Monday, May 26, 2008

A dream is one sixtieth part of prophecy

I recently dreamed that I visited a (non-Jewish) doctor's office on Shabbat. It wasn't clear why it was necessary or what they did - it may have been an actual procedure or we may have just discussed some medical issue. Anyway, at the end the secretary handed me a piece of paper (bill? insurance form? malpractice waiver?) to sign. I was confronted with a dilemma. I would be breaking Shabbat by signing it, but it would be tricky to convince them to let me not sign it. So what to do? After debating a bit I decided that I was being forced to break Shabbat, it was not really my fault and there was nothing I could do about it, and since I was an observant Jew, I would make a point of minimizing the violation to the fullest extent possible.

So I went ahead and signed the paper - not my full name, but only my first name.

Of course, even before waking up, I realized that writing one word is just as big a violation of Shabbat as writing two.

I have no doubts about what my subconscious was trying to tell me in this dream, though Shabbat was just the metaphor it chose to use. The actual dubious behavior that I need to stop rationalizing is in other halachic realms.

No comments: