Monday, August 20, 2012

8 Days a Week

Because of Shabbat (Friday sundown to Saturday nightfall), everywhere in Israel has its own weekly rhythm, unique from anywhere else in the western world that I have been. Shabbat affects the whole country, even places that are considered "secular." Buses stop running. Like Sundays in Europe, most stores are closed on Saturday, even in Tel Aviv, although non-kosher restaurants and bars often stay open. Even all this aside, time in Israel definitely has its own way of going about.

Thursday is kind of like Saturday night--everyone goes out. Tables upon tables crammed into the streets (even up and down hills), tons of people walking around, everything open. In Jerusalem, this means that the several streets downtown that people go to are jam-packed. But Thursday is also special in its own right. Supermarkets stay open late to compensate for closing early on Friday, and if you look carefully, you can see bakeries preparing challah for Shabbat until the wee hours.

Bread Baking in the Basement of a Bakery on Yaffo Street

Friday, as I mentioned, is a great day to brunch. Also a terrible day to do kniyot (food shopping). It can get very hectic, but great deals can also be found in the rush to close for Shabbat.

And let's not forget Sunday. It is back to work, bright and early, for most of us. For many olim, this is the hardest part of all. But for others, this isn't the case. After the rush of Shabbat and then the calm, half the shuk's stalls are deserted. Just like everywhere else, sometimes people just want to take the day off.

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