The irony of missing Shabbat

I miss Shabbat.

The irony is that I never really had Shabbat to begin with.

I began coming into my understanding of Shabbat in February this year when I spent extended time with my boyfriend, K, and his family.

The only time I have truly experienced Shabbat was in February of this year when I was able to spend time with my boyfriend’s sister Y, her daughter, and K. Through Y, who is Orthodox and lives in Israel, I learned to appreciate the beauty that is the quiet, meditative, prayerful family/community observance of Shabbat

During our visit, I felt so rejuvenated after my time with them. I loved going to Shabbat services with K on Friday evening and then saying prayers before mealtime with Y on Shabbos. I loved having to be mindful about my use of electricity and, even though K and I traveled to his sister in the car and so did not keep Shomer Shabbos, we thought and talked about our use of time and technology on that day.

I appreciated that Shabbat brought me closer to G-d and family and rest on that visit.

I truly grasped this appreciation in April, when my partner and I spent much of Shabbat cleaning for Shivah after the loss of his mother. What he and I needed right then was not to clean and instead to share in that day of thankfulness to G-d with his sister in quiet space.

When I returned to Boston that very next weekend in April I began working on Shabbat from noon-7pm at the local bakery. For a while I tried to keep my mornings “Shabbat-like”. I went to yoga. I meditated. I wrote. But the inevitability of working discolored Saturday mornings. I felt disjointed and worried about time. And so I resorted to balancing checkbooks, paying bills, running errands and cleaning on Shabbat mornings.

Yes, I have had prayerful and meditative moments on Fridays while preparing for Shabbat. I have welcomed in Shabbat by sharing prayers, candlelighting, blessings and challah with my partner on Friday evenings. I have felt G-d and some peace.

Still, I long for Shabbat. At first, I thought I simply longed for Saturdays: to go to the beach or downtown, to read by the pond or in bed. To not work. And it is true, those things I do long for. I have missed that “down time” this summer. And yes, those things can be part of Shabbat. And yet, I want more. I want the peace, the joy, and the thankfulness in G-d and for G-d. I want the stillness, the thoughtfulness, the community, and the prayer. I want Shabbat. Having known it fully once, I miss Shabbat.

As I take the time to wrote this post-sundown and post-Shabbat, I send to G-d my thankfulness for being alive, my appreciation for all G-d’s blessings, and my hope that I will fully experience and celebrate Shabbat in my life again soon.


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The Universe is my Classroom: Every encounter is an opportunity to both teach and learn

Running with science

The science of healthy living

Clementine Morrigan

Writer, Poet, Rebel Scholar, Working Witch

Chanyado. Shade. Respite from the sun. A place under the tree to rest my head, and wiggle my toes out in the sun.

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