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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
No room

This is insane. I tried to reserve two different hotel rooms for two different conventions.

Both are sold out for Saturday night. Just Saturday.

One of the cons is in January. *Sigh*

Crisis averted. I tried a different type of room (Active vs. Quiet) since the Shabbat block instructions only said "nonsmoking", and I made the reservation for Arisia.


Not really on the topic at hand, but I hope it's okay with you if I ask this question here, as I'm genuinely curious from a religious perspective. What is the Orthodox perspective on neglecting a commandment or series of commandments, say, like if you decided you really REALLY wanted to go to this con/event/whatever and it's on Shabbat, so you'll just "skip" Shabbat this week so you can go?

I mean, from my former Catholic perspective it would be WRONG, of course, to break a commandment on purpose, but you feel badly about it and then you go to confession and promise to do your best not to do it again, and you're forgiven and can start over. From a Muslim perspective it's mostly the same, only without the confession part; repent and go back and try better next time. Is it a "bigger deal" in Orthodox Judaism, or should I say, a more grave transgression to do this sort of thing, or does it actually happen among frum folks?

Sorry if I've overstepped any boundaries here!

That's a very complex question, and I can only answer for myself as I am in this moment in time.

And right now, my answer is that if something conflicts with Shabbat, Shabbat wins. The only exceptions are for medical and similar emergencies - you sacrifice one Shabbat so that this person can have many more (or so there is good will in the community.) And even then, you try to minimize the violations as much as possible, so long as that does not prolong the emergency. If it's a situation that can be planned - a pregnant woman, for example, might well go into labor on Shabbat - people seek rabbinic advice on how to minimize the violations. Timing was a major issue for my first IVF attempt, and we made sure to talk to a rabbi about that (and everything else.)

In large part, it *is* that I wouldn't violate halacha without good reason - and doing so deliberately is, of course, far worse than doing so accidentally. And you really can't say, "I'll repent later." It doesn't work that way - you probably won't be truly repentant.

But I've lost a couple of Shabbats to poor planning or family emergency, and it's a punishment all by itself to us. I've missed it terribly.

When I'm at a convention, I do a few things to remind myself it is still Shabbat besides just trying to avoid violations. One thing is that I tend to dress in Shabbat clothes instead of con clothes. I leave the t-shirts packed away until Saturday night, and wear things I'd wear to shul instead.

Shabbat is a *huge* deal to observant Jews. Everything revolves around it. A few weeks ago, Yom Kippur, the highest of the high holidays, fell on a Shabbat. It's a day we spend in prayer and fasting - tremendously spiritual. But it didn't feel like Shabbat, and everyone I've spoken to has felt the same way - we lost our Shabbos that week. Honestly, with all the three-day holidays, last week was the first *real* Shabbos in a month, and it felt good.

Thank you very much for the detailed and thought-out reply! :)

a simpler answer might be the talmudic dictum: "one who says 'I will sin and repent, sin and repent, and Yom Kippur will atone for it all", Yom Kippur does not accomplish atonement for him.

Under ordinary circumstances, if one repents (regrets the act, confesses it to God, resolves not to do it again, and when confronted with a similar situation does not sin again), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) atones for hir. In this case, it's not sincere repentance, so the rest of the process can't complete either.

Thank you so much for your response and reasoning!