Last summer, my stepkids spent a Shabbat with my parents and got to experience, first-hand, the Orthodox way of observing Shabbat. They enjoyed the weekend very much, especially my mother's cooking (chicken soup, chicken, kugel, etc.). They hung around my parents' Jerusalem apartment, and successfully refrained from turning on lights or tearing toilet paper. Everyone was happy.
The only problem is that ever since then, every Shabbat the kids have loads of questions. No matter how many times I tell them I am no authority on anything -- "Ask the Rabbi!" -- they keep asking me. As if from the vaults of my childhood memory I will unearth not only what I did but why I did it.
Some of their questions from today:
Son: "If I was Orthodox, could I wear my hearing aids on Shabbat or would that be carrying?"
Mirty: "Yes, you can wear hearing aids or glasses or anything else you need for your health like that. I think it's considered part of your body; so it's not carrying."
Daughter: "You can wear glasses?"
Daughter: "So can you carry stuff you really need, like a pencil in your pocket?"
Me: "No. You can only carry if there's an eruv or if you're in a walled city, like Jerusalem."
Husband: "Ah. The Old City in Jerusalem."
Daugher: "Can you just carry your wallet?"
Me: "Pencils and money are both muktzah. You can't touch them on Shabbat."
Daughter: "Can you --"
Me "Do you know what muktzah means?"
Me: "It's what you can't touch on Shabbat, like money or pencils."
Daughter: "What if.... What if the dog carries your wallet into the room and drops it in the middle of the room. Can you pick it up and put it away?"
For some reason, daughter and son found this amusing.