2016-08-03 / Mideast

Israeli minister to skip Rio event

Israel’s most senior official expected to attend the Rio Olympics said she would not participate in the opening ceremony because it takes place on Shabbat.

The opening ceremonies are scheduled to take place on the evening of Aug. 5, a Friday night.

“Shabbat, our national day of rest, is one of the most important gifts that Jewish people have given to the culture of humanity,” Miri Regev, the minister of culture and sport, said in a statement, The Jerusalem Post reported. “As the representative to the state of Israel, the sole Jewish state on the planet, I unfortunately cannot take part in the opening ceremony of the Olympics because it would require me to break the holy Sabbath.” (JTA)

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