Tag Archive | shabbat

On Slowing Down

I just checked, and I didn’t take a single photo on any of the Sabbaths I spent in Jerusalem, which is not entirely surprising, but an impressive fact. I did, however, do a good deal of reading on Saturdays, finishing the entirety of Middlesex and part of Let the Great World Spin. These novels were a wonderful escape from the often-depressing political articles I read every other day of the week. I also recall reading a publication by Breaking the Silence which was excellent, but not relaxing, and it occurs to me that I perhaps should have considered it a form of work.

After 4 years at a rigorous college where I was a double major, this whole not-working thing was sort of a delicious challenge, and it grew to be something I took refuge in. My friend Mori, who I was living with, is the most active activist I have ever met and works his butt off for 6 days a week. But many times, I heard him turn down an invitation for a Saturday protest or action, his philosophy being that the day of rest enabled his other work. By this time last year, I had developed a deep respect for this philosophy, and understood its necessity.

I sometimes feel uncomfortable or insecure when I don’t have a clear objective at a given moment. I guess you could call this a good habit, but I think it sometimes gets in the way of what could be valuable reflection or wandering. Trying out Shabbat was a nice step to slowing down, if only a little, if only for a day.

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Rewrite

No pictures today, it was a Saturday in 2012 and I was being an observant Gentile again. Shabbat had started to become something I greatly looked forward to and a much-needed time to recharge.

I didn’t keep a traditional journal during Walking Walls. I rely on my photos for a window to the past, leaving me blind to days where I didn’t commit any pixels to memory card.

For the most part, these gaps in the record bother me, but I think in the context of Shabbos it’s kind of nice. I can’t recall any scary or uncomfortable moments in my day, and I can surmise that my pursuits were restful, so I rewrite/remember January 28th, 2012 as a good day where not much happened, which is a very good thing, every once in a while.

Rest

I do not have any pictures from January 21st, 2012 because I was celebrating Shabbat by sleeping, reading, eating, and for the most part, being shockingly observant for a Gentile. My hosts and I had prepared (on Friday!) lunch for a few friends; I believe we ate pasta with broccoli, cheese, and cherry tomatoes, amongst a variety of other dishes. I was astonished by how quiet it was outside. There were only a few cars on the road, no public transit, and people strolled slowly in small groups. It was good to see the world slow down.

East Jerusalem

This morning I went on a great tour of East Jerusalem with the Israeli NGO Ir Amim. I wanted to share a few quick edits yet today. We’re getting ready for Shabbat here, and although I’m not Jewish, the friends I’m staying with are, and I’m excited to do Shabbat with them. So no posting this evening or tomorrow.