Please Note: This article is for entertainment. If you have any questions about Shabbosdik and non-Shabbosdik activities, please ask a competent Rav, and don’t rely on my articles!
I like to think I’m a varied cook. During the week, I provide my family with such a range of meals, that hopefully they can forgive me for the cold Shabbos lunch which has become my speciality. That’s right, I don’t make cholent. There are numerous reasons why. I’m certainly capable, but my biggest objection is my (and even more so, my family’s) fears that the house will burn down if I leave a slow cooker on for 25 hours. I know, not especially practical- but Shabbos is meant to be about peace and harmony, not checking the kitchen every five minutes!
But this morning, to my surprise, my family had an odd request. Can you make cholent for dinner?
What?! I was not exactly displeased, but bemused. We’re not cholent people. It’s August. And above all, it’s not Shabbos. As I diced and sieved and fried and boiled, I laughingly asked myself, “Can I eat Cholent when it’s not Shabbos?”. Of course, I was only half serious. I haven’t heard of a psak against eating Shabbos stew during the week. Quite frankly, I’d dismiss such a ruling as ridiculous. But, even though, as I said, I don’t really “do” Cholent, to me it’s so Shabbosdik that eating it during the week is just… Strange.
The association is so strong for me, that I began to wonder if this was right. I know people who aren’t Shomer Shabbos, but who don’t use the Internet on Shabbos. For them, practicing that rule during the week would be akin to desecrating Shabbos. Well, maybe not quite so serious, but it’s an example. And for me, it’d feel a bit weird to follow the Shabbos hilchos during a day which isn’t Shabbos or a Yontiff. Unlike my previous example of Internet, that would be forbidden!
What’s so important about Shabbos is the fact that it’s… Unique. Set aside. Different. It’s a beautiful day, an embodiment of our most wonderful traditions, and of course it’s actually one of the Asaret HaDibrot. There must be a clear division between the weekdays and Shabbos. Although this usually applies to acting in a certain way on Shabbos, what about the reverse? Surely, observing Shabbos customs during the week also robs Shabbos of it’s meaning?
I think so, at least. I’m willing to make an exception, just this once, and will be serving up Cholent tonight, but only because I personally don’t make it for Shabbos, and in the future, I think I’ll be giving serious thought to Shabbos and weekday boundaries.