Saturday, May 13, 2006
Paging Sigmund Freud:

I had a terribly stressful day on Friday. I turned that stress inward, after my kids were in bed on Friday night.

I started picking my thumbnail. This is forbidden on shabbos.


I can be very obsessive-compulsive, and picking at my nails is one compulsive habit I have. Mind you, I don't do it often - but when I do, I really go to town. I call it "getting into a pick."

So I'm picking away, all the while saying in my head, "You're not allowed to do this on shabbos, stop it." I imagined Yaakov - safely ensconced in shul - shaking his head at me. I thought, "Why don't I just go drive my car around the block?" That's forbidden on shabbos too. If I let myself do one thing, why not another?

And then there's the fact that I called Rav Plony Friday afternoon, asking about covering the cholent pot with a piece of foil before shabbos.
I wanted to protect it, as we have a termite problem. Rav Plony said I could loosely cover it. The paradox is evident: I call Rav Plony to observe shabbos properly, then sit on the couch and mutilate my thumb.

Yaakov came home. I told him I got into a pick. He asked me if I was serving bacon for shabbos dinner. Isn't he nice?

Shabbos morning Chaya went to braid Rivky's hair. I told her this was forbidden on shabbos, then looked guiltily at my thumb.

There is a concept called "ruach shtuss," - a spirit of folly. The only way a Jew can sin is if this spirit of folly enters him, blinding him to the fact that he's diminishing his connection to G-d. Even though I told myself I was doing something wrong, I must not have realized that on a soul-level.

There's a part of me that feels like a raging hypocrite. Another part feels like this is a normal part of being Jewish.


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