’ll just be an illusion