Ok. I’m 19 years old. I grew up in a modern orthodox community, attending a co Ed modern orthodox high school and I am currently in seminary this year. I really would like some answers about Shabbat. My family keeps Shabbat but somewhere along the way I gradually stopped (they know. It’s no secret). I use my phone , watch tv, do school work (which was extremely helpful in high school getting practice tests and homework done on shabbat because it was such a convenient time slot to do so). I’m not completely off the derech or keeping Shabbat because I don’t hate it. I love the idea of it. I love the meals and spending time with family and friends. Playing games, talking, walking and just chilling. However, for some reason I just don’t care about breaking the rules. I don’t have that fear in me or guilt when I turn on the computer, close the light, write or listen to music on my phone. I realized I don’t want to completely go off and abandon Shabbat because i value the concept and like the Jewish community I’ve grown up in. Until now , me not keeping Shabbat has not alerted my life in a dramatic way as I was and still am part of a family who keeps Shabbat and has guests so what I did behind closed doors,where only my family knew I was doing, didn’t effect me. Now , I soon will be making my own path and choose for myself. This is scary because if I want to marry a religious guy and raise a family who keeps Shabbat- to some extent- I’ve got to start doing it. However , how do I keep all the rules if I’m not scared to break them and don’t have that hesitation. I really am open to your answers but i am just a skeptical Jew. I believe in god but don’t have that fear in me to keep the laws.
it is very impressive to read your honest and open letter. Although you don’t understand what Shabbat is about, nevertheless, deep down you want to do what is right, and what G-d wants you to do, that is very impressive. Many people like you have the same issue regarding shabbat, On one hand we know that it is important but on the other hand often we don’t understand the connection. Deep down you don’t understand or feel, what is so terrible with doing school work, driving, or turning on a light etc. It’s not adultery, it isn’t murdering someone, what it so terrible about it? It is a good and important question, and I’m happy that you are eager to learn and understand.
What you need is to learn about the importance of shabbat, and it’s deep meaning. Understanding is the key to appreciating. Shabbos is a lot more than just good meals and time to chill out. I am including two articles that I wort on this topic, and I hope that they will be helpful to give you a bit of an appreciation of shabbat. Introduction to Shabbos The specialness and severity of Shabbos
If you would like to learn more about shabbat or any other part of Judaism, please let us know, and we will be happy to assist you.