After a couple of days off, I’ve returned to work. For the past few days, I’ve been sitting in a courthouse in downtown Manhattan performing my civic duty on jury duty.
I’d never had jury duty before. But from what I’d heard, it was going to be horrible. Hour after hour of sitting in a stuffy room with smelly, rude people squeezed next to you. Hell on Earth some would say. Worse than the DMV!
These people are all liars.
Jury duty is the best. When I was excused yesterday and everyone was cheering, all I could think of was, “please, just one more day! I have another Harry Potter book to read!”
And then it hit me. Why is jury duty so amazing? Why did I love it so much? Because jury duty is an amazing cross breed of Shabbat and Law & Order.
Law & Order is the easy part to explain. I got to go into an actual New York City courtroom and sit 20 feet away from an actual defendant. Then the judge interviewed me! All I wanted to do was tell her that this was the highlight of my life.
But why Shabbat? Because jury duty is like having Shabbat every day of the week, except in addition, you get a two hour lunch break. Sure you can bring your computer and work. But why do that when you can bring three books with you, curl up on a comfy chair and read in silence for seven hours?
The jury room is much like synagogue. You sit in your chair for hours dozing off. And then every once in a while a mysterious man walks up to a microphone in the front and calls people’s names to approach him.
At the end of yesterday, they told me that they wouldn’t call me again for jury duty until 2017. Again, everyone cheered. Those people need to start keeping Shabbat.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.