Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thank Gd for Shabbos. And Pizza Day.

[This week's Haveil Havalim, and an important call for Tehillim, are here.]

[Background: Wednesdays are Pizza Day in my children’s school.]

I worry about my kids developing the same negative attitude many of us have regarding Shabbos – the feeling that it’s a day of restrictions, of “can’t-do-that,” of lots of time in shul or at the table instead of playing ball and computer games. I don’t want them to go through the day just waiting for it to end.

So over Shabbos I had a few minutes to hold my youngest (a kindergartener) on my lap, and I decided to talk to him about Shabbos. I told him I’m very grateful that HaShem created this day. I explained that it’s wonderful to have time to be with my children, as opposed to the rest of the week when my time with them is confined to evenings. I told him that without Shabbos I would likely never stop working, and I would be exhausted, and so on. So it’s great that HaShem created Shabbos.

After which he turned to me and asked, “Who created Pizza Day?”

Shows where his priorities are…


  1. I have to admit I do not understand the negative attitude towards Shabbos. And I don't think it's just because I'm an FFB.

    I look at my colleagues who can't ever turn off the cellphone, can't sit through dinner without checking email, must answer every text, and I see slaves. To me, that's the definition of slavery, a person whose time is not their own.

    On Shabbos, my time is mine. I can read for pleasure, sleep in the daytime, sit in the park and do nothing. Maybe I'm not intellectual, but I know freedom when I feel it.

    (Tell your kid to thank the Parents Association for Pizza Day. And also for the party on Yom Ha'atzmaut, and the Purim Carnival. He can learn about Gd's role in those later)

  2. On a minimal level at least after TGIF comes TGISh=no school today! But seriously maybe because I am NOT FFB my first real Shabbat experience (at age 11 at camp Ramah was very positive, almost magical. The whole thing with the tefilla and the seudah and the singing showed me that there was something more to Judaism than the sterile Conservative synagogue services. Of course the Consevatives play down the mitzvot lo-ta'aseh, thats something I had to deal with later. For my children shabbat is part of our way of life that is full of do's and don'ts. Fortunately we were able to give them an education that explained to them where all the rules come from. Without emunah and Torah the mitzvot will ultimately become a burden.

  3. Anonymous 10:36 AM-
    I don't think it's about being FFB; on the contrary, I know many "FFBs" who feel that Shabbos itself is a form of slavery.
    It's more about perspective - what they see, and what they emphasize for themselves.
    Re: Parents Association - Agreed.

    Absolutely agreed.

  4. A friend of mine to his nine-year old:

    "Michal, so what's your favorite part of Shabbat? Is it the ruach? The tefilah? The mishpacha?"

    "Hm ... I think it's the meat."

    "What?! None of those other things?"

    "No, those are good too. (Pause). But I really like the meat."

  5. "Basar v'Dagim v'chol matamim.."

    I'm a big fan of giving kids (and adults) treats on Shabbat, whether it means Froot Loops for breakfast or pastrami or pickles or special Shabbat toys...but something you don't get during the week

    Perhaps it is our culture of affluence which leaves some people with nothing to look forward to on Shabbat?