Singer and Radio Show Host Yehoram Gaon Has What to Say about Shabbat

Yehoram Gaon the famous singer opened his radio show with a monologue about Shabbat and the laws and legal hoops people are jumping through to enforce Shabbat observance or to enable its desecration which have made the headlines of the past few weeks. He wanted to explain Shabbat from a secular non-religious paradigm and this is what he said:

“This morning the Shabbat called me up as she had already called a few times before when I worked at Kol Israel (the Voice of Israel radio station). Shabbat asked me: “What do they want from my life?” I didn’t know what to answer her. I asked her to keep watching over us though we don’t watch over her and sometimes we even needlessly shame her. (The Zionist secular Israeli writer) Ahad Ha’am wrote that you needn’t be a Zionist or even someone careful about Mitzvoth to recognize the importance of the Shabbat. Anyone who feels his heart truly tied with our nation throughout all the generations cannot imagine a reality of the Nation of Israel without the Shabbat. We can say without exaggeration that more than Israel keeps the Shabbat, the Shabbat protected them. These words were not penned by a great sage like Rabbi Kook or Rabbi Shlomo Zalman of Liadi (The Baal Hatanya).”

“Shabbat is a miracle we must recognize. Our sages said “A person doesn’t recognize a miracle that happens to him.” That’s how we are. We have a miracle built into us called the Shabbat but we ignore it, despise of rob it and turn it into something to plunder. With all the dealings over or under the table, calculations and battles, the pearl fell into the puddle on the side of the road as we forget what it even symbolizes for us. We forget that it is a basic part of life and a giant anchor for it from which we can draw strength to live a life of meaning and values.”

“It is much more than, and way above whether or not a mall or trains will open or not; whether there will be a coalition agreement or not. I speak as someone secular and not religious and as someone not religious I shout out about the honor of the Shabbat! It’s heavenly and eternal purpose is to create a normal and equal society where every person created in G-d’s image is entitled to rest from the toil of the week. To rest because (of G-d’s) instruction to set aside a break to enjoy a day of thought separate from the rest of the weekdays which provides time for his soul to look around, contemplate and understand, to listen to the whispers around him, to get calm, rest and connect to others that also run around like him the rest of the week. “The land of Israel without the Shabbat won’t be built, it will be destroyed” writes secular writer Haim Nachman Bialik. “The nation of Israel will never forego the Shabbat for it is not only the foundation of The Israeli nation’s existence; it is also the foundation of human existence.”

Yehoram Gaon concludes his monologue with the following: “Today or tomorrow some joint committee of religious and non-religious Jews will get together and decide on some compromise to allow or prohibit something on Shabbat. But Shabbat says: “Really? Don’t you understand I’m not something that is discussed at committee meetings; I am your essence and identity, an asset and not a liability. I belong to all of you… so keep on making committee meetings” says the Shabbat as she sheds tears of deep shame.” 


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