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Due to undisclosed circumstances, I'd rather not go the local shul CURRENTLY, at the given moment. Spending Shaabath with the community definitely was an immense help in getting those ~25 hours without screwing around with different prohibitions done.

Thing is, when I'm alone for this time and have all kinds of electronics turned off and don't do melachot, I get bored out of my mind. It seems that my yetzer hara likes to attack me in those moments, where I sit in my room and don't do 'things'. Shaabath is supposed to strengthen my connection with haShem, not weaken it (I think at least. I might be wrong as it is in a sense a reminder of death). But after this week's Shaabath I was left in total emptiness and frustration. I feel like the bond weakened. It is as if though I started to repeat some dumb mistakes after this week's Shaabath. Summer is nearing and it is way more difficult to get over it than it is in the winter time, when a good amount of sleep (also during the day time on Saturday) gets me through soundly.

So, it is definitely not how I'd imagine a proper Shaabath should be. I don't want to feel that bored, blank state again. Sure, loosing track of time (waiting for the stars to appear on Saturday night as an indicator when Shaabath ends) and this total physical and psychological relaxation might be a good thing. But when I'm in a 'hyper' state (which I usually am after a certain time of refraining from 'activities') it gets a bit torturous - turning into a primitive thing lying in bed and wrestling with a chair instead of being able to connect fully with haShem. I also notice that once the phone and the electronics are shut off (the entertainment is gone), I contemplate a lot about the negative aspects of my past. It is crazy how certain thoughts and memories suddenly fall into place once it's night time, the moon is shining and you are left on your own, as if back in the year 1000 from a lack of entertainment perspective.

That is why I'd like to ask for some suggestions on how to spend Shaabath in total (human) solitude in a constructive manner. I imagine books would be most likely the best way, though I lack any at the given moment as I've read through my current collection (which is not very big).

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    Look into fulfilling all aspects of Judaism, this will leave you feeling fulfilled, challenged and certainly occupied. – Dr. Shmuel Mar 17 at 18:06
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    Possible duplicate judaism.stackexchange.com/q/7625/759 – Double AA Mar 17 at 18:33
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    Like you said, books are probably the easiest solution. If you don’t have any books, you can always go to the library on Friday and take out a couple. Another thing you can do is learn Torah (I would suggest the weekly portion from an Artscroll Chumash). You can set aside some time to say tehillim for any sick people you know, which has the added benefit of organizing your shabbos. Of course there are many other things you can do, like play games or sleep, but those are less productive, and will help you less to connect with HaShem. – Lo ani Mar 17 at 18:41
  • @Double AA: thanks for the link; the mere thought that fellow Jews have trouble with this is somewhat comforting: I'm not the only one struggling with what seems to be very basic. – Ilja Mar 17 at 19:41
  • Shaabath is supposed to strengthen my connection with haShem - It is. Just think of it this way: On one hand, God is believed to be the happiest Being there is. On the other hand, we humans, made in His image, associate certain things with happiness. But there's a catch: many (so as not to say most, or even all) of these are, simply speaking, wholly absent from God's being. So, perhaps the Sabbath is supposed to make us ponder what God's main source of fulfillment and well-being might be ? Unless you want to argue that He was sad and empty before creating the heavens and the earth. – Lucian Mar 18 at 0:37
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There is no question that spending Shabbat alone can be frustrating, boring and difficult. It is not good for man to be alone, and for sure not on Shabbat (which might be the reason Eve was created right before Shabbat).

Ideally Shabbat would be spent in the company of friends, or at least other Jews. If this is not possible, here are a few ideas

  • borrowing books from the synagogue (you could start here or there or, if you need more advanced ideas you can ask a question here)
  • printing in advance divrei Torah from the Internet (see for instance here for ideas of sources)
  • take a walk outside in nature

I see a related question was asked and has many more suggestions: How can I make a long summer shabbat a delight?

Last, if this community is not one you want to visit, maybe you could

  • visit a different community, e.g., chabad might have a center close to yours
  • try to get invited by some friendly community members for a shabbat meal, even if you don't go to the synagogue. The rabbi might be helpful in arranging this

PS. Shabbat is not a reminder of death. It is a reminder of the world to come! The Ramchal in the end of Derech Hashem (part 4, ch. 7, here in English) writes beautifully about this.

  • The first paragraph of your answer is a very warm comfort: I realize that my rather negative experience isn't so unique after all. Indeed, I imagine it to be tremendously easy if spent with family or friends (even if they are non-Jews but obviously respect Shaabath and act accordingly). But at the present time, this is not possible. I did a walk and roamed in the nearby forest for approxiametly 2 hours, but even the great scenery couldn't help me too much. I felt somewhat abandoned. Regarding your post script: could you give me an exact chapter for Derekh Hashem? I think we have the same idea. – Ilja Mar 17 at 19:51
  • Also, another question. A fellow Jew told me once that carrying even a light back pack (with close to no content in it; a brush, keys and a bottle of water/milk) isn't allowed. If I were to put in some food and a blanket inside it and went outside somewhere in nature, would it pose a problem? I'm familiar with the prohibition about carrying in the public domain but this just seems so... non-malachot. – Ilja Mar 17 at 19:52
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    @Anonymous it's a violation of halacha to carry things through a public domain, but there is a thing called an eiruv that can make a designated area like a private domain, halachically speaking. Jewish population centers tend to have them and it sounds like you live in a Jewish area, so you might have an eiruv available. You'd need to contact the people who run it to learn its boundaries, and you need to check each week to make sure it's available. – Monica Cellio Mar 17 at 21:33
  • @Monica Cellio: what about a totally secluded area deep inside the forest? I mean like totally secluded. Wild animals like deer-secluded. If I claim this place for myself, would it make it eiruv? You got it totally wrong. I'm originally from an eastern former Soviet country but my parents moved to a western european country. In my immediate area, I'm probably the only Jew (dormitary, forest and village around me. The Jewish community is in the city area). – Ilja Mar 17 at 21:51
  • Oh, I took your reference to a local shul to mean that there's a community nearby. The laws of eiruv are complicated and we can't give you a practical ruling here; for that you'd need to consult a rabbi. Sorry. – Monica Cellio Mar 17 at 21:53
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Most people I know in similar situations survive - and enjoy - Shabbos by reading.

Magazine subscriptions are an affordable way to get enough reading material each week. If you are so inclined you can order one with Jewish content, or you can search special deals on line to get a variety of nonJewish magazines for next to nothing.

And of course there’s your local library. Read each week and you’ll be your librarians favorite customer.

As an additional thought, many forms of excercise can be permitted on Shabbos (CYLOR). Excercise helps with that hyper feelings and is really good for you.

It’s not just you. Shabbos alone can be tough and often doesn’t feel very uplifting. Hoping these suggestions help a little.

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I struggled with this when I first began keeping Shabbat. Torah study is what worked for me. You absolutely need a Chumash. Read the Torah portion in English, chant it in Hebrew, and print out Divrei Torah from websites like Torah.org.

Add in 3 decent meals, sleep and a nap and you've got 20 or so hours of Shabbat covered. Daven 5 times (Kabbalat, Maariv, Shacharit, Mussaf, Mincha). There's another 2-3 hours spent getting closer to G-d. The rest will fall into place.

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