Religion Magazine

Proposed Laws:flag Desecration and Parenting Hour

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
The Knesset just passed some laws in their final readings and advanced some others. Here are a couple of the more interesting ones:
  -- The flag law was passed in its final reading.
This law intends to protect the sanctity of the flag (and other State symbols). According to the law until now, someone desecrating the flag would be liable for a fine of up to 300 lirot - yes, lirot - a currency that no longer even exists. According to the new law passed, that fine has been changed to being up to 58,400nis, along with the possibility of up to 3 years in prison.
As well, anyone caught burning the flag shows by his actions that he "does not want to be a citizen of the State" and will lose some of his or her benefits from the State they so despise. Examples of benefits they might lose are bituach leumi stipends and allowances, health care subsidies, academic stipends and subsidies, etc.
source: Knesset website
It is going to be interesting to see if this actually gets applied in practice and if the threat of the law minimizes the inclusion of flag burning in the multitude of protests and riots held by various communities on a fairly regular basis.
   --- the law allowing a division of "nursing hour" between fathers and mothers in the workplace was passed unanimously (by 42 MKs).
Until now a new mother back to work has been allowed, by law, to take an additional hour over the course of the day to be used for nursing her baby. This daily hour is limited to the first four months after returning from maternity leave.
The new law will allow both parents to divide this hour between them and decide whether the mother will use it to feed her child, whether the father will or whether they will split the time between them. The term "nursing hour" would be changed to be called "parenting hour".
source: Knesset website
This reminds me of the gemara that describes a man whose wife died, leaving him a newborn baby to care for. He was too poor to be able to hire a wet-nurse, so he davened to Hashem for a solution. Sure enough, he grew breasts like a woman and began lactating, thus he was able to feed his baby (the amoraim of the gemara debated whether this was a good thing or a bad thing).
That guy would have been able to fully take advantage of this law, even without changing the name to "parenting hour".
Regardless of that, it is a good thing to allow both parents the opportunity to spend the bonding time through feeding with the baby.
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