Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday is the new Monday replacing for me Tuesday, which was my Monday.

So what day is this? I had no problem knowing what day it was in Israel when I was a traveller. But now that I'm living here and trying very hard to carve a lifestyle for myself, I have no clue what day it is. Let me explain...

As a Christian clergywoman I worked on Sunday which is the Christian day of rest, or the Sabbath. So, I took Monday off as my Sabbath. I protected that day from all forms of work. I didn't think about work and I tried very, very hard not to even look at my email. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not so much. But all in all, I enjoyed the day and rested.

Since it is counter-cultural in the US, that is to have Monday off, it posed a problem for me coming back to work on Tuesday. Tuesday was my Monday however for everyone else in the workplace it really was Tuesday. Get it? I was still mourning the weekend's end and was out of the swing of things on Tuesday. And yet, everyone else was busy already and a day ahead of me.

Now that I'm here in Israel, it's all different. Shabbat, the day of rest, is Saturday. You can feel the atmosphere begin to change on Thursday. Paces quicken and people are out and about. Friday seems to be a half day of work for many people and the markets are packed. It sort of feels like being at Stew Leonard's the night before Thanksgiving. Then as sundown comes people hurry home or walk to services at synagogues. Saturday is quiet. Hardly anything is open and a suspension of time becomes a reality.

And then, Shabbat is over. Saturday night, and Israel comes alive once again. Stores and restaurants open and the everyday happens. Sunday is now "Monday". Get it?

On Sunday everyone is back to work. Appointments are made and kept on Sunday. Repair people come to fix the electric; doctor's and schools are open for business. So, by Monday or Tuesday I have no idea what day it is or what I'm supposed to be doing.

For Christians here, churches have services on Sunday mornings but I'm not sure how people figure it attend church and go to work. Maybe there are special dispensations or something like that. Oh wait - I'm protestant.

So it goes for a Christian living in a Jewish homeland. It's a matter of being a minority and adjusting to the dominant culture. It'll work. I love Shabbat and will eventually remember to do my marketing early enough to avoid the crowds.

So, what day of the week is it?

Today is Yom Shlishi, the third day of the week.


hoppy said...

It's Tuesday no matter what religion you embrace. But to confuse you even more, many religions, and cultural/ethnic groups have different year designations. Even I, here at the Bar-20, have trouble trying to determine what side of the bed to out of. But make no mistake...carpe diem.


Barbara said...

Monday Tuesday Saturday Sunday... Yes quite a different way of thinking for you to adjust to but adjust you will. You are amazing! Got your blog info from Marcia Friday night at dinner at her house! Miss you and think of you often. xo