My family is traditional, but not shomer shabbos, and so I end up keeping shabbos on my own. My community is very small, and there are no adolescents my age. On Friday night maybe about 4 or 5 people show up to shul, including the rabbi, and it’s very sad and depressing for me. And so shabbos can be a lonely experience for me. What should I do? And how can I keep going?
Wow! I am truly impressed! What you are doing is truly admirable. It is not easy for a person in your position, as an adolescent or at any age, but when a person is younger it is harder. Additionally, I admire your perseverance, and your drive to do what is correct, even though it isn’t the “in thing”, and it is different than what your friends are doing.
You are right, for the meantime if you don’t have any support, it is challenging. I would like to personally help you out, and if you would like to call me let me know, and I’ll send you my phone number. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions.
- It might help you to get more of a connection to the Rabbi. Maybe get yourself invited for the Shabbos meal, see if you can study a little bit with him about any topic that you would like, and in general it might help you overall to develop more of a relationship with him.
- There are an enormous number of books and seforim that you can read, which will hep you occupy yourself on Shabbos, and it is an opportunity to enhance your knowledge of the Torah and the Mitzvot. You can choose from books on Chumash, Halacha, Jewish thought, etc. or even books that have inspiring stories. Try to find something on a topic that interests you. If you need help finding a sefer on a specific topic let me know.
- If there is an option for you to go to other people’s houses to visit for Shabbos, even if they don’t live in your town, you might consider going there for the whole Shabbos. It will be an eye-opening experience, and you’ll open your horizons, and learn a lot. If you are interested in something like this, let me know. (Right now, with Covid-19, this might not be an option, but hopefully it will pass soon.)
- There are organizations that can help you out, again if you would like some suggestions, let me know, and I’ll check into them for you.
All the best