The ball drops at midnight. The rooster crows at dawn. Every hour on the hour, and at 15-minute intervals, the bells clang. The train pulls out of the station each morning at 7:49, whether or not you’re onboard. And the library will invariably close 5 minutes before the posted time.

They will have you know that Shabbat comes in 18 minutes before sunset, a time that occurs at this latitude sometime between 4:10 PM and 8:15, depending on the season. See an almanac or chabad.org for further details.

The hands circling the face of the clock can’t tell you everything, of course. They don’t understand that sometimes Shabbat holds back, waiting until long after you’ve started the party and perhaps not even crossing the foyer until after the guests have started trickling out.

The schedule’s for your benefit. Shabbat comes and goes as it pleases.


EmFish said...

As someone who appreciates schedules and precise timing, I like the focus of this piece. What always feels exciting about shabbat, especially the first one after we change the clock, is that *it* is starting at the same time, we just have a different number attached to it. (Much like how my cousin says, "Pesah (or insert other holiday) is never early or late, it come on the fifteenth of nisan."

Wil Roepke said...

:-) Thank you for the thought!

(And I am pleased to know that my intentional posting of this one on Daylight Savings Shabbat had the intended outcome.)