Making sure the Sabbath goes smoothly
July 4, 2010 2:02 AM   Subscribe

An Orthodox Jewish friend is coming to stay with me for a couple of days, including a Saturday. How can I best make sure we have a great time without her breaking any of her Sabbath restrictions?

Of course, I've spoken to the friend in question about this, and we've worked out what we're going to do re: food/drink, carrying money, and travelling. What I'm looking for here is potential issues that might not have occurred to me. Specifically, at the moment I'm planning for us to spend that Saturday wandering around and sight-seeing on foot (and hoping it doesn't rain!); are there likely to be any hurdles with that I'm not taking into account?
posted by Catseye to Religion & Philosophy (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Your friend will have probably made many preparations for a Shabbos away from home and will let you know in advance of everything else. Things you may want to do as a courtesy is tear up lengths of toilet paper in advance, find her sleep/wake schedule in advance so you can turn out the lights for her at night or wake her up in the morning if she's going to services (since she won't be able to turn off an alarm). Carrying stuff outside is prohibited unless you're in an eruv, if your neighborhood's not in one, then carry around a big bag so you can carry stuff for her. Anyway, I'm sure your friend will be the best one to tell you how best to handle a Shabbos outing.
posted by holterbarbour at 2:21 AM on July 4, 2010

Best answer: Also turn off the refrigerator light by unscrewing the bulb so when she opens the door on Shabbat the light won't turn on.
posted by watercarrier at 3:00 AM on July 4, 2010

Best answer: Avoid elevators. Listen carefully for hints--if they need you to do something that they aren't allowed to do themselves, they may hint at you to help them (turning off a light, adjusting the a/c, etc). They can't ask you to do any of this directly, though.
posted by litnerd at 4:13 AM on July 4, 2010

Best answer: Liquid soap and kleenex (or pre-torn toilet paper, as holterbarbour said) for the bathroom.
posted by lucy.verdad at 5:21 AM on July 4, 2010

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