I wasn't raised in a Torah observant home. I wasn't raised with Shabbat. In the years before I became religious, I didn't even "know" that there existed a Shabbat and I was missing it.
That included the years I was in NCSY, but I wasn't yet an Orthodox Jew. The Shabbatot I enjoyed at NCSY Shabbatonim, "conclaves" and conventions were more carnival-like with spiritual lectures and lots of spirited dancing. They were very intense; nothing like what Shabbat really is in real life.
Now after decades of Sabbath observance, Shabbat is a totally different experience. Real Shabbat isn't a party. It's still a break from real life, no work, phone, computer, shopping etc. Those early Shabbat experiences were more like getting a new motor going, putting in Torah fuel into my life and changing my life completely.
It's sort of like when someone is being taught how to ride a bicycle and someone pushes and runs along until the new rider picks up enough speed to ride independently.
How did I get onto that topic?
- Do the Chodesh Nisan Kosher Cooking Carnival
- Go to a miraculous Sheva Brachot (post wedding celebration.) The groom has just finished treatment for a difficult disease and he got married.
Have a great week!