Do me a favor, secular friends, don't come over for Shabbat. I simply can not handle your adorable little Tomer turning off the light in the bathroom.
Please spare us the surprise Saturday afternoon knock on the door (or G-d forbid, ring the bell): Me in my white Shabbat shirt, in the middle of blessing over the wine, you with a bouquet of flowers I cannot place in water on this holy day.
Please don't come over on Shabbat. With your never-turned-off cellular phone and the visible pack of cigarettes you clumsily try to hide.
Don't come visiting on Shabbat, not even if you call in advance. If we happen to invite you – please politely decline. Because it pushes our buttons. We with our "mishigas," our rules and our old habits.
We will ask you to arrive before sundown so you don't desecrate the most holy day of the week, and after dinner we'll pretend not to know you drive your car back home. That's not our business.
Since we wanted you to stay over for the entire Shabbat, morning, noon and evening. You, G-d help us, said you couldn't stay for the entire weekend. We only wanted you to, once, experience a real Shabbat.
Some of my best friends are secular...
Just imagine what having secular guests on Shabbat means. Welcome to hell: lights turned on and off by mistake, toilet paper ripped, text messages flying, toasts popping, yarmulkes falling, kids turning on the TV. Our own children, innocent of the taste of sin, are tempted by a life of atheism.
You and your wife harass the guests with missionary fervor, singing, explaining and quoting rabbi after rabbi, displaying the wonder of the Jewish family. Oy oy oy, what a mitzvah – so important to educate the secular.
It's true this multicultural experience on our Shabbat turf has an exotic appeal. Yet, let's see you explain to them why the lights go off all over the house when the clock hits midnight.
Go explain to the kid in the hip-hopish hairdo why you simply cannot serve pancakes on Saturday morning and why the TV is off limits. How do you justify to the friend why you did not answer him when he whispered in your ear during morning prayer.
Yes, some of my best friends are secular, but on Shabbat I pretend I don't have any. I love them, I cherish them but I won't call them and they don't call me.
Don't come on Shabbat, stop by on Sunday, Monday, and bring all of your kids with you. But not on Shabbat. It's too complicated. One Shabbat – two nations.