Three years after I moved to Israel I am still having Sunday withdrawal problems. There is no Sunday in Israel. No brunches or reading the thick Sunday paper until the newsprint is all over you and you are half-asleep on the couch by noon. I am beginning to think this is something you don’t get over. My Sunday may have left me but I am not ready to leave it.
As I stare at the computer screen I can’t help but reminisce about the good old days when Sunday was spent in a lazy haze. No comparison to Shabbat, Sunday was the ultimate day of relaxation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Shabbat and sitting around with my friends eating, playing games (especially apples to apples) and sleeping- but I am always aware of the Shabbat clock, time is always running out. When I had Sunday in America, Shabbat could come and go because I knew I still had one more day to do or better yet not do anything.
I think about the long brunches I had sitting at tables with leftover pancakes drowning in syrup begging me for one more bite. The day seemed to go on forever. I could go shopping, walk around, go for a run or hang out with friends for a movie marathon. Now tell me when can you do that in Israel?
Sunday was like Prozac. With one dose of Sunday I knew I was going to be ok for the week. And like any drug addict I craved my Sunday like a bad habit. Coming to Israel forced me to go cold turkey. And while I had Shabbat, it just never ever feels the same.
On Thursday afternoon I am excited for the weekend but by Friday morning I feel like it is already over. I am so stressed with errands, running around town, cooking, cleaning and trying to have some fun in between that I am just looking forward to next Thursday night, rather than any kind of weekend ahead of me.
While there is a small government lobby to add Sunday to the weekend in Israel, it doesn’t seem like there is any real potential of a law passing. After all, Israelis have no idea what they are missing out on. The biggest supporter of Sundays is the religious crowd who believe that more people will keep Shabbat if they had Sunday to go hiking, hang out and get “jiggy” with it. This of course makes the secular give the option of weekend Sunday a big fat NO and leaves me behind with tears in my eyes.
So for now Sunday remains an illusion. I can see it on the calendar stretching beyond Saturday and at the end of the week, but in Israel it is the first day of the week. Sunday is transformed in to Monday, sucking out any pleasure of reading papers or hanging out at a café too long and in its place added the bitter taste of work, unfinished errands and the countless days ahead of you until yummy Thursday.