Before I get to writing my post for today I just want to reiterate that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone on the East Coast dealing with Hurricaine/Tropical Storm Irene and the flooding, power outtages, and flying debris I’m seeing on The Weather Channel. Please stay safe out there friends!
As I have briefly mentioned, D and I recently moved about 5 miles across our town into a new community. There are many more religious Jews living in this area, and as such a totally different vibe on Shabbat.
Yesterday,we went to an Ice Cream Social in a neighborhood park with some lovely young families, and noticed something while walking home. The stoplight at our corner turned and the walk signal was activated as we approached. There was no one else waiting to cross the street who may have pushed the button, and not even any cars who would have triggered the light to change.
D and I looked at each other in awe, as we know that normally you have to push the button, and beyond that, the walk signal on that side of the street hasn’t been working lately even when you push the button. On past Shabbatot (plural of Shabbat) we had just crossed the street when there weren’t cars, which can be tricky given that it is a major street and just a block up from a very busy intersection.
Our best understanding of this occurance is that the city has knowledge of the number of religious Jews in the area and has thus set the walk signals to go automatically on Saturdays. While I have never heard of this before and it seems kind of crazy for a relatively small community, it is the best answer we could come up with. I think its pretty cool! Now that I know, I will always wait for the light, as it is clearly not safe to try to hustle across the street. (I can only imagine trying to do it with little legs like so many of the families here would have to do.)
Have you ever encountered cool things that help protect religious Jews on Shabbat?