web analytics
November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



A Shabbos In Locust Grove


Lebovic-052314

If you were one of my would-be hosts, then I want you know to know that I’m very sorry.

It was a beautiful Friday in January 2008 and we were heading up I-75. We were driving from Orlando, and were planning to spend Shabbos in Atlanta. On Friday morning we set out for the six-and-a-half-hour drive and it seemed we had enough time. We hadn’t counted on significant construction for a large part of the trip.

As the day waned, we discussed the possibility of not making it to Atlanta on time. We called our hosts to let them know what was going on. I wanted to stop early enough so that we’d have enough time to get ourselves set up for Shabbos in a hotel somewhere. My husband agreed in theory, but in the way of men, he continued to push on. And then the traffic got bad.

When it was 40 minutes to shekiah, I saw a Red Roof Inn right off the approaching exit from the highway.

“Let’s go,” I said. We were in Locust Grove, Georgia. We were close to Atlanta, only half an hour away, but not close enough. After a nerve-wracking traffic jammed exit, we finally got off the highway. My husband went in to book a room (Baruch Hashem they had availability!), unloaded our luggage into our room, and flew to the gas station mini-mart next to the hotel. Meanwhile, I quickly set up for Shabbos, arranging the lights, the heat, and clearing off a coffee table for us to use. My husband came back with tea lights, a lighter, snickers bars, and chips. It promised to be an interesting Shabbos.

In a stroke of hashgacha pratis, we had two rolls in our possession, as we hadn’t stopped on the way to wash for lunch, and thus we were able to make both Kiddush and Hamotzi. In addition, I was grateful to have a couple of magazines to read. We were fortunate, because it could have been an awful experience, and yet it wasn’t. Hashem was gracious to us.

After our Shabbos seuda, if you can call it that, I shared a thought with my husband. “You know,” I said, “In some ways it feels more like a real Shabbos here than if we were having a normal Shabbos.” It was because we were experiencing the essence of Shabbos without the externals. We didn’t have the social element of Shabbos, and we didn’t have the culinary element of Shabbos. We just had Fundamental Shabbos, a compelling spirit that was palpable more so that night in Locust Grove than on a regular Shabbos back home.

This concept of Fundamental Shabbos rang true for me this past Yom Kippur as well. There was one Yom Kippur on which I forgot to mention Shabbos by licht bentching. The Yom HaKippurim loomed so large in my mind that I forgot about Shabbos. But this year I focused on Shabbos. I paid attention to the words: “And you gave us…this Shabbos…L’Kedusha V’l’menucha.” On Shabbos Yom Kippur we don’t experience Shabbos in our usual way. There is no food, there is no socializing, and there is very little family time. Ultimately, it seems that so many aspects of our weekly Shabbos are not the true essence of the day.

If it could be Shabbos when it is Yom Kippur, or if it could be Shabbos in a motel in Locust Grove, then Shabbos is more fundamental than all those (very significant) externals. The Machzor demonstrates that Shabbos is for kedusha and menucha. Wherever we are, even if we can’t make Kiddush in the traditional sense, Hashem is mekadesh the Shabbos. And whatever we’re doing, even if we can’t nosh or schmooze, it is our abstinence from forbidden work that creates the true menucha.

Sometimes I get lost in the routine of Shabbos. Between setting the table, serving the food, and eating the meal, I lose focus on the idea that Shabbos is a sign between us and Hashem. The peripherals of Shabbos are certainly important, but it’s good to remember that Shabbos is deeper than whatever the circumstances in which we find ourselves. If I could maintain this focus, even while cozily snuggled on my couch, my experience of the day would surely be enriched.

Ultimately, that Shabbos in Locust Grove was a quiet one. On Motza’ai Shabbos, we drove up to Atlanta, and chatted with our hosts for a while. I pray that next time we will be a lot wiser about long Friday trips, but I can’t deny that it was a memorable Shabbos. So next time you get a call about being our hosts, know that this time, we do plan to come!

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.

3 Responses to “A Shabbos In Locust Grove”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

More Articles from Adina Katzman Lebovic
Lebovic-052314

Between setting the table, serving the food, and eating the meal, I lose focus on the idea that Shabbos is a sign between us and Hashem.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/a-shabbos-in-locust-grove/2014/05/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: