Friday, November 5, 2010

shabbat prep

Every Friday morning I arise early, or at least on time, to begin shabbat preparation that usually starts   Wednesday by defrosting the meat I plan to cook, defrosting two minichallot on Thursday and preparing the dinner Friday morning.  Chicken breasts work well since they cook easily but beef cubes can be put in a crock pot with vegetables and are ready by sundown.  I usually make a starch, occasionally a vegetable, almost never a dessert.

Gas gets put in the car on Thursday night or Friday morning if there is less than half a tank.  I stop at the cash machine if I have less than $50, though I rarely spend money on shabbos, other than my weekly cup of coffee to help support Sweeney's Bakery around the corner.  When I get to the office, I put half my coins of each value into the pushka on the window sill. 

This year I find myself less observant than last year, something that has cycled over decades.  Sometimes the lapse involves circumstances or choices largely imposed upon me like call schedules or moving to St. Louis to attend medical school.  Sometimes, including now, the reversal makes a statement of my disdain for people promoting their own observance agendas.

I attend synagogue less than I used to on shabbos morning, more on Friday night.  On shabbos afternoon, when I used to rest or read, if not on call, I now schedule an appointment with myself to go out.  I've been to a few arboreta, a nature preserve, some state parks, the beach, and maybe this weekend a college football game.  I think these are the down times from the work week, just as much as steering clear of the cell phone and computer and stores, which I still do.

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