Shabbat is wonderful, amazing, and meaningful, but restful?

A member of our community asked me recently if I would be interested in attending and committing to a series of shiurim (lectures) taking place in the holy city of Modiin. My first reaction, to be honest, was to laugh out loud. It is hard enough for me to function as a mother, wife, editor, and hygienic human being who needs to brush her teeth, take out her contact lenses, but to attend shiurim? You gotta be kidding. Would love to, but just not on the cards. I conveyed as much to this woman in my email back to her, but I have to give her 10 out of 10 for perseverence – the same day, she came back at me with an alternative offer: What if the shiur was on Shabbat? Would you be interested?

It sounds like a reasonable suggestion on the surface, but anyone who is a mother – correction, parent – will be able to identify with the following sentiment: Shabbat is anything but restful! It may be spiritual, it may be laden with meaning, and it may be an opportunity for the family to connect and spend quality time together, but restful it is not, and wasn’t from the minute your oldest child was born! Once your child turns three, nap times are a thing of the past, and then there is the challenge of coordinating multiple naps so that you are not up with one kid while another child is sleeping.

The way I see it, the Shabbat that I can actually read one article (or one page, if it is a book) without falling asleep is the day that I can start entertaining thoughts of shiurim. Until then, it’s back to reality.

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