Keep the Sabbath

Samain and the Choice Moon

Sunday gratefuls: A full sabbath observance. Finishing another novel. Reading this week’s parsha. Starting Zornberg. Breakfast with Ginny and Janice. The service on Friday night. Joan and Rich. Did not do a havdalah service, but went through that time with my observance. Still much to learn about the sabbath. On a ritual and on a how do I make it work for me basis. Holimonth in full. Lights on many trees and houses along Black Mountain Drive/Brook Forest.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Christmas Lights

One brief shining: Looked up at the blackboard at Aspen Perks and saw breakfast quesadilla, ordered it, it delighted me when it came since it had crispy bacon bits in addition to the sausage and cheese, an oh my cardiologist would not approve breakfast though to be fair Dr. Rubenstein did say keep doing what you’re doing, so.


You might think observing the sabbath is only related to my joining the tribe, but that’s not true. Like the South American siesta which I also observed up until recently, at least the nap part, I always thought a day of rest, a day to enter sacred time, was a great way to push back against consumerist/careerist American culture. Just never quite got over the hump of a regular ritual, maybe I had too little information, maybe I was stuck in our gotta work, gotta get something done milieu.

That mikvah water though. Getting serious about Judaism. The push I needed. I plan to be like Tom’s former corporate lawyer, available 24/6. Well, maybe 12/6. Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’m not on anybody’s clock anymore. Always admired Sandy Koufax who refused to pitch in a World Series game that fell on Yom Kippur. Not so much about rule following as about serious intent to me.

Joan said on Friday that the sabbath is addictive. I know what she means. I looked forward to it this week. Starting Friday night when Veronica lit the sabbath candles. Continuing into Saturday until 5:28 pm. Had breakfast with Ginny and Janice, deciding that time with friends will be part of my sabbath. Still figuring out what will constitute the sabbath for me. Study. Reading fiction. Nice meals. Friends. Painting. Writing poetry. It will take its own shape over time.


Had an odd realization when I read this week’s Torah portion. Included Joseph’s coat of many colors, his enslavement through the action of his own brothers, jail time, dream interpretation.

When I chose the name Israel, I hadn’t thought about Jacob as Joseph’s father. I chose the name Joseph based on this story, a foreigner who went to a distant land and did well. When I picked my Hebrew name, I chose the name of Joseph’s father.

Might reflect the miracle of the mikvah that Rabbi Jamie told me about. Once going through the immersions, you have always been a Jew. This was always coming, this choice. I was a Jew at birth in Duncan, Oklahoma. As I grew and had various moments when Jewish life intersected my own. More on this at a later time.