Shabbat: You Don't Have To

A co-worker was walking by my desk one day and struck up a conversation with me. Somehow, we got on the subject of music and my band. 


“But that’s gotta kinda suck that you can’t play shows on Friday nights because of the whole Jewish Sabbath thing.” 


I didn’t really think about it too much before replying. 


“No, actually it’s really nice to have a night off.” 


Suddenly, the concept of a rest period came to mind even more. Most people who don’t keep Shabbat don’t really stop to think that people who keep it are called to rest on this day. Most of the time, these people just think about everything that the Torah forbids people from doing on Shabbat. 

  • I can’t go to my job. 
  • I can’t go shopping. 
  • I can’t conduct business. 
  • I can’t work mow my lawn or work on my house. 
  • I can’t go out on the town with friends. 
  • I can’t ignite a flame.



Really, when I stop and think about it, most people in society just simply do not stop. They perpetually have work on the brain. They are constantly being advertised to in order for them to purchase products. They are immersed in making sure their home is taken care of and rarely do they allot themselves a night with family where they can just sit down, talk about their week, crack jokes, tell stories, and laugh around the dinner table. 


With this mindset, I would like to amend my list of “can’t”s into a slightly different style of list. 

  • I don’t have to go my job.
  • I don’t have to go shopping. 
  • I don’t have to conduct any business dealings. 
  • I don’t have to mow my lawn or work on my house. 
  • I don’t have to go out; rather, I can have people over. 
  • I don’t even have to light a match. 



Just because it occurs weekly, people seem to forget that the Sabbath is a holiday just as holy as the rest of the holy days in the Torah. For my Christian friends, imagine how you’d feel if your boss said you could have all the luxuries of xmas every week. Forget work; just have some friends over, cook up a big meal, and enjoy each other. 


Shabbat is not one a day a week when I can’t do something. Shabbat is that one day a week that I look forward to all week long when I can put on my space helmet and blast off to another place far away from the chaos of the week. 


Shabbat Shalom, everyone. 

-Ken




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