This morning I had to email the leader of a training session that I may have to leave a few minutes early due to I observe the Sabbath.
My husband insisted that emailing ahead of time was more professional then when I would leave the call later this afternoon. I have learned to be more upfront about it, but it is still hard, since I don’t want people to judge me or be less likely to give me promotions since I “ain’t gonna work on Saturday.” I had a “woe is me” attitude in my mind. And then I remembered what type of adversity Jews have been facing in this realm over the years.
In my grandfather’s generation, my grandfather included, many chose to work on Saturday since it was extremely difficult to keep a job or run a business (in my grandfather’s case) without doing so. My grandparents were traditional conservative, drove only for the purpose of getting to shul, and as I said, my grandfather worked.
G-d bless America, that, nowadays, the source of stress comes down to me sending an email explaining that I have to leave a meeting a few minutes early. Or that, as in the past, I have to use my vacation days to observe Jewish holidays, as well as to leave early on Fridays in the winter when sundown is earlier in the day.
Sure, there are still challenges, but the path has been paved for me to be able to keep a job without the excruciating financial pressure to work on Saturday.