Last Shabbat, as I was deciding on whether to bother to wear Shabbat clothes or not, I remembered a story I heard from Rav Amital.

Rav Amital said that when he was in the labour camps during the Holocaust, Shabbat seemed like any other time. The days just flowed into each other and he lost all sense of time. They had to work on Shabbat, like any other day.

What did he do on Shabbat to make it different?

He answered that he had a old white shirt that he had hidden away in a bag. Every Shabbat he would wear it – that was his ‘kavod shabbat.’ Just wearing an old, crumpled white shirt. No minyan, no shabbat meals, no shiurim..

As we now face a second Shabbat in virtual quarantine – and we won’t be going to shul or with our families and friends – we must still make an effort to wear Shabbat clothes and connect with the holiness of the day, however difficult and however sick we all are of this abnormal existence.

Shabbat Shalom.


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