As a young man, my Mom turned me on to the author Chaim Potok and his many books about Jewish life in America after World War II.  His main characters were drawn from his own New York neighborhood, consisting mostly of Hasidic Jews, a sect known for its austere and fierce orthodoxy.  During Shabbat, a non-Jew, a “Shabbos Goy,” was employed to turn on and off lights, do light house work and other “mitzvahs.” Hasidics couldn’t even drive during Shabbat, having instead to walk to synagogue.  Last Sunday as I was busying myself around the house, I reflected on this strict adherence to the 4th commandment and wondered what exactly “extreme leisure” might look like. Like silent meditation and contemplation, holy leisure is not as attractive as the pinwheels and bright lights of modern life. I pray for the willingness to be. With God.

by Andrew