Friday, July 08, 2005

Question & Answer With Rabbi Ozer Bergman - Shabbos

A Simple Jew asks:

If a person wants to become Shomer Shabbos, what are five easy things that a person could start to do to accomplish this goal?

Rabbi Ozer Bergman answers:

1. Start looking forward to Shabbos from early in the week, even Sunday. Look forward to it as you would to having a date with someone you are really interested in being with -- you just can't wait, it's going to be terrific, nothing's going to ruin it, all the preparations (preparing your wardrobe, getting bathed and dressed, making the reservations, etc.) are all part of the excitement.

2. Splurge on a food/drink that you normally wouldn't treat yourself to during the week; a fancy chocolate, better quality beverage of choice (for kiddush or l'chaim, for example).

3. TAKE SMALL STEPS. If it's initially too difficult to totally stop "work," then DO LESS. For example: Friday night: no TV, no movies/DVDs. Maybe in the morning no car/bike until a certain (late) hour of the day. Smokers can try to not smoke.

Remember: The goal is progress. Don't be afraid. Millions and millions of Jews have kept Shabbos. It's a matter of getting used to it. Don't do more than you can; don't fool yourself into thinking you can't do more.

4. (This is sort of related to #1.) Read/learn about the laws of Shabbos. It's crucial to strengthening your commitment to its observance, and to building your appreciation for its genius and beauty. I've wrote a short piece with some suggestions earlier this year. It's at my web site:

5. Relax. Take the weight off your shoulders and put it all on G-d.


At July 8, 2005 at 3:19:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great advise!

I dare say that the ideas expressed here by Rabbi Bergman are not merely applicable to one who is looking to begin Shabbos observance - rather, this is great advice for those who are already "Shomer-Shabbat."

How often it happens that we're so busy throughout the week, and when Shabbos comes we just end up "keeping Shabbos" without really experiencing it. This is something that often bothers me, but is usually forgotten by Monday... Thanks for the advise!


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