Last year, when I lived in Menomonie, Saturdays were always days off from work, even if I didn’t go to the Twin Cities for services that day. They were never fully bereft of מלאכות (creative activities that are prohibited on Shabbat), however.
Nevertheless, it was always a nice change of pace, especially when I spent the day with Sarah’s parents and got to relax, chat, read, walk, and just be, after services. Frankly, it was really nice to have a respite from using electronics.
Today was one of the more low-key Saturdays, though not quite to the same extent. I rode my bike to the Racine synagogue, which took 40 minutes, and was a pleasant but slightly chilly ride. As always, I felt very welcomed. Jewish hospitality is amazing!
Services were nice. The place bills itself as non-denominational, but with a Conservative slant. It was more English than I was used to (most of פסוקי דזמרה (P’sukei D’zimra) was in English), but nevertheless the Hebrew was very familiar to me. I even got called to the תורה לעלייה (Torah for an aliyah).
The conversations that I had with the members after services somewhat reminded me of the first time that I really got engaged in conversation at a synagogue–back in March 2006 after I voluntarily went to services for the first time in maybe forever! Conversations that let me get to know people are great, especially on a day when community and “just being” is emphasized.
So I stayed until nearly 15:00 in conversation, and had an easy ride home via WI-32.
Though I did laundry and did some prep for tomorrow’s League, I kept the TV and phone away until closer to sunset. It really felt nice to leave screens out of the day. (OK… not quite. I called Dina after I got back, but didn’t follow up by playing on my phone.)
But now, I’m watching the NLDS. GO CUBS GO!
Kol Nidrei/Yom Kippur: 3 days
End of the Ad-Hominems: 31 days
Lincoln: 73 days