Sabbath rules

And now, commentary on something not inside my own head.

This past Saturday — that being the Sabbath, the holy day of the Jews — a mob of hundreds protested in Jerusalem against the newest abomination of desolation: a parking lot, open on the Sabbath.

Clearly the rules of Sabbath are many and complex: no parking; yes rioting. Hurling stones and throwing garbage bins not work; parallel parking very much work. (Also, the opening hours of a parking lot, clearly a most serious smear on fundamental human dignity — but calling a Jewish policeman “a stinking Nazi”, eh, not a big deal.)

Not only does this kind of madness make the reality-tethered Jewish majority look bad; it makes me much less willing to want to visit Jerusalem, too. Who knows if after no-one parking on Saturdays the ultra-Orthodoxes’ll insist on no-one having Internet, one day in seven? After all, electricity is just like fire, and as making fire on the Sabbath is forbidden, computers… wait, no, this kind of blind rules-lawyering is hopeless and will lead only to neurotic contradictions; this is the behavior of a mathematician, not of a sane person.

And mathematics should be left to trained professionals, to people who know to say “No!” to applications. Otherwise, you’ll be saying God dislikes parking on Saturdays, and that’s crazy talk.

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