Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Shabbaton by any other name

Two of the Shiputzim kids were away on two different weekend retreats this past Shabbat.

We interrupt this post to bring you the following digression:

In the States, such events are known as Shabbatons.

However, here in Israel, the term shabbaton (שבתון) means an academic sabbatical, while an organized Shabbat retreat for a specific group of people is referred to by one of the following names:

  • Shabbat ______: The blank denotes either the event’s location (e.g. Shabbat Hevron, Shabbat Yerushalayim, etc.); the participants (e.g. Shabbat Machzor or Shabbat Shichvah – for a grade level, Shabbat Yeshiva or Shabbat Ulpanah – for an entire school, etc.); or the retreat’s objective (e.g. Shabbat Gibbush – literally, consolidation or solidification