Thursday, May 28, 2009

More on Shabbos and modern Rabbis

How do you keep shabbos? When I asked this question yesterday, my personal LexLuthor accused me of being exclusive. Shouldn't you first establish that shabbos is, in fact, being kept, he asked. Seemingly his point was that not every Jew keeps shabbos, and an inclusive blogger would not presume otherwise.

Perhaps, but forgive me. I don't define "shabbos keeping" in the way Bray does. According to my way of thinking nearly every Jew in the world "keeps" shabbos in some way or another, and this presents yet another critism of what the Baltimore Rabbis said at the rally to protest their Jewish Center's plan to remain open on Shabbos.

I hold that you are "keeping shabbos" if you light candles, or go to a service, or have a family meal, or "recharge your spiritual batteries" in some way, and most every Jew in the world does something like this. Unfortunately, this isn't how the torah or traditional sources define Shabos "keeping." Officially shabbos is only "kept" when you refrain from melacha in testimony of the fact that God created the world/took us out of Egypt.

Ironically, the Baltimore Jewish Center COULD REMAIN OPEN and still "keep" shabbos in the authentic and Torah True way and also in the modern way of "keeping" espoused by the protesting rabbis!

They spoke of "heritage" and "unity" and "identity. Surely, keeping the Jewish Center open on Shabbos will contribute to these things. If the whole point of Shabbos is heritage, unity, and identity, isn't that goal being met if the Center stays open? And if the Center stays open with no melacha done (certainly possible: Our shuls and catering halls stay open with no melacha problems) isn't that a win/win for Jews both modern and traditional?

Search for more information about the Holy Shabbos at

No comments: