I had an amazing experience today. It struck a chord of memory.
I was in the car, doing a small round of visits.
Absolutely everything was closed.
There were very few cars on any of the roads, and even fewer buses.
Not even any panhandlers.
It was mid-afternoon and the whole town was shut up tight.
It felt familiar; I had a memory of this---
when I was a kid in Philadelphia and New Jersey, this happened every single Sunday.
Absolutely everything closed. People were home with their families, eating, or playing, or watching TV.
The streets were quiet.
When I lived in Jerusalem, that same thing happened every Saturday: stores and shuq were closed and quiet. Very few cars, no noise and bustle, no buses. People were in shul or home with their families, eating, or singing, or napping.
The streets were quiet: it was shabbos.
Today, I experienced it in Boulder.
The supermarkets, the restaurants, the small stores: all closed.
The buses and the cars were few.
The air was quiet.
It was not a day like any other day: it was Christmas, and it felt like shabbos.
I made two visits to friends, behaving as if it were Israel; that is, dropping in with no notice.
I was received warmly, as if it were Israel.
As if it were shabbos.