by Barbara Waxman (Cherry Hill, NJ)
“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” This is one of the Ten Commandments, but how many of us “remember”?
I woke up on a recent Saturday morning around 3 a.m. feeling like a child as I looked out the window. At first all I could see was white. The snowstorm had arrived, and so, too, had the Sabbath.
In preparation for the storm, we had gone to the food market on Thursday evening. The lines had been long, the shelves had emptied rapidly. People had been patient. But there was an air of excitement. A snowstorm had been predicted! So many times in the past the predictions had turned out to be nothing more than exaggerations. This time was supposed to be the “big one.”
On Friday, we made two more trips to the store. We had to prepare. On my last visit, I only had to get lettuce so I didn’t take a basket. The celery looked good, and a mild onion would enhance the salad. The pre-cut cabbage would make a wonderful slaw. A few other unexpected items and my arms were full. I stood in the express line. The woman in front of me offered to share her basket. We formed a bond talking about the preparations for the storm.
At home, I cooked and cooked. I had food for dinner and beyond. I was tired but satisfied.
As the sun set, I lit my Shabbat candles. We said blessings, offering gratitude for our safe haven in the storm. After dinner, the snow came down lightly. We went to sleep.
In the morning we could enjoy the gift of the Sabbath: the snowstorm. We stayed home and cherished the day. For the first time in a while, we weren’t pulled to rush around doing “things.” We could just “be.”
Sometimes we need to be reminded. Sometimes we need to remember that the liberation of the Sabbath is a gift to be enjoyed.
Born in Philadelphia and now living in Cherry Hill, NJ, Barbara Waxman is a wife, mother, grandmother, and business person. She has always been a student and teacher in the school of life.