Each morning I walk our pooch around 6:15. On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we leave the house, and he gently ambles around in the yard before walking around the neighborhood. On these days his routine never varies.
But Shabbat is different. When we leave the house on Saturday morning he runs as quickly as I will let him to a path that runs from our neighborhood to the local high school. He pulls me down the path, and on that one day he walks in an adjacent neighborhood and through the high school fields. For years I wondered – how did he know it was Shabbat? He only makes for that path on Saturday mornings.
My friend Steve Kravet helped me figure out how Brady knows that Shabbat is a day apart. He said that there must be something I do differently on Shabbat morning, something that is not done on any other morning of the week. Our dog recognizes this, knows it is a different day, and makes for the high school.
After thinking it over for a while, I realized what it is. It is not something I do on Shabbat, but instead something I don’t do on Saturday mornings that I do every other day of the week, right before walking Brady – make coffee!
Because of the prohibition of cooking on Shabbat, I don’t make coffee Saturday morning. At some point Brady realized that on the day I don’t make coffee he gets to go on a longer, more interesting walk. Maybe we can call it Brady’s Shabbat walk. And all because he ‘observed’ that Shabbat is a different day than any other day of the week.