You Can’t Observe The Sabbath In Your Heart Only

A couple of weeks ago was Shuvuot. I got asked why I could not come in to my Alexander Technique training on those two days.

I mentioned first that driving was prohibited on holy days but said the main thing was to observe and celebrate the holiday. That means gathering with my fellow Jews and saying prayers and singing songs and eating special foods and going to people’s homes and having a grand holiday.

If I could walk to my Alexander training, I still would not go on the Sabbath or a Jewish holiday because it would not be appropriate.

But let’s say I did walk to my training on such a day and observed the Sabbath in my heart. Would anyone say, “Luke, you have such a glow about you today. Please tell me about the Jewish holiday you are observing in your heart.”

No! People don’t react that way. People only notice when you can’t show up. That creates an absence and a curiosity. They know I’m dedicated. I show up every day, either on time or early. Why am I taking off two days in the middle of the week? Because I observe God’s Torah.

Now some people say, “Oh, Luke is just doing that so he can find his place in the universe.”

I think there’s some validity to that. One of the things that I prefer about Orthodox Judaism when compared with non-Orthodox forms of Judaism is that in Orthodoxy with its myriad non-negotiable commandments, you know who you are. You know what is expected of you. You have a clear understanding of what you can do and not do.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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