Dear Rabbi,

As I grow in my observance, I have stopped taking calls on the Shabbat. I have a friend I would always speak to on Saturday morning. I used to look forward to her once a week phone call. I had a conversation with her and explained that I cannot speak on the phone on Shabbat. But she feels abandoned and insists on calling at the same time we would always speak.

What should I do?


It sounds like you really treasure this relationship. Generally, when someone is growing in observance, and that growth causes separation from friends and close ones, it can become difficult to continue growing.

The easy way out of this dilemma is to just cut off the relationship. However, in addition to the feelings of remorse that could be created by a broken relationship, you would be teaching your friend (not rightly) that growing in Judaism does not bring tranquility and a more meaningful life, but rather distance between friends. It is not usually a good idea to burn bridges, for they are difficult to rebuild.

So, why not stop waiting for her to call you and give her a call on Friday afternoon to wish her a good Shabbat?

And if you are up to it, invite her for a Shabbat meal. Offer to have her sleep over.

Show her that you really value her friendship, and that while you are growing in your Judaism, you also want your friendship to grow.

See Shabbat: A Day of Rest from our Shabbat minisite.