My COVID-19 Shabbat Challenge

Question

Dear Rabbi,

My parents got sick with COVID, and on a Thursday afternoon, while driving to do something for them, I said that I’m was going to start keeping Shabbat.

So, I stopped driving on Friday and rested on Shabbat, but I feel like it’s really hard for me. I don’t know if I can keep doing this and I’m truly not ready to give everything up and I feel bad.

I want to do things on Saturday, but I feel like something bad might happen to my parents if I stop keeping Shabbat. What do I do? How do I best approach this?

4 months

Answers

  1. What a difficult and stressful situation for you! But, first of all, I hope that your parents have gotten over COVID completely and are well and healthy.

    I get the vibe from your question that on the one hand, at some level of what you want, you actually would like to keep Shabbat if it was a day of delight for you and not as you perceive it as a day of restrictions.

    Perhaps the best way to approach your dilemma is by spending at least your Shabbats with observant families who seem happy and practical and whom you can relate to on a personal level. In this way, you can both keep Shabbat and enjoy Shabbat as well.

    Personally, I would suggest locating a local Orthodox community and making contact with its Rabbi. Once you have introduced yourself and explained the situation, I am sure that the community will be more than happy to try helping you and your family in any way they can.

    If you are unsure about whom to contact, please do not hesitate to let us know where you live, and we will as much as possible to help find someone suitable for you.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team