These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Waking Up

Posted on March 13, 2011 by Shibley

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It is well documented that on Friday afternoons in Jerusalem, and other cities throughout Israel, the country begins to slow down, and in some cases shut down for Shabbat. Walking through the open air markets on a dark Shabbat evening is quite strange. Hours earlier vendors were hawking their wares, bellowing at the top of their lungs. But then, quiet.

Shabbat passes and another week begins.

The cities must now begin to awaken. Slowly the buses return to the streets. The taxis, which make themselves scarce on Shabbat are now readily available. Schwarma stands hang fresh spits of meat and lay out the salatim for the evening’s customers. Yeshiva students, both men and women, scurry into or out of town, back to their places of learning, where they will be expected on Sunday morning. Restaurant hostesses are on the sidewalks, beckoning customers. Soon the streets are filled with cars and people out for a night of entertainment. However, some vestiges remain. Not all businesses open, not all restaurant kitchens hum with activity. Even the supermarkets are barely staffed. What’s the point? Even in a modern, largely secular society, Shabbat leaves it’s mark on the days preceding and the days following. So too, Shabbat should be upon us.