12 May 2007

Shavua tov!

As a coda to the previous post, here's the comment I just posted on that article:

Lovely piece!

I'm glad that observing Shabbat made you feel, "for the first time, like the Perfect Jew." If the traditional view is that Shabbat is a taste of the World to Come, then perhaps it's not surprising that observing Shabbat in a way we can find meaningful can give us a glimpse of our best Jewish selves -- the Perfect Jews we might wish and strive to be... though one of the things I like best about our Jewish tradition is that it understands imperfection so deeply! (Sin, kheyt, is literally "missing the mark" -- and we try to get closer to getting things right, while acknowledging our limitations. Every Yom Kippur we confess and repent our sins, knowing that we will still be confessing and repenting next year, and the year after -- but we also have the prospect that each turn of the cycle gives us the chance to begin again, to try again -- even if this means that we will, à la Beckett, "Fail again. Fail better.")

So, in this Saturday night/motzei Shabbes state, I'm hoping you'll give us an update, Jon: how was your Shabbat this week? Which of Rabbi Green's 10 commandments of Shabbat did you take on this time, and how'd it go? (And Erin and/or Steve: how's by you?)

My Shabbat observance doesn't make me feel like the perfect Jew, but it does give me a chance to be a more perfcct Jew--and human being--than I think I would otherwise be. It can be hard to feel like putting in the extra effort -- to make a nice Shabbes dinner at home, or to make plans with friends or family -- but it's worth it. This week my husband's out of town, and I wasn't sure what if anything I'd do for Friday night--but I picked up the phone, called a friend, and ended up contributing challah & ice cream as the bookends of dinner with her & with another friend, who made salad & a main dish. Sure, I'd be just as shomer(et) shabbat if I made kiddush & hamotzi & had dinner here by myself (okay, also with the 2 cats, who do get tuna on Shabbat as a special treat -- but that's not the same as human Shabbat community, nice as they are...) -- but it wouldn't have been nearly as Shabbesdik.

So whether you're as "shomer-f***ing-shabbos" as The Big Lebowski's Walter, or just starting to figure out how to "remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy" in a way that speaks to you, I hope you'll find ways to make Shabbat Shabbesdik -- to make it feel like Shabbat inside and out... and then to carry a little bit of that peace and sweetness back into your week, into our regular lives, into our experiences as imperfect Jews in an imperfect world.

Shavua tov -- a good week -- to all!

1 comment:

Barnaby said...


My Shabbat has been SOOO wonderful, I've been saying "Keyn Ain Horeh" all day in light of my coming job interview! From cooking a nice pot of dafina to unexpectedly seeing my Hebrew teacher, it was nothing short of great. (The only thing that would have made it better is seeing my semi-secret crush! *shhh....*) Remember - when the president of a congregation has a bar mitzvah, fun and naches will be had.
Far from it be that being Shomer Shabbat should be treated like a reward system... Making the effort to observe Shabbat in full pays off in wondrous ways.
Which reminds me - I might need some accomodations next time the Zoo Minyan meets!

Shavua Tov,

P.S. The last time I cooked cholent, it was also the siyyum of a sefer. Perhaps my culinary inclinations are subconsciously tied to the Torah cycle?