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Well they are trying to make everything “Shabbat-friendly”, even if it inconvenices others.

Shabbat (???????; related to Hebrew verb “cease, rest”) is the seventh day of the Jewish week and is the day of rest and abstention from work as commanded by God. Shabbat involves two interrelated commandments: to remember (zachor) and to observe (shamor).

The Nature of Shabbat

The Shabbat is one of the best known and least understood of all Jewish observances. People who do not generally observe the stringincies of the day think of it as a day filled with stifling restrictions, or as a day of prayer like the Christian Shabbat. But to those who observe Shabbat, it is a day of great joy eagerly awaited throughout the week, a time when we can set aside all of our weekday concerns and devote ourselves to higher pursuits.
Shabbat is the most important ritual observance in Judaism and is the only ritual observance instituted in the Ten Commandments. It is also the most important special day, even more so thanYom Kippur.
Shabbat is not specifically a day of prayer. Although substantial time is usually spent in synagogue praying, prayer is not what distinguishes Shabbat from the rest of the week. Observant Jews pray every day, three times a day. To say that Shabbat is a day of prayer is no more accurate than to say that Shabbat is a day of feasting: we eat every day, but on Shabbat, we eat more elaborately and in a more leisurely fashion. The same can be said of prayer on Shabbat.  In modern America, we take the five-day work-week so much for granted that we forget what a radical concept a day of rest was in ancient times. The weekly day of rest has no parallel in any other ancient civilization. In ancient times, leisure was for the wealthy and the ruling classes only, never for the serving or laboring classes.  >more<

The Don’ts of Shabbat



A dispute over a “Shabbat-friendly” elevator has deteriorated into a civil rights battle at an Upper West Side apartment building, The New York Daily news reports.


Touro College had planned to make one of two elevators automatically stop at every floor in the six story building from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday, as a way to observe the Orthodox law barring observers from operating electric switches on Shabbat.
Touro is asking in papers filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal that denied the request. The college said its Jewish students occupy more than half of the building’s apartments.
The building’s other tenants objected, however, saying that the longer wait would be an inconvenience on a day when many are busy coming and going from the apartment.
“New York City is a bastion of tolerance — except where the 10 W. 65th Street Tenants Association and Division of Housing and Community Renewal are concerned,” the Manhattan Supreme Court suit states.
In court papers, Touro said the delays would be minor — at most 1 minute, 23 seconds — and accused the tenants association of setting a “discriminatory and anti-Semitic tone.”

New York Woman Opens Shabbat-Friendly Hospital Suites

A few years ago, Tovah Brill had to take her husband to the hospital on a Friday, essentially dropping all of her Shabbat preparations.
“I had a neighbor come to finish baking my challahs,” recalled the Cedarhurst, N.Y., resident.
But the Brills didn’t make it back to enjoy the customary Shabbat loaves. The couple spent the entire holy day in the hospital. Several weeks later, they went through the entire scenario again.
“I remember thinking this was just terrible as I was dozing in a chair in the emergency room with no food,” said Brill, who keeps kosher. “The truth is, one becomes very worn down, cranky, and highly irritable.”
That experience gave birth to a new program at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, N.Y., where Brill works as a pharmacist. She convinced the hospital last year to open up a Shabbat-friendly suite for Jewish patients’ family members, complete with a kosher kitchen stocked with food.
“All of a sudden they had an entire unit – two bedrooms and a kitchenette – available,” said Brill of the medical center. “They refurbished it and made it really, really beautiful.”

