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June 19, 2016 12:12 pm

Israel Advances Law to Exempt Octogenarians From Waiting on Line

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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An elderly couple resting on a bench. Photo: Wikipedia.

An elderly couple resting on a bench. Photo: Wikipedia.

A bill seeking to make life easier for octogenarians was approved by the Jewish state’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

The bill, initiated by Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, will exempt Israelis aged 80 and above from having to wait on line in public places.

“[This] is our duty as a society, even without enacting laws,” said Gamliel. “And I have no doubt that as a result of the law, the issue will become a societal norm, making such legislation unnecessary in the future.”

Referring to a biblical proverb from Leviticus — “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly” — Gamliel said this should be the guiding principle of a “healthy, tolerant society that knows how to respect and appreciate its elderly, and exempting [octogenarians] from standing on line is the minimum that we can do for them.”

The public places in question are post offices, banks, concert halls, movie theaters, supermarkets and others.

According to a World Health Organization report released in May this year, Israel has the 8th-highest life expectancy in the world – ahead of the US, Canada, France, Russia and other developed nations. In 2014, it reached 80.2 years for men and 84 for women.

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  • Jay Lavine

    It’s a heartwarming piece of news, and it reminded me that, once upon a time, in the post-exilic Jewish communities (where Jewish meant truly that), each community would have a rabbinic authority who saw to it that no one was trampled upon. He was thus a counter to the tyranny of democracy phenomenon, and, like a Supreme Court, he could rule any legislation enacted by the Council unconstitutional, so to speak, the “Constitution” being the Torah, of course.

    Yes, in a healthy society where people share common values, such legislation soon becomes unnecessary. Indeed, I think shared values are a necessity for democracy to succeed, and this explains why so many democracies have failed.

  • Israel again leads the world forward in humanitarian and spiritual ethics.

  • manley kiefer

    This should also apply to the handicapped, if it doesn’t already apply,.