Sunday, November 16, 2014

Shabbat Shalom, Hey!

The more Raphaela becomes aware of her surroundings, the more sure I must be of the rules and guidelines and consistent messages that are in place in our home.  On Friday night Raphaela informed me that her teacher told her that it is forbidden to watch television on Shabbat.  It's nice to detach from the world of bad news and technology for 24 hours.

On Shabbat day, Raphaela and I packed a picnic lunch and some sports equipment, to meet up with friends in the park near our house, a large playground and grassy area usually full of religious families and Arabs on this, our only day of supposed rest during the week for the citizens of Israel.

As we started walking down the hill, a lone car drove by.

Raphaela:  Mommy, my teacher told us that you are not allowed to drive on Shabbat.
Mommy:  That's true honey, and though our car rests on Shabbat, some people drive.  Everyone makes their own choices.
Raphaela:  Some people use elevators on Shabbat and some don't.
Mommy:  That's right, and like I said, it is up to each one of us to decide what we do, and to accept the consequences of that choice.
Raphaela:  Aha!  Like the fact that you are wearing running shoes to the park and I am wearing Shabbat shoes.
Mommy:  That's right (trying to suppress my smile), and we are both dressed just fine.
Raphaela:  We are both OK.

When we arrived at the park, we were pleasantly surprised to find that a political group wishing to encourage a Shabbat-for-All environment had set up a concert area, along with various art projects, clowns, and mats on the grass.  In fact, to show that Jerusalem can become as open and tolerant a city as any other, Israelis came from all over the city to our little park, and we grown-ups sat for several hours while the children played together.

Ironically, because the park was so over-run by people attending the festival, the regular crowd of religious and Ultra-Orthodox Jews, and Arabs doing BBQ fled the scene.  Score Zero for openness and the inter-mingling on a lovely sunny Shabbat day.

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