top of page

Sometimes on a Shabbat Evening 

The sun is setting and the heat of the day has lifted, revealing a pleasant coolness like a small hidden treasure behind a false panel. It’s not quite chilly, though I suppose that depends on your constitution. Evening in the Judean Hills. The sky, which was all day a hazy periwinkle blue behind sheets of shimmering heat and sandy dust - we are, after all, on the edge of the desert - is now deeper, softer, more tangible, inviting as a canopy over my head. Thin streaks of cloud paint the sky, some in lines, some milky swirls, all seemingly just out of reach. 


“Should we go for a walk Boob?”

“Yeah, that’d be nice.”


I put on my nice pants and nice shirt, though I don’t expect or care to see anyone. Jess does the same. It is Shabbat, and in honor of it do I put on these clothes. I know many whom I grew up with, my own brothers even, would not understand this concept, indeed the whole concept and practice of Shabbat. Perhaps even that Shabbat is a practice might be missed, slipped through their fingers like water tumbling out of a spigot and splashing in a muddy pool. I smile, or rather a smile forms on my lips. Small, true, unselfconscious and not presupposing, the way only Shabbat allows for. How much there is in this world!


Oh the last hours of Shabbat. They’ve got a syrupy quality to them, sad like the last moments of a visit with a dear, dear friend. The culmination of a wonderfully intimate meeting, the necessity of it’s ending, the realization of tomorrow. 


We leave and lock the front door, open the creaking gate to our attic apartment, a turn left towards the village instead of our usual right towards the walking path and the reservoir. We’ve only recently started walking through the village instead of through the nature. Though they feel like similar exercises, I think somethings shifted in us, in me, and it feels good. 


But there’s still that moment, when it’s just us, Jess and I, and Lyla our dog, and the whole walk ahead and the familarness of our apartment locked up behind. That moment of, fear, is it? Worry? The realization that sometimes, just to be together, even in the best of marriages, is not enough. Though I have thoughts in my head, ideas, visions, dreams and nightmares, I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how to begin. Sometimes the reality of connecting with another being is, well, intimidating. Sometimes it gives me pause because my intuition fails me and it feels like I’m on a first date again, though if we ever had one it was many years ago. I feel myself close up like a Morning Glory at night, and I feel her vibrations growing fainter, a disheartened bee flying away. I sigh into the coming night, or perhaps at the vacating day, and we walk forward. I reach for her hand and find it, small and warm and soft in the cool air, in my calloused paws. 


Sometimes, probably always, all it takes is to start. I open my mouth and allow whatever comes out to come out. The dam breaks, and the parched valley receives it’s deluge, the water beading like jewels on the leaves so thirsty after such a hot day. She tilts closer to me. Our mouths and ears open alternatingly. Our hearts are as constant as the sun and the moon. The clip-clop, clip-clop of our sandals keep a beat to our conversation, our never ending conversation as we wander through the village, the last light of Shabbat slipping slowly away.

bottom of page