Israeli children and simple-minded adults who are hankering for their shot at the final Harry Potter have run into a roadblock: Head Heebs in the Holy Land are trying to keep bookstores closed at the appointed hour of the novel's release. Sadly, that hour comes "at 2:01 a.m. local time this Saturday—on the Jewish Sabbath, when Israeli law requires most businesses to close." Some stores are planning to open anyway—these are Jews, let's remember, and a buck's a buck—which has resulted in predictable outrage from the more Adonai-adoring elements of Israeli society.

Avraham Ravitz of the United Torah Judaism Party slammed the Potter books for their "defective messages."

"We don't have to be dragged like monkeys after the world with this subculture, and certainly not while violating our holy Sabbath," Ravitz said in a statement.

Not to get all Hitchens on you, but isn't this exactly how some of us feel about, you know, the Bible and its subculture of weird, tallis-wearing followers? Give us this wizard any day. (Actually, don't, we're fucking grown-ups, but you get the point.)

Row in Israel over Potter Sabbath launch [A.P.]