Like most people I used to rush out of Shabbos, I would be outside with my friends looking through the light pollution of New York trying to find three stars. The second someone would spot the three stars, we were free, free to do what I don’t actually know, but it felt like we had just gone through our own little exodus and were able to roam as free as a bird. I also made fun of those people that wore their Shabbos clothing after Shabbos. I couldn’t wait to tear off my non-cotton pants, Shabbos shoes and black socks – it felt so good to be free!
Fast forward 10 years and my post Shabbos feelings have taken a 180 degree turn. The worst part of my week is when the end of Shabbos is nearing. I get depressed mid afternoon and begin to wish that Shabbos could last just another day or a few extra hours. I think what I am getting is post Shabbos depression and apparently I am not alone. Sure, there are loads of folks who know the exact moment Shabbos is over and somehow have their bluetooths already in their ear right after they say atah chonantanu in shemona esrei, but there are plenty of folks like me — folks who simply don’t want to leave the holiness of Shabbos.
Not only have I begun to leave my Shabbos clothes on for all of Saturday night (I was never into going out Saturday night much either way – usually just a bike ride or something) but I have actually begun to appreciate the concept of a melave malka, which in effect is supposed to be an extension of Shabbos. I always used to hate on the whole melave malka thing. Who the hell wants to eat late at night after we just ate a bunch of heavy food all day? Don’t these frummies ever do anything cool? Can’t they ever get out of the house? Do you think I want to eat leftovers of food I just ate for lunch? We just had shalosh seudos, you want me to stuff my face again?
But post Shabbos depression isn’t just about Shabbos being over — it’s about going back into my loner world, because Shabbos is the one time of my week when I join a community. Usually I am on the outskirts of the community. Sure, I hop into shul and pick up a sefer every now and then, but rarely am I involved in the community other than shabbos – and I think this applies to many Jews. I don’t believe in just being a Shabbos Jew like many people, but at the same time I kind of feel like one when Shabbos is over and it’s time for me to enter the week of gashmiyas ahead – ironically one of the funniest ways to mess with BT’s is to tell them that we put the havdallah wine on our eyes because it is considered battle paint for the week of gashmiyas ahead.
Mini Glossary: I wish I had the will power or the ability to make a little glossary at the end of every post for all of you who will leave my site to google certain terms you don’t understand. The fact is, 35% of the people who read this site are not orthodox and in my will to keep them here rather than sending them to google I figure I might as well do some sort of glossary in the end section.
Melave Malka: Literally to escort the Shabbos queen away, she comes in at lecha dodi which we say during davening on Friday night. The Shabbos queen hangs around after Shabbos and the melave malka is a good bye meal. The halacha is that it should be right after Shabbos, some rabbis have a little mezonos (crackers, cookies, etc…) right after havdallah to be yotze, even though it’s common to hear people at the pizza store three hours later to say things like – “dude we should have melave malka in mind” and so on.