Saturday, February 28, 2004

Shabbat shalom, y'all! It's almost sunset in Los Angeles, at which point it will be time for me to say Havdalah and get back to work. It's the time in the term when papers come due, and there is no shortage of things to do.

I've managed to keep Shabbat a "homework free zone" for the past two years, with only two exceptions. I used to think that real Shabbat observance was a very nice idea, but not practical in "real life" -- now it is a part of my real life that I would be loathe to give up. No, I'm not traditionally shomer Shabbat [observant] but I strive to make it a day different from other days: I don't do homework, I let go of worry, I don't nag myself or anyone else, I try to spend more of the day being than doing. On the positive side, it's a day to touch base with friends and family (I talk by phone to the boys, write to friends, connect with people here), and a day to enjoy things I don't often have time for during the week. I go to services, I eat with friends, and some weeks I stay in and sleep.

Now, my weekends at my pulpit obviously are not like that, nor will Shabbat be able to be like that when I am (God willing) a working rabbi. At the moment, though, it is an important part of the week, and makes it possible to work like crazy the rest of the week.

I made a discovery lately about which I am very excited. The Arthritis Foundation offers a variety of support and assistance for people like myself! I had assumed that it was just a fundraising outfit, raising money for arthritis research. But when I contacted them at my doctor's urging I found out that they could help me find exercise programs, support groups, and information about living with arthritis. Like it or not, this disease is beginning to shape my life, and I want to have as much to say about the details of that as I can. So far, I have found it to be both a great nuisance and a great teacher. I think it is up to me to choose which face of it I attend to the most closely.

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