|what does shabbat mean to you?
||[Apr. 21st, 2009|01:06 am]
I have been thinking about this a lot lately, since we are somewhere around 4 years of more observance. |
My whole life, we always celebrated Shabbat Dinner at my house. We were not shomer Shabbat, but every single week, we would all sit down to Shabbat dinner together. When I was little, it was at Bubby Esther or Bubby Marion's houses, and later, at our house. We were not particularly observant, but we were not allowed to make plans for Friday night until after dinner.
Consequently, we all brought friends home for Shabbat dinner- Jewish, non-jewish, no matter. Birthdays were often celebrated on the Friday of that week, and we made a point of all being together for at least an hour or two. after dinner we watched love boat, and fantasy island, or some other show, or went out with our friends.
Saturday was on and off a time to go to shul. mostly off, but we were not strangers to the building. later on we shopped or did whatever needed to be done. i did swimming stuff and ate out and pretty much ignored shabbat for most of my life, other than friday night dinners, really. i thought that being shomer shabbat seemed like a restrictive, pain in the ass kind of deal which was totally inconvenient and, well, like i sa
Marc's parents were shabbat observant, but somehow to me, it always seemed more or less stressful and not very pleasant to observe like that (this was not a reflection on them, but on me.) When Marc's dad died, i was the shiva slave, working my butt off from 6 am to 11pm and finally, on friday afternoon and saturday, in agony, i was able to take it easy, because the mourners are not mourners on shabbat and i did not have to 'serve' them. it was january and as i played cards with my niece and shabbat approached it's end, i could feel the stress slipping back in, with the knowledge that after havdalah i was going back to slave mode.
After Marc started saying Kaddish for his Dad, we started going to Shul regularly and because it was such a great place, and people opened their homes to us and welcomed us as guests, we were exposed to what observant shabbat. suddenly, i started to see the benefits, as well as my husband! prior to his father's death, he had been working 7 days a week and now, he was taking at least one off!
These days, Shabbat is seriously a day off and the only one i get. i am often tired from working hard and spend a lot of time reading, playing games with friends and family and enjoying myself. we have a lot of friends who do this, or some variation of this and what this means is that shabbat is our most social, most fun and most anticipated day. every week wehave an amazing time and we have all made some sacrifices to do so, but on the other hand, the benefits so far outweigh the detractions i am not sure that there even are any detractions!
anyways, i need to go to sleep, but just wanted to see what other people think if they feel like answering as well...