At the beginning of this semester, I had a big snafu and had to conduct a major operation on my academic schedule. Because of this, I have had the great fortune of getting to take a global religions course called “Judaism in America” where we have been learning about Jewish history and different Jewish opinions about what it means to be Jewish and how Jewish philosophies apply in different areas of American life. Needless to say, this has helped to make my semester extremely interesting and has made me change my perspective on several things.
Unlike most classes I’ve had, I was required to take 24 hours out of my spring break and do… mostly nothing. One of the focuses of this course has been understanding what it means to practice Shabbat (the Sabbath) and there is no better way to do this than viscerally. So, with my mother, I prepared during Thursday and Friday for a day of rest, which began with an extremely rushed dinner preparation and ended with a slow reintegration back into actual “work.”
Shabbat begins on Friday at sundown and doesn’t end until the following Saturday at sundown. It entails an investigation of oneself moving through time and there are many rules as to how one should appropriately do this. My mother and I decided on a few activities to do in those 24 hours: we made challah, mejadra, and latkes (all with varying levels of success); we slept in, dressed up, ate all day, read for a lot of the day, gardened, and enjoyed each other’s company. This was possibly one of the nicest days of the year so far and I felt that I was able to still experience a lot without having to fill my schedule like I do at school.
I’m hoping to somehow incorporate the ideas of Shabbat into my life moving forward and am glad that I was able to make it a part of my semester this year!
Also, there are currently a lot of dogs at my parents' house. They were very involved in Shabbat.