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Friday, June 13, 2008

An Endless Shabbat

(Note: This post was written before the progress reports.)

My mother placed a roll of toilet paper next to my computer. She does this when Shabbat is coming up. But it was Sunday! That's when I remembered about Shavuot.
"Wait- when's Yontif?"*
(The Yiddish word for a holiday effectively identical to Shabbat.)


"Tonight?! But I just made it through!"

"One day is better than two!"*
(Any Jew not living in Israel has two-day holidays. My mother takes every opportunity to point out how much better it is to move to Israel and keep only one day.)

"Sure! It's also better than three!"

"Ha ha"

"It's better than a year of Shabbat!"

"Wow, a year of Shabbat. We'd all be well-rested."

"We'd all be brain-dead. That, or we'll have committed suicide."

But would I?

What if tonight, a year of Shabbat began? No games, no music, no blog, no TV shows, no digital comics, no buying things, no forums, no programming, no job, no microwave. A clean slate, with nothing to put on it.

For the first month or two, I'd be terribly depressed. Obviously. Maybe suicidal, yes. A person whose every opportunity has been snatched away permanently is not a pretty sight. To be sure, the first month or two would be the worst time of my life.

But then I'd adapt. I'd have to. I imagine I'd spend most of all my days with Moshe. I could play all sorts of games with him. I've got books full of card games I've never played. And chess probably wouldn't get old, if we both had so much practice.

What on Earth would we talk about?!

I guess.. he'll read more history books, and I'll read science-fiction books. There are so many people on our street with so many books. I don't like reading. But if that's what's there, I could learn to like reading.

So, sure. We'd have what to talk about. Maybe we'd invent a fictional world to change things in, just in case that weren't enough.

And then I could travel around and meet other people. If they're all stuck in the same situation, then they're all wandering around to meet people too. Now, you have to understand: When there's nothing to look forward to, the pace of life changes. Getting one opportunity to talk in twenty minutes is almost enough in that situation. So I'd be more sociable with people I'm not compatible with. And if each person is a whole world, then I could get really interested in all this.

Then I'd go find my old friends. First Yosef, then start going back really far. Kids I hung out with in grade school. And they'd have all sorts of stories and gossip to share since Shabbat began, because they would have had time to adjust too.

Gossip would be a popular pastime, even by me. When the world isn't without borders anymore, and all you see is a bunch of people in front of you, those people become so much more important. I go onto specialized forums and I see a potential opportunity in every person there. Take that away, and I start caring about the people who are physically here.

I'd care about the cats on the street again, too.

I'd wander around a lot. I'd explore every nook and cranny of Beit Shemesh, boring town that it is, because what else could I explore?! I need to explore something.

Then I'd start building routines.

Maybe I'd start my day with a book, then lunch, then back to my book, then to Moshe, then to Yosef, then wander around a little looking for other people, then home for supper, then to Avri for strategy games, then home for sleep.

It could be fun.

And when that year was up, then what? Would I want to go back to what I was doing before? Would I be depressed when everyone I spent time with goes back to their routines, and I'd feel like I had nothing to do again? Would I wish for more Shabbat?

Interesting thoughts, to be sure. But that's not my world. That's not me. Shabbat sucks.



I'm more concerned with how we would go about attaining and preparing food.

Yeah, I wondered about that too. Then I decided it was totally irrelevant for the purposes of this post.


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