Shabbat-Friendly Phones for Soldiers

The IDF rabbinate has developed a Shabbat-friendly phone that will allow soldiers to speak on the telephone without desecrating Shabbat. The military magazine B’Machaneh reports that hundreds of the new devices will be distributed on IDF bases in the upcoming months.
The phone makes use of bluetooth wireless technology, and allows for fast dialing. Soldiers can answer calls using an earpiece attached to the device. While the device makes use of some technologies that would normally be prohibited on Shabbat, the technologies are used in an indirect manner, making use of the phone permissible.
The devices will replace an earlier phone designed for use on Shabbat, which was expensive and could be used only on select lines. The previous phone also received complaints for its relatively lengthy dialing time and delays in conversation.
Soldiers are permitted to desecrate Shabbat when necessary for security reasons, due to the precept that Shabbat laws may be violated in order to save a life. However, the rabbinate works to minimize Shabbat desecration whenever there is an option to do so.

Jewish Prisoner Services

Initially launched under the sponsorship of B’nai B’rith and now an independent entity, JPSI has grown to the point where we have volunteers across the country providing direct services to prisoners throughout the United States, Canada and Israel. Our volunteers come from all walks of life — businessmen, correctional facility employees, educators, lawyers, professionals, rabbis and judges. In addition, we have ex-offenders who, in the past, were recipients of the group’s help. After serving their sentences, they have joined JPSI to reciprocate and become involved in reaching out to those they left behind.
A typical example is the state of Florida where some 250 Jewish prisoners are sprinkled and spread throughout Florida’s 65+ correctional facilities. Similar conditions prevail just about anywhere in the nation. At places like Sumter Correctional Institution it really isn’t a problem. There are usually about 23 Jews living, working and davening in the compound. They gather on Erev Shabbat for observances that are typically followed by a bare-bones Oneg Shabbat celebration. They’ve created and printed their own siddurim, there’s an Ark (no Torah yet!), tallaisim and kippot available for those who wish to wear them. Chaplain Panzetta is Judaically literate. So much so that there are Hebrew classes scheduled on Monday nights. This is one Florida prison facility that only requires minimal attention from our organization.

Neo-Pagans Peter Georgacarakos, David Lane and Richard Scutari Publishing from Prison


I Would Turn Back If I Were You!

By Laurel Owen AOR
So you think you want to start going into prisons? Remember the Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy and her friends are entering the Wicked Witch’s forest? Remember the sign? And do you recall how they gathered their heart, courage, and smarts and kept going anyway? In the end, they all come out fine as can be, with medals of Honor and with the clarity of one waking from a significant dream.

Supreme Court Ruling Boosts Odinist Inmates


In spite of the warning sign, I encourage anyone with the calling to go into prisons. It has to be a calling, though. If you are going in for anything less, you will be eaten alive. What I’m going to do is try to scare you a little bit and test your resolve. If, after reading this, you still want to stand up and make that choice, I can promise rich rewards, spine-tingling blots, friendships that last for life, a lot of interesting people, and a learning curve that will change you forever. Those will be the medals of Honor. They make the hard part worthwhile. Let me just dwell on the hard part for a minute, so perhaps you can learn from my mistakes and experience. Nobody sat down with me and told me any of this. Indeed, I learned the hard way. I would like to help out the next line of people willing to do prison outreach by talking very honestly here.
You will be lied to, back-stabbed, and you will have games played on you – by prisoners and authorities alike. You will meet people who make your hair stand on end and who you should never in your life trust – prisoners and authorities alike. You will get hit on by sex offenders, and you will be baffled by pathological liars. One week you will go in and everything is just as calm and peaceful, and the next time someone is missing. No one will tell you what is going on. You will hear from the chaplain the guy got his throat cut. Rival gang members will compete for your attention and for a place of leadership (this will be especially true in state institutions, not so much in federal). You may even be asked to join a gang. I was. You will learn to be quick on your feet, trust your instincts and always maintain your line in the sand.
As soon as you walk in you will be sized up. Within 5 minutes everyone pretty much knows your strengths and weaknesses. It will be uncanny how accurate they are. You must know yourself and be confident in your own skin. You must have nothing to hide, and don’t ever lie to anyone. They will see through it right away.
Remember that as a representative of Odinism/Asatru you will be feared and watched. The authorities will not be your friends. You may even encounter another level of intimidation.

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