web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Spiritual DNA And The Observance Of Shabbos

Lessons-logo

At a minimum, a suspension against me was brewing.

As I did every week, I asked Rabbi and Rebbetzin Furst if I could spend Shabbos with them. Rebbetzin Furst, sounding a bit hesitant in her affirmative reply, said, “Alan, we always enjoy having you. I just don’t like the reason that you’re coming to us.” She added that my employers were obligated to accommodate my religious needs, and by putting me up for Shabbos, they were enabling my employers to get away with something that was blatantly wrong.

Immediately realizing her wise point, I told her that instead of going to her and her husband’s house for Shabbos I was going to leave work at 3 p.m. on Friday and head home.

After my cousin informed me that Agudath Israel helps people with the type of work problem I was facing, I contacted the organization to seek its help. I would await a reply.

That Friday, when I told my supervisor that I would be leaving at 3 p.m. that day, he looked at me in disbelief. Nobody ever told him what time they were leaving if it upset the facility’s schedule. I had never done anything like this before (or since), but feeling that I was being treated so unfairly, I was willing to do the right thing – and, if need be, willing to face the consequences as a result.

That afternoon, we had a special event scheduled to start at 1:30. Each staff member had a specific responsibility. Knowing that I was planning to leave early for Shabbos, I was purposely assigned clean-up duty – a task that would not be completed until 4 p.m. at the earliest. I asked my supervisor for an earlier assignment. He angrily refused my request.

At a staff meeting later that morning, meant to discuss our upcoming event assignments, I began to report to my co-workers that I’d be leaving at 3 p.m. and thus unable to carry out my assignment. My supervisor interrupted me, saying that I couldn’t do such a thing.

With peace of mind, I calmly left work at 3 p.m. In the cold outdoor breeze, I felt warm – for I knew that my cause was just. That Shabbos was truly peaceful.

As the negative cost of my actions loomed, someone from Agudath Israel returned my call. The person sent me a copy of the New York State law pertaining to the requirement for reasonable accommodations to be made for one’s religious practices, and the legal action that could be taken against those who violated the law. I showed my copy to my department head and she sent it to the facility’s vice president. He informed my department head of my new schedule: 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday-Friday. No suspension or any other professional punishment would be levied against me. Arriving home on time for Shabbos would no longer be a problem for me.

With Hashem’s help, I had single-handedly fought an entrenched bureaucracy – and I had won. It was the Pirkei Avos shiur that I heard – a few decades after the experience I’ve described – that helped me see that the trials faced by our patriarchs and matriarchs give us the spiritual DNA to withstand great tests. But we must always make the best effort possible to pass the tests.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Spiritual DNA And The Observance Of Shabbos”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The beheading of British aid worker David Haines, Sept. 14, 2014. The terrorist standing beside him threatened that his fellow British aid volunteer, Alan Henning, would be next if UK Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't relinquish his support for the fight against ISIS.
British Muslims Plead for ISIS to Free Captive Alan Henning
Latest Judaism Stories
nitzavim

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah and the Whale (2012) 23 x 23, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe.

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

More Articles from Alan Magill
Lessons-Emunah-logo

The simple act of kindness should be the reward itself. Anything more in the form of a reward is gravy.

Lessons-logo

Patience seems to be in such short supply these days, yet it can make a world of difference. This is particularly so in certain kinds of stressful situations whereby we think we only have time to act in a knee-jerk way instead of acting thoughtfully.

I recently heard a Pirkei Avos shiur in which the speaker said that our spiritual DNA derives from our patriarchs and matriarchs. The great tests they withstood and for which they gained ever greater prominence was witnessed by the Jews who followed them, many of whom succeeded in overcoming great challenges as well. It seems that an individual’s great effort helps the spiritual strength kick in.

The first and only time I said I was a rabbi was also the first and only time I had a gun pointed at me. What led me to that moment was my need to stay on the Upper West Side for a Shabbos and a hospitality committee that arranged for me to stay with a man who lived in the former janitor’s apartment on the fifth floor of a synagogue.

It is very important for Jews to first help family, then other Jews close to us, then Jews not as close. Next, if possible and appropriate, Jews should help those of any race or creed.

The five-year-old boy was in a church in Puerto Rico with his parents. As they and his grandparents were Catholics, that made him Catholic – as far as his young mind could figure.

I was preparing a shiur to honor the memory of my father, Paul Magill, a”h, on the 20th anniversary of his passing, and I was looking at that week’s sedrah, Parshas Re’eh. I was struck by the words, “See, I present before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing: that you hearken to the commandments of Hashem, your God, that I command you today. And the curse: if you do not hearken to the commandments of Hashem, your God, and you stray from the path that I command you today, to follow gods of others, that you did not know.”

Feeling more alone than at any time since arriving in New York, I looked inside myself for anything that could anchor me to bring me back to who I was, to move away from illusions of romance to my central sticking point. Suddenly and unexpectedly, being a Jew meant more to me than anything else in the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/spiritual-dna-and-the-observance-of-shabbos/2013/08/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: