Quiet Shabbos, Tough Question

The combination of Zechariah Yehuda’s arrival two weeks ago and the holiday weekend meant that my mishpacha was pretty much alone in CP for Shabbos. We managed to scrape together a minyan for Kabbalat Shabbat, but we didn’t even bother trying to get one this morning. That’s life in a college town. Late to bed, later to rise. Amazingly, our eruv was checked and was operational, even with nary a soul to use it.

Thus, Shabbos was ridiculously relaxing. Just hanging out with the kids, good food, provided by kind souls who deliver meals to families with recent additions, and strong air conditioning. It’s actually nice when you can spend a Shabbos outside of any established community. It’s even nicer when you can stay put and everybody else leaves.

In the late morning, after an early lunch, I took the two older kids to the park, so their mother and baby brother could nap. On the way home, I saw a student – Jewishly involved and pretty traditional – leaving his house to get into his car. I said hello and ‘Good Shabbos’, we chatted for a minute or two, and went our merry ways. My daughter, who misses nothing, asked if that boy is Jewish. I responded that he is.

So now comes the moment every parent dreads, right? I want her to absorb my values and beliefs, but don’t want her to think ill of people who don’t do things our way. It’s a real tightrope. Fortunately, she made it easy. She simply asked, “Then he’s not supposed to drive his car on Shabbos, right?” And I said, “Right.”

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