Good Shabbos

by Jonah

Knoxville, TN

I’m celebrating my first Jewish Sabbath. I really shouldn’t be typing on the Sabbath because that’s work, but we went driving around all last night and today, so it’s probably okay. That and I’m not Jewish.

Mary Linda and Arnold Swarzbart live in Knoxville, Tennessee and are pillars of the Jewish community, so since we arrived on a Friday afternoon, we attended Shabbos dinner with them at their friends’ house. Then we attended services at their synagogue this morning. Apparently, the service lasted a lot longer than usual because they didn’t have a reader for the Torah reading, and the Rabbi doesn’t read very quickly. The whole service is sung in Hebrew except for the sermon (which, this morning, appeared to be an amusing skit put on by the kids about the 10 plagues of Egypt). Keeping up with the transliterations of the Hebrew to sing along to is tricky, since the service jumps around the prayer book pretty sporadically. Afterward, we went into the “fellowship hall” and ate challah bread, pickled herring, and gefilte fish with horseradish (it’s one of those foods that really needs a lot of horseradish to be edible). Then we went to Harrold’s deli for the traditional after shul lunch.

This afternoon feels like a lazy Sunday afternoon except that mail comes today, and we’ve got another day of weekend tomorrow.

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