[Tour of Israel Part 5] A Relaxing Shabbat

Saturday, June 10 / יום שבת. 16 סיון

I arose at 07:30. Re-donning last night’s clothes, I went down for breakfast, in the manner of taking the שבת elevator (which has the buttons disabled and stops at every floor, moving relatively slowly). Breakfast was basically identical to what I had on previous days, but there was obviously no omelet/pancake station available. All of the shul-goers got up and met us, in anticipation for leaving.

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[Tour of Israel Part 4] Masada Without Incident

Friday, June 9 / יום שישי, 15 סיון

After a restless sleep, I was awake at 06:45. Just like six years ago, I had a restless night prior to Masada, but this will NOT have the same aftermath — there will NOT be a SPLAT! I donned my Taglit shirt and some shorts, and had breakfast downstairs. I was not thrilled with the cheese that I tried, and given last night, played it a little conservatively with my food choices. A long day is ahead, and I wrote this paragraph when I was in the airport, at 23:40. In other words, GIDDYUP!

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[O.C.T.O.B.E.R. V-8] A day off

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.

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[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 4 of 11] A Shabbat in Israel

 

The original journal entry spanned the welcoming of the sabbath and continued through the remainder of Friday and Saturday, July 22-23, 2011. Find it by clicking this sentence.


My first שבת (Shabbat) in Israel was wonderful, and was really only my second time truly getting to enjoy a Shabbat experience. (The first time was earlier in 2011, when KOACH Kallah was at Northwestern.)

Prior to the trip, שבת usually meant going to services on Friday evening and/or Saturday morning. However, in my undergraduate years, I did not take sabbatical time from homework. Therefore, I used to be a particularly nasty hypocrite by going to services but then doing homework at other points of the day!

Though I had enjoyed שבתות prior to my first Israel experience, the fact that I was much more intimately involved with the spirit of the day, and with potentially like-minded people (though I later found out that I was one of the most ritually-observant of the Americans, which wasn’t saying very much…) made it a special experience. Moreover, it inspired me to make future שבתות, even in the States, like this one.

It was really special for me to go to services the next morning, even though there was no מיניין (quorum of 10 Jewish adults, and male since the synagogue on קיבוץ פרוד (Kibbutz Parod) was Orthodox) there [as I said in my journal, I was the only trip-goer who was up at that hour! Ha!]. Getting to take in services with Israelis, though maybe not an initial goal of mine, became a highlight of the trip. I would love to go back at some point, and maybe find a מסורתי (Masorti: Conservative) synagogue to compare and contrast to, say, Beth Jacob, Tifereth Israel, or Beth Hillel-Congregation B’nai Emunah.

Realizing that enjoying שבת involves negative commandments (e.g. don’t use electricity or fire, don’t do “work,” don’t write, etc.), there are also plenty of things that one SHOULD do, such as be joyous, study תורה (Torah), and relax. This relaxation involved icebreaker games on Friday evening, conversations throughout the 25 hours, swimming in the pool on the Saturday afternoon, and playing card games. And getting sunburnt… just joshing about that being relaxing on the latter!

Since Birthright ended, I have refrained from academic or professional work on שבת, but still do other types of מלכות (forbidden work on Shabbat) like driving, travelling by bike, writing, or using a computer for entertainment purposes. However, when I am with Jewish friends, it is much easier to avoid some of these acts. The שבתות that I have spent with my (non-Birthright) friend Sarah’s family this year have been fully relaxing, with reading, walks, Bananagrams, and conversations. No need for computers or TV when this occurs!  Additionally, this was true at Northwestern Hillel in the subsequent years when I would go to Saturday services. (Even though I was usually not good at Settlers of Catan!)

Therefore, the consideration of שבת was one major impact of Birthright on me.

And tomorrow, I will be reflecting on the trip to צפת (Safed) and/or the Independence Museum in תל אביב (Tel Aviv).

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Check out the remaining entries in this sequence!

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective] The Travel To Israel

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 2 of 11] Achim Simcha

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 3 of 11] Take a hike!

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 4 of 11] A Shabbat in Israel (You are here!)

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 5 of 11] Awwwwwesome

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 6 of 11] Primary Sources

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 7 of 11] Sinat Chinam (and Ahavat Chinam)

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective part 8 of 11] Coming soon!

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective part 9 of 11] Coming soon!

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective part 10 of 11] Coming soon!

[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective part 11 of 11] Coming soon!

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Kenosha: 9 days.

Orientation: 23 days.

Day 1: 46 days.

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[M.A.P.L.E. v-14] Off the grid

This post was written ahead of time. Today, I’m in the Beaver Creek Reserve for a שבתון (Shabbaton: a retreat on Shabbat) with Temple Sholom of Eau Claire.

Because I’m not writing the post during the day, I just thought that it would be nice to give pre-conceptions (and they’re all positive).

I am really excited for this שבתון, as it may give me a little taste of five years ago when I was in Israel, and the שבתות (Shabbat days) were off the grid and outdoors. It will definitely have a different feel, but it should be good. Unfortunately, I saw a lot of rain on Friday morning, and hope that it abates by the evening and stays away from that area today as well as tomorrow.

I can’t pick the weather though!

Another piece of excitement: I will not have my phone or any electronics on me. I want to actually enjoy nature and take a day of rest and relaxation with some of my acquaintances from Eau Claire. They might not largely have the same youthful exuberance as my friends from the Twin Cities, but it is fun to commune with different types of people, and I seem to get along well with anyone… finding common ground is surprisingly easy for me.

If this goes over well, I will have to seek out other opportunities like this. Maybe the BJC 20/30 group will do something like this?

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Today is the fourteenth day of the fifth round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes two weeks.

היום עשרים ואחד יום-שהם שלושה שבועות לעומר

Tourney Times: 7 days.

Rochester: 13 days.

Kenosha: 18 days.

Twenty-Nine: 50 days.

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