The Magic of Shabbat in Israel
Israel is a fantastic place, a vibrant and dynamic country that is alive and thriving. On my visits, I frequently get the impression that I am in the middle of an active ant colony. People appear to be hard at work, working long hours and continuously on the go. All over the place, notably in Tel-Aviv, where the first subway line is being constructed, high-rise buildings are springing up. Although new roads are constantly being built, cars are increasing far more quickly, causing a high congestion level.
As Shabbat approaches, the bustling and full-of-life atmosphere changes dramatically. On late Friday afternoons, the streets become hushed and still. A special peacefulness descends upon the country as if to signify the start of the twenty-four hours of respite that Shabbat provides. It’s a singular phenomenon that I haven’t seen anyplace else. It’s a singular feeling that is difficult to describe but easy to feel. Regardless of your observant levels of religious practices, it’s a sacred time. The spirit is all around you, and by default, in your own self.