A few generations ago, keeping Shabbos in this country was a major test because of the near-impossibility of finding parnassah that didn’t require one to work on that day. Today, the nisayon of keeping Shabbos is almost nonexistent, and the norm in major Jewish communities is that Jewish stores are closed. However, the unfortunate reality is that there are still some Jewish-owned stores and businesses that open on Shabbos.
This year’s Shabbos Parade will take place along Kings Highway this coming Shabbos, Parashas Vayera, 15 Cheshvan/Oct. 19. It is organized by the Vaad Mishmeres Shabbos, which has worked to promote the mitzvah of shemiras Shabbos for over half a century.
The procession will start, iy”H, on Ocean Parkway and Kings Highway at 11:45 a.m., proceed up Kings Highway to Ocean Avenue, cross to the other side of the street, return down Kings Highway and conclude at Joyce Kilmer Square, the small park located at East 12th Street and Kings Highway.
A choir of local yeshivah children will participate, singing Shabbos niggunim to inspire passersby. A number of Rabbanim are expected to address participants. A NYPD escort will accompany the marchers.
People may wonder how their personal participation in the parade will make a difference.
Rabbi Chaim Rauch, founder and head of the Vaad Shemiras Shabbos, has explained, “Please remember that a thousand single individuals add up to a giant parade. Each and every person has a chov kadosh to make this a huge and impressive Shabbos parade.”
He also urged follow-up by encouraging Jewish merchants to close their stores on Shabbos.
May our strengthening the mitzvah of kedushas Shabbos provide zechuyos and protection for Klal Yisrael in these challenging times.