Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shabbat

No work on shabbat?
Today is the sabbath [shabbat in Hebrew]. According to the bible and God's Commandments, no work is to be done on shabbat. In fact, a person is not even supposed to turn a light on or off on shabbat. There are a lot of rules concerning what should be done during shabbat.

This morning I was talking with Gershon, my room mate. I wondered if the rich people adhered to shabbat rules as do the poor people? The suggestion came up to go to the nearby Park Plaza Hotel and look in at the fancy coffee shop. Is the coffee shop open during shabbat?

Gershon and I are walking to the Park Plaza Hotel coffee shop and see what's what! Maybe if the coffee shop is open, we will try and order a moca frappe, or some other fancy drink just to see what happens?

11AM - Park Plaza Hotel
The hotel is about two long blocks from our apartment. We pass the huge Ramada Hotel. In the middle of the road is the yet to be completed light rail project with its famous "Harp" bridge.
Light rail bridge


The Park Plaza Hotel's parking area is filled with cars. Things are busy! As Gershon and I enter the hotel's lobby, we hear happy singing from a large bar-mitzvah party.

The coffee shop is open! The young man behind the coffee bar explains that he is able to prepare instant coffee and sandwiches only. Shabbat restrictions prevent things like fresh coffee, caffee latte and cooked food.
Park Hotel
Sometimes called Park Plaza Hotel


Gershon and I order coffee. We split a tuna salad sandwich. The coffee comes with sugar packets imprinted with historical zionist's pictures and their names in Hebrew. I am using my long ago learned Hebrew skills to pronounce these names. A young man from the bar-mitzvah party comes over to help me with my Hebrew pronunciation. I explain to him that we are here to see if shabbat rules are being followed at the hotel.

The young bar-mitzvah party goer explains that shabbat rules are being followed. He tells that the restaurant employee who served us is being paid not by the hour, but by the day so that his pay does not occur within the hours of shabbat. Very interesting how they finagled thru that shabbat work rule!
Gershon relaxes while waiting for our food