Frank-Dieter Freiling, the Head of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group has stated that Shabbat cannot be an issue next years Eurovision Song Contest.
Dr Frieling, has stated that next years Eurovision Song Contest cannot be moved so that it does not overlap with Shabbat. The Head of the Reference Group’s comments come after ultra-Orthodox MP’s call for reassurances that the competition will not be allowed to take place during Shabbat.
The Leader of the Agudat Yisrael Party, drafted a letter to the Ministry of Culture stating;
In the name of hundreds of thousands of citizens, Jews from all populations and sectors, for whom keeping the Sabbath is important to them, I am asking you at this early stage, before any production or other details of the event have been set, to make sure this doesn’t undercut the holiness of the Sabbath and to work in every way to prevent Sabbath desecration….
According to Jewish religious law Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. This would mean that rehearsals would be unable to take place on Friday night until the live broadcast of the Grand Final on the Saturday evening from 22:00 local time.
Frank-Dieter Freiling will be travelling to Israel later this week for preliminary discussions with Israeli authorities.