Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Keeping Shabbos Is Considered As Keeping the Entire Torah Completely

When I first heard about the The Shabbos Project, I was not impressed.  The idea was presented to me as, "We must go out and show Jews the beauty of Shabbos!"  In other words (the words into which I translated that in my head, that is), "Let's market holiness."  Eyew.  I worked for a marketing company for nine miserable years.  Why miserable?  Because marketing means lying to get people to buy your product; I don't do lying well.   Besides, the Torah is not merchandise that needs to be sold.

In fact, I had a very bad taste in my mouth from dabbling in showing the beauty of Shabbos to non--observant Jews.  I had once invite a couple for Shabbos -- a complete, beautiful Shabbos experience.  We planned it for the summer so they wouldn't have to leave work early in Friday.  We were completely open and up front that it had to be an entire, 25 hour, experience.  They were game.  We had a beautiful Friday night, and a nice Shabbos s'uda on Saturday.  Then, at approximately 4:23PM on Saturday afternoon, my friend told me, "We are going for a walk."  "Oh, nice," I replied.  "Hmm... I mean, we are going for a walk... don't wait for us to return."  Oh...  I realized that our Shabbos experience had been an anthropological trip for them; a nice opportunity to observe the natives in their own habitat.  Interesting, but they less likely to even contemplate trying it themselves than Margaret Mead would consider joining her gorillas.

Moreover, I heard a story many years ago that made a deep impression on me.  The Chazon Ish was walking with a talmid one Shabbos.  He asked his talmid, "Do you know why they are driving across the street in the other neighborhood?"  The talmid, perplexed and not sure what the rebbi meant with his question, just answered simply, "Because they aren't shomer shabbos?"  "No," replied the saintly Chazon Ish, "It is because our shmiras shabbos is lacking."

So when I was first approached, I replied that rather than cold calling non-observant Jews and asking them to, "Market Shabbos?! Much better to deepen your own observance of Shabbos.  Try accepting on yourself to learn two halachos of Shabbos every friday night!  Commit to learning one topic deeply and observing all its details!"

Then I was approached again... and was told that R' Fuerst backs the idea.  Yikes... maybe I was wrong.  So l looked into it: The Shabbos Project, and the first thing I saw was:
2. We will keep it in its entirety, in all of its halachic detail and splendour as it has been kept throughout the ages.
Oh.  That's different.  Then I spoke to my son-in-law who said, "You know, Abba, inviting someone to Shabbos doesn't always work, but if my parents had not been invited to one Shabbos, you wouldn't have these beautiful grandchildren."  That's hitting below the belt.

So I signed up.  You should at least look into it... you might give someone beautiful, yiddishe grandchildren.  That's worth the whole world and more.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…