Shabbat and Dilbert

Does the number 5:14 mean anything to you? That is the precise time, according to the calendar, that Shabbat candles were to have been lit tonight- at least in Mesa- I didn’t check the Temple Chai zip code. I grew up in a Conservative Jewish household. That meant that my mom did not abide by the official candle-lighting time; candle-lighting was whenever we sat down at the table for Shabbat dinner.
I thought about this when I read the Dilbert cartoon earlier this week- let me share it with you:
First Frame- Have you seen Wally? He’s been in the Men’s Room for two days
Second Frame- He used to leave when he was done reading the paper. But he switched to an iPad and now he doesn’t know when he’s finished.
Final Frame- He has to come out to eat. I have a pizza for the third stall.
I still read the physical newspaper each morning- hence this physical cartoon in my hand- but I also look at various news sources online and I think we can all relate to that line- “Now he doesn’t know when he’s finished.” That’s what life is like in the contemporary world- we are able to be so connected all the time that we don’t know when we’re finished.
And that’s why Shabbat is perhaps more relevant than ever. Whether we light Shabbat candles at 5:14 or whatever is the exact candle-lighting time, or whether we light them at 6:15 with our Temple Chai community, or whether we light them at 9:00 when we are finally able to make Shabbas at home after a long week, the simple act of lighting these candles tells us that we’re finished, we’re done, we can finally disconnect for a few moments of Shabbat Shalom, or blessed Sabbath peacefulness.

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1 comment

    • Michael on January 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you Rabbi Bonnie, may you share many more wonderful messages in 2013!

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