Friday, February 06, 2015

Day of Restoning

The purpose of this blog is to turn Friday night dinner into Shabbat. Please print and share.

Hand_4Several readers replied to my fantasy last week about creating a news service dedicated to good news, the Good News Network or GNN.

One wrote that it would be rather boring.

Another pointed out, "It's already there —"!

(Which if you think about it gives us an opportunity to put the first reader's point to the test.)

What do you think? Does it work? Are you going to bookmark it?

Or is it boring?

Here's a story that's neither bad news nor boring. 

I heard last night from someone who heard it from the doctor himself.

This Jewish doctor was preparing to perform a certain surgery on a Gentile patient. The surgery was known to be painful and to help his patient prepare mentally, he wanted to give her something to distract her.

So for some reason this doctor, wearing a yarmulke, mentioned the Jewish idea of Shabbat - Sabbath - a time to rejuvenate and heal.

"Oh, I know about Shabbat," she said. "I kept Shabbat for four years."

Needless to say, the doctor was slightly nonplussed.

She continued, "I come from New York. There I worked in a travel agency where most of the other employees were Jewish. As my kids became teens, I started to have all kinds of conflicts with them, struggles and all that. Yet I noticed that my co-workers all seemed to have happy families. They were always going to celebrations, you know graduations and whatnot, and simchas. So I finally had to ask one of them what it is that Jewish people did to keep their kids close to them. She explained to me about Shabbat, that you all eat together, you talk about the week, what the kids learned in school, sing songs and all that. So I decided that we were going to keep Shabbat."

And so she did.

For four years.

"What about the gefilte fish? Did you make gefilte fish?"

(For some Jews, Shabbat isn't Shabbos without gefilte fish.)

"Everything was 0-U, all the way."

All of her kids went to 
college, and graduated.

After the youngest one was out of the house, she stopped keeping Shabbat.

But then one day she got a phone call from her daughter, who was struggling with her own teenager.

"Mom, what's that thing we used to do, that 'Shabbat'?"

The Midrash calls Shabbat a "precious gift from God's secret vault".

I wonder how many of us appreciate it.

The question this week for your table: What's the difference between "Friday night" and "Shabbat"?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - We have added new Purim and Pesach ideas to

PPS - Please help my "letter to the French People" (here in English) go viral. Send the link(s) to everyone you know who knows someone French, or in France, or who took French in high school, or who at least can say "Oui, oui."

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