Sunday, June 04, 2006

company vacation

Our company vacation was just announced.
At the end of October we will be flying from Haifa to Eilat on a Thursday evening, staying in a nice hotel with kosher food, having group activities and flying home Saturday night after shabbos is over. It is 100% paid for by the company.

On shabbos we wouldn't join in any group activities that included shabbos violations. Last year, the kids got to watch part of the magic show that was done on Friday late afternoon after they promised us that there would be no shabbos problems with it. They kept their words and the kids got to see a good part of it.

Last year we went to the Dead Sea with the company to a hotel with kosher food and had some real problems with the children. A hotel with kosher food in Israel is not by any means a kosher hotel. All shabbos the hotel guests were in the pool with loud music blaring. There was no eruv, so it was difficult to go outside and we had to figure out a "method" for the kids to get their free popsicles from outside without violating the laws of carrying on shabbos. We explained to the kids how important shabbos was and why it was better for us to be in the hotel then outside in the pool. But they were very disappointed and wanted to (at different times) yell "it's shabbos" at the other guests who didn't understand how important it is to keep shabbos and go into the pool anyways. We try to teach our kids that our way of life is correct and better, but when you put a child in front of a candy store, they don't really care how candy is going to rot their teeth.

I can't imagine that it would be any different in Eilat, no matter how many things we brought to entertain them all shabbat.

Another option is to figure out somewhere to leave the kids for shabbos and go by ourselves. By that time my wife will be in her 8th month and might actually appreciate the weekend away. Of course there are logistics involved in this and we've never really left the kids for shabbos before, but this is not unsurmountable.

A solution to the problem may have been found because the flight back to Haifa leaves at 7 PM and you have to be at the airport an hour beforehand. According to hebcal, Shabbos ends that week at around 6 PM in Eilat. I don't know how far away the airport is from the hotel but getting there with 4 kids the minute that shabbos ends is a practical impossibility. I told my secretary we had a problem and let her know that, in any case, we haven't fully decided if we are going or not. Now we'll have to see if they find a way to overcome this problem, and if not we might get to decide on an alternate vacation spot for the religious families.

Persoanlly, I prefer to go on the vacation with the rest of the company, to show them that religious people can be semi-normal and will be happy to be a part of things if they can be done in an acceptable way. However, putting young kids through that is a completely different issue.


rockofgalilee said...

Apparantly, there is also a flight at 7:30 PM that night, so I didn't get out of any decision making on this one.

FrumGirl said...

I feel bad that youd leave your kids behind but it makes sense.

Even without an eiruv, cant you just sit outside by the pool?

By the way, what is wrong with dairy meals? Are you really such a meat and potatoes kind of guy?

rockofgalilee said...

Technically you can just sit out by the pool, and technically there is no problem with standing in the shallow area and cooling off and technically if I take off my glasses then I don't see the untznius girls and technically...

The problem is that we don't want to teach our children that that is an appropriate way to spend shabbos. If I was by myself, I might be more lenient because I know what the boundaries are and I know how we behave on the rest of the shabossim. When I am teaching my children how to behave, they will look at it and say there is no problem with that kind of behavior, and why can't we go sit outside the city pool at home. I would be uncomfortable teaching them things like that before they are old enough to understand the difference.

rockofgalilee said...

Also, while a dairy meal might be ok for a regular weekday meal (I'm not saying that it is, just that it might be), it is certainly wrong for a special meal, such as shabbos or chag.
Special occasions are days that we have an intense joy and as the sages say, "there is no joy when there is no meat"

Anonymous said...

Oh, and this is the Israel I should live in?
My American boss and company is far more tolerant and flexible than your ostensibly "Jewish" ones.

rockofgalilee said...

That's a ridiculous statement.
1) In which way is your American boss and company more flexible and tolerant then my Israeli one?
2) With an attitude like that, who invited you?