Being Brave is … Jews keeping Shabbos. Throughout generations Jews have done the difficult in keeping Shabbos. Many have lost lives, jobs and dreams for maintaining this heritage and yet made the choice of faith over fear. I wasn’t raised with the tradition of keeping Shabbos in my childhood home and began the slow transition of observance in my mid-twenties. One of the consequences of that was that I had been a volunteer at the Marine Mammal Rehab Center in Marin County, California and my shift was Friday evenings. I did the night shift of mushing up fish guts and feeding that delicacy to abandoned baby harbor seals. When I began observing the Shabbos, I asked for a different night to volunteer. Unfortunately, I was told that there were no other nights available. With disappointment, but no regret I gave up my position in order to practice my faith. This doesn’t compare to the tests of the Marranos from Spain whose lives were threatened when they attempted to secretly keep the Shabbos or Jews from Stalinist Russia who were reported to the government for keeping Shabbos and then exiled or killed. Or those new immigrants to America who lost a job every week when they told their employers that they could not work Saturdays. Times have changed and the world has become a more respectable, safer place. Nowadays the consequences of keeping Shabbos are not life threatening, but it requires Being Brave to jump out of society’s norm by staying off of social media, putting aside cell phones, and turning down business for a full 24 hours from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
14th day of the Jewish month of Kislev – the month of Being Brave