January 3, 1995 |
The Soviet writer Isaac Babel opened his magnificent short story, "Gedali," with these words: "On Sabbath eves I am oppressed by a dense melancholy of memories. " The sentence captivates me, because on Sabbath eves I am oppressed by my own dense melancholy, a melancholy trimmed with memories of great peace and joy. My father's parents, Italian immigrants, bore eight children and raised them in Revere, Mass., near Boston. In those days, Revere - though only four miles from the center of the metropolis - was a mixture of gently rolling farmland, and neighborhoods of crowded houses with small yards.
February 11, 2003
THERE WAS a time in Philadelphia when "blue laws" prohibited selling anything on Sunday. Apparently, the idea was to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Didn't matter that some of us worship in places where they remember the Sabbath on Saturday or Friday - and keep that holy. Or that some folks are offended by keeping anything holy. The blue laws fell under the weight of these arguments, ushering in a new age when we were free to buy our buttons and bows on Sunday. When the wrath of God didn't come down on us, it just figured that someone would take it to the next step: Sunday sales of retail liquor.
October 11, 1989 |
Under ancient Torah law, Orthodox Jews are forbidden to carry anything - even a small child or a stroller - outside their homes on the Sabbath. That effectively means that many families cannot go out together from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday each week. For some Orthodox Jews in the Northeast, the modern solution is an eruv, a symbolic extension of the walls of their domains. They plan to accomplish this extension by attaching an inconspicuous but sturdy black string to utility and light poles surrounding their neighborhoods, including all or parts of Oxford Circle, Lawndale, Rhawnhurst and Fox Chase.
March 3, 1990 |
It is Friday night in the Holy City, the beginning of the Sabbath. The streets are deserted, the cafes are empty, the buses have all stopped running. But for Ronan Ohana, the night is young and made for boogieing. "I come here to forget everything," said the 19-year-old soldier, who had donned a fashionably slouchy black-and-white checked jacket for the night, as he took a break from dancing in the aisle of a glitzy discotheque in Jerusalem's new nightclub area. "I just want to think about the lights, the music, the girls.
November 14, 2010 |
A version of this article appeared in the Oct. 17 issue of The Inquirer. For nearly 4,000 years, the phrase has been a bedrock among observant Jews: "Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. " The Fourth Commandment has the power to still storefronts, fill synagogues, and turn the sidewalks of some neighborhoods into a sea of black-garbed Orthodox Jews from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday as they fulfill the obligation to enjoy a day of rest. But ancient practice created a very contemporary predicament for the National Museum of American Jewish History, which will open its new building off Independence Mall on Nov. 26. And dealing with the sanctity of the Sabbath required a Solomonic solution.
August 25, 1995 |
On a recent broiling hot summer afternoon, Rabbi Shlomo Caplan, dressed in a black suit, white long-sleeved shirt, gray tie, and with a black fedora pushed back from his forehead, stood in the middle of Wiltshire Road in Wynnewood. Above him, in the bucket of a cherry picker, electrician Jim Hober followed the rabbi's shouted instructions as he pulled a black nylon line through the branches of a tree. "That's good," he said. "Pull it up a bit. . . . Perfect! Good!" Arnold Koffler, coolly attired in sandals and a pair of shorts, strolled out of his house and watched for a few minutes before approaching the man in black.
October 25, 1997 |
Whatever happened to Sabbath? It used to mean Sunday for Christians and Saturday for Jews. It was the day taken off from work for religion - and for the rest that religion brought to people who took regular Sabbaths. It was not television and its dramatic replacement of our story with someone else's story. It was not "blitzing out. " It was not hiking, with its grand viewpoints and heavy breathing and body-changing, feel-good potential. Nor was Sabbath time to do errands or get caught up on our desk stress or pay our bills or visit our relatives.
November 25, 2011
Perhaps the stickiest issue of all surrounding the opening of the National Museum of American Jewish History last November was whether it would be open on Saturdays. On the one hand, Saturday is potentially the best-attended day of the week for any such institution. But on the other hand, it is also the Sabbath day for observant Jews; operating Saturday could be perceived as a sign of disrespect. But in Solomon-like fashion, a compromise was conjured: The museum is open Saturday, but because Jewish law prohibits cash transactions on Sabbath, tickets must either be purchased in advance, or with credit cards at the museum (the transactions are posted electronically the next day)
October 17, 2010 |
For nearly 4,000 years, the phrase has been a bedrock among observant Jews: "Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. " The Fourth Commandment has the power to still storefronts, fill synagogues, and turn the sidewalks of some neighborhoods into a sea of black-cloaked Orthodox Jews from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday as they fulfill the obligation to enjoy a day of rest. But ancient practice created a very contemporary predicament for the National Museum of American Jewish History, which will open its new building off Independence Mall on Nov. 26. And dealing with the sanctity of the Sabbath required a Solomonic solution.
September 21, 2015 |
"Typically, we braid the challah," Debbie Friedner says. "We separate the strands and wind them like this. " The career counselor, 60, expertly twists the glistening dough on her Cherry Hill dining-room table as family members look on. "I'm going to let it rise a second time. Then I'll put it in the oven and let it bake," Friedner continues. "And when it's done, I'm going to [brush] it with a bit of egg wash and sprinkle poppy seeds and sesame seeds on top. " If all that sounds rather wonderful, imagine 100 or more Jewish women like Friedner baking challah together for the Sabbath ( Shabbos or Shabbat , in Yiddish and Hebrew, respectively)