Shabbat Recap, and Some Language Geekery

I didn’t make it to shul today because when my preset, don’t-have-to-touch-it alarm went off, I took stock of how much pain I was in, and how much sleep I’d had, and the fact that I took two days off work this past week, and went, “Mmmmnope.”  A shame, really, as I do really want to get back in touch with the rabbi.

If you’re unfamiliar, see this Wikipedia article for a list of prohibited activities on Shabbat.  Chabad once again provides a more religious capsule summary of the definition of work in Jewish law, which applies to Shabbat.

Things I managed (Shabbat observances):

— I did not turn on any lights (I got my Shabbat timer working yaaay!)

— I did not use any hot water

— I did not do any housework

— I did not write anything

— I said my morning brachot and prayer Friday and Saturday

— I made candle-lighting on time

— I did not do any actual cooking (I want partial credit for this, at least in my own mind)

— I did not spend or handle any money

— I did not ride in a car or use public transit

— I did not carry anything outside the private domain

— I prepared my boy cat’s medication ahead of time, so I wouldn’t have to tear the packet

Things I did not manage (chillul Shabbat, breaking the Sabbath):

— I forgot to say brachot when I ate (again)

— I tore toilet paper, despite putting Kleenex in the bathroom (tearing)

— I used the phone (kindling, touching muktzeh)

— I had to reheat my lunch and dinner on the stove/microvave (kindling, cooking?), as I don’t yet have a plata or a blech

— I turned on the air conditioner and the fan, without thinking about it (kindling, touching muktzeh), oops

— I wasn’t thinking and I picked up the cigarette lighter I used for my candle and flicked it (kindling, touching muktzeh)

— I did not eat challah (I rarely eat bread, and I don’t bake)

— I wasn’t able to stay off the computer for the whole of Shabbat — I’m working on this (touching muktzeh, and I’m not sure if it counts as kindling because I never turn my computer off except for required reboots)

— I did not formally make havdalah (I don’t really know how to do this yet, and I don’t know where to get multi-wicked candles)

— I did not technically eat three meals during Shabbat, as with Shabbat coming in so late (~8:45PM) and skipping breakfast, my “Shabbat dinner” on Friday night consisted of some chocolate covered raisins (for which I did remember to say a bracha but I said the wrong one…grapes the fruit get the pri ha’etz [fruit of the tree] bracha, not the pri hagafen [fruit of the vine] bracha, which is inexplicably reserved for wine and grape juice). *sigh*

Since I’m still doing this bli neder, as I’m still not technically obligated (since I haven’t formally converted), I hope HaShem and my human audience will forgive me for my screwups, or, as we-they call them in Hebrew, fashlot. (See below.)  Sabbath observance is still a work in progress for me, and will be for quite some time yet, as I’m still not really conversant with the halakha, and because i’m still not really “out” to anyone, and because my current living arrangment doesn’t really permit me to do some things.  Moving house is in the cards, also so I can walk to shul, but it hasn’t happened yet.  That too is a work in progress.


(This article describes what a fashla is, and also introduces another of my favourite Hebrew words, baasa — which they spell “basa,” and another one I didn’t know, but which is totally useful, fadicha.  My friend SD translates “baasa” as “bummer.”  I’m not sure there is a single-word English equivalent for fadicha, but it roughly describes something that isn’t your fault, but nevertheless makes you wish the ground would open up and swallow you whole, like the time when I was little and on a road trip with my family, and I got carsick and puked on my favourite grandpa’s last clean shirt.  Even thirty-odd years later, and my grandpa having passed away six years ago, I’m still embarrassed.  Fadicha.)


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