Friday, March 19, 2010

The weekend

In Israel, the workweek is a little different than in America.

In America, the workweek is Monday-Friday; typical business hours are 9-5. In Israel, the workweek is Sunday-Friday; typical business hours are anything from 8-6:30, with 2-3 hour breaks in the middle, and many places will open Sunday or Friday, be closed any day from Monday-Thursday, and often end their day at 12:30.

My week goes from Sunday-Thursday. I have classes from 8:30-12:45 Sunday-Thursday, and then Thursday-Saturday (Shabbat, here) I am free. Why is this nice? Why is this not nice?

I love having Friday free (not everybody has this, but many people do). I can get ready for Shabbat and not have to be pressured to do things in the 2 hours that I have once I get home from work. Or have to worry about having enough time to get to my destination before Shabbat.

Why is this not nice? Because when I want to do something on Motzei Shabbat, or when I take my Shabbat afternoon nap, I have to take into account that I have class at 8:30 am on Sunday morning. I miss my Sundays. But Fridays here are sort of like Sundays. Except that you have to be ready for Shabbat by the time sunset hits. Rather, 18 minutes before to light.

Another thing about Shabbat here- since pretty much everybody is Jewish, everybody wishes each other Shabbat shalom-- from the bus driver to the cashier in the supermarket to the garbage man to the taxi driver! Not everybody is Jewish, but most of the people that I am in contact with are, anyway. It's so nice.

שבת שלום לכולם! Or, Shabbat shalom everybody!

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