Sunday, August 21, 2005

Shabbos atmosphere in America

In Israel we live in a religious neighborhood. On Shabbos there are no cars in the street. This past Shabbos we were in NYC. Walking home from Friday night dinner my little 6 year old told me it didn't feel like Shabbos. Why not, I asked? She answered, because look at all the cars, buses and trucks driving. I grew up in America so I hardly noticed, but my kids who grew up in Israel notice the difference. After thinking about it I realized that it was a tremendous thing. My kids know that on Shabbos everything stops, there are no cars, buses etc., they really experience Shabbos.

19 comments:

Ze'ev said...

Thanks for sharing just a little bit of what makes living in Israel so special - it's easy for one to lose sight of them during these challenging times.

daat y said...

That's agood memory for them to have for the future.

daat y said...

That's agood memory for them to have for the future.

Agala said...

There is no doubt that the Shabbos atmosphere in religious area is very special, unfortunately only small part of our nation can feel it. The ultra-orthodox should open their neighborhoods to the un-religious people, in this way the un-religious people will be able to feel and understand the other side of the society.

Anonymous said...

I would think that its not only Eretz Yisroel that has this phenonmenon.
Lakewood - where the Yeshiva is, the Chassidishe parts of boro park and williamsburg should have a similar thing. Also New Square, Kirya Joel, and Kiryas Viznitz, I would assume have the same thing.

bluke said...

Anonymous,

I have been in Boro Park for Shabbos and even in the most religious parts, there are goyim who live there, the buses run, the stores are open, etc. The same goes for Lakewood. You are probably right about New Square, Kiryas Joel, and Kiryas Viznitz, but no one reading this blog can live there.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected. And happily so I might add. IYH our community will be mechalel-shabbos-b'farhesia free as well. Just need to deal with Iriah and the Mayor. Im thinking within 5 years :) I hope

DarkBlueHat said...

A friend once told me that the one thing he liked more about America than Eretz Yisroel is that when you see someone driving a car on Shabbos in America it is easy to be Dan L'Kaf Z'chus that they are not Jewish.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, on any given Shabbos in the Gush you'll see hundreds of Arab Taxis, and its a strange thing to see a car that isn't Yellow or a Cement Mixer (both Arab). It almost seems like they're in charge.

bluke said...

Yes, but I don't live in the Gush. There are a lot of religious communities in israel where evrything shuts down and you see no cars etc.

Anonymous said...

bluke,
I wasn't disagreeing with you, in Efrat or Alon Shvut there's no traffic whatsoever. Its only when peering out my window at the highway that I see cars.

A Jew Who Once Learned said...

I don't want to be a pessimist, but at least 90% of the Jews in the world are Mechallelay Shabbos, and all Jews are such a small minority of the world's population.

I am afraid that Yiddishe Kinder brought up in insular communities so that they don't know the above from personal experience, may be unable to cope when they are confronted by the rest of society. It is easier to hide in our little corner than to deal with Jews unlike us and non-Jews.

My children have coped very well, having been brought up in an open society to proudly practice their Yiddishkeit. I hope my grandchildren, like your six-year old, will do as well. (Don't get me wrong,I think your head is screwed on right, Bluke.)

Anonymous said...

Does bashing America make you feel better? Do you deep down have doubts about remaining in eretz yisroel? If yes then I understand your need to create in your mind whatever condescension you can. If not I have no idea why you go on and on. I have spent years and years in both places. Both have maalos and chisronos. Haifa is no picknick on shabbos. And besides, what do you want a goy to do? Its ossur for him to be shomer shabbos.

I have heard these silly escapades so many times before. If are looking to find something to critisise you will find it. If you are looking for something to praise you will find it.

I wonder what all those wonderful charedim will do for their honest parnosoh in Eretz yisroel since they cant get regular jobs since they dont go into the army..... I suppose the fact that there are more options for an honest parnosoh in chut la'arets is irrelevent......?

Anonymous said...

Bluke isnt too much of an israeli chareidi, as I assume he will assert himself.

Obviously, there are maalos and chesronos in both places, as with everything, but Bluke has a right on *his* blog to write what he wants and formulate his thoughts

A Jew Who Once Learned said...

Anonymous should stick to the issues and avoid ad hominem attacks. They have no place in a blog such as this one. If you don't respect The Jewish Worker, don't read his blog. Answer his facts and ideas with those of your own--don't attack his motives. Anonymous, I happen to be acquainted with Bluke, and judging from your rants I believe you aren't fit to shine his shoes.

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Anonymous said...

Ouch ouch ouch.... I guess someone is getting antsy.......
I didnt realise that I didnt respect this blog. Mind you.... I guess some jew who once learned did. my my my. Ad hominim attack - I dont think so....

More seriously......the motives thing is important. In fact so much of what human being say is governed by primal motives. If you belong to group x you will go on and on about how wonderful group x is. You will extol its virtues. And you will look down and denigrate group y. Someone from group Z can bring all the arguments in the world. Nothing changes until poeple in group x realise that they are looking through some very distorted lens.

I used to ask people about the polarization in E'Y. How it was that in E'Y one was either mizrachi or charedi. Got no good answers. Both have problems. No-one in the mizrachi world is willing to admit that serving in the army really is bad for ones ruchneous. Ask anyone who has served about the maasim with peritsos that goes on - if they are willing to honest that is. I dont think I need get into details. No one in the charedi world will address practical issues of education and work and corruption.

I used to really be bothered by this all. I spent years and years talking to so many different people - rabbonim askanim, you name it. But it was hevel havolim. No-one was interested in the difficulties of their arguments. It was all trench warfare. And then I started to learn about group dynamics and how people idenitify in groups. And it hit me. This is all about belonging. We want to belong. Thats what gaza is about. Its not E'Y - its chuts laarets. But that doesnt matter. Its about group identity and group territory. The charedim have similar issues with their dress code.

However I refuse to believe all is lost. Occasionaly people become susceptible to logic. And the logic of how wonderful or aweful Chuts la'arets or erets yirroel is, is mostly nowadays an affair of belonging. An affair that blinds the many and provides justification for the seemingly crazy.

[A (fallacious) ad hominem argument has the basic form:

1. A makes claim B;
2. there is something objectionable about A,
3. therefore claim B is false.]

As opposed to why A makes their claim - that is a different point altogether.

A Jew Who Once Learned said...

Anonymous:
It doesn't matter why A makes a claim; in a debate what matters is the validity of the claim. The biggest oisvorf can be right sometimes.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Which "Gush" was being referred to? I know of the following offhand:

Gush Katif
Gush Talmonim
Gush Shilo
Gush Etzion
Gush Dan
Gush Segev.
Gush Ta'anachim