October 29: Shabbat

Today is Shabbat - as in the Sabbath - honored by the Jewish communities.

You can forget eating an omelette, pancakes or drinking fresh espresso this morning. Tasks must be done on a timer because people are banned from turning on machines and electronics manually.

The hotel even has an elevator specifically entitled "The Shabbat Elevator." Many, many people have made the mistake of stepping onto this elevator, only to find out the hard way, exactly how the Shabbat elevator runs. Most people step on at the first floor and... "Whoops! The elevator just passed my floor! Wait a second... How did I end up on the 17th floor?!"

You know how an elevator stops at every single floor when a kid jumps on and hits all of the buttons -- kind of like in this clip from Serendipity?

Welcome to the Shabbat Elevator - except there is no kid. From the 17th floor, the elevator stops at each floor one-by-one on its way down. This process goes on from sun-down (Friday) to sun-down (Saturday). Fortunately, there were three other elevators we could ride. More importantly, Adam made the mistake of taking the Shabbat Elevator when he was in Israel last time... thank goodness that we can learn from others' mistakes. :)

All of the kosher restaurants either shut down or only serve pre-prepared food on Shabbat. These restaurants make up the majority of the population. Fortunately, McDonalds is not a kosher restaurant; thus, we devoured some chicken nuggets and french fries when we traveled to Megiddo. More on that adventure next Tuesday.