Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Shomer Shabbos- Not Yet

I don't know about you but one of the things that I find challenging about life is the pace. There are times in which I feel a little bit like the woman on that treadmill and I tend to think of that as being an unhealthy way to live. Sometimes you need to take a moment to stop and smell the roses.

That is one of the things I find attractive about Shabbos. I like the idea of taking a moment to stop and look around. I like to spend some time thinking about what is going on in my life, in the world and to just be.

However, one of the challenges for me is that there are some activities that I find to be exceptionally relaxing that are verboten on Shabbos.

I can give up shopping. It is not like I do a lot of it. I can get away with not driving and I can give up any number of other items. But in truth I find it very difficult to think about not being able to listen to music.

There are so many moments in which I relax by turning on my stereo and listening to something soft and mellow. It could be Miles Davis, Ray Charles or Beethoven. And the thought of not being able to do this bothers me.

You can call me a computer addict as well. I enjoy my time online and spend quite a bit of it reading and engaging in learning. So it is not like I am engaged in frivolous activities, yet these are things that I am not supposed to be doing.

Some of my FFB and BT friends say that they think that I am just short of finding the derech and that when I do these will not be issues, but I have got to tell you, I don't really believe them.

But maybe they are right, life is a journey and I am enjoying it. I wonder where it will lead.


Critically Observant Jew said...

If you think that the only thing precluding you from being Shomer Shabbat is listening to music, then put it on timer - and listen to it without actually being mehalel shabbat. Yes people would say that it's not in the spirit of Shabbat but at least you're not transgressing a law.

Anshel's Wife said...

You'll be shomer Shabbos when you are ready. If you do it before you are ready, you might become resentful and this might lead to giving up other things.

It's a hard decision to make. After not keeping Shabbos for 35 years, I have come to really love the peace and quiet. It just feels so natural. YEs, the kids are yelling and it's so quiet you can hear the chainik boiling.

I understand where you are, though. I can see how you don't want to give up your music. Now I find how much I really appreciate things like my little boom box in the kitchen.

torontopearl said...

Personally I'm not fond of being on the receiving end nor the giving end of "kiruv" work, but I'll say this: there are many people who take on too much, too soon in changing their level of observance -- it's as if they're ramming down their throat as much as they can in the category of doing mitzvot, following halachot. Personally I think this is the wrong approach-- it takes a lifetime, or at least many many years to understand, do, and understand some more.
I think baby steps have much more meaning and impact. "Today I will try to..." or "Today I will try NOT TO..." If you choose to become more observant, you just put one foot directly in front of the other and push off...with a road map in hand. Visit many rest stops along the way, check out the scenery and sooner or later you'll no doubt reach your destination.
Good luck with whatever road map you follow, Jack. (Ohh...can't help but hear the voice of Mr. Ray Charles singing, "Hit the road, Jack...and don't you come back, no more, no more, no more, no more...")

Jack Steiner said...

It is a process.