Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Try educating one's boss about strict Sabbath observance

I think a synagogue website should have a “To whom it may concern” letter, in PDF form, signed by the rabbi, that explains to employers the requirements of shabbos in terms of leaving early on Friday afternoons in winter. It might indicate that the whole congregation (100+ families), and indeed the whole community, leaves work Fridays in time to be home an hour before sunset (at the latest) to welcome the Jewish Sabbath. Once the Sabbath commences, all work-related activity ceases, including electronic communication, entertainment and transportation. This of course makes working regular hours on Fridays in winter impossible.

Perhaps Agudah could have a similar letter signed by Rabbi Fuerst, its head rabbi, on its website. My sense is that in their relative insularity, many leaders of the community don’t fully understand how difficult it is to explain to employers that leaving early on Fridays isn’t a tactic to get a head start on the weekend, but to participate in an ancient day of rest custom as our ancestors have done for generations.

1 comment:

Neil Harris said...

Nice post and a good idea. I think that this is something the cRc should look into along with the Agudath. G'mar Tov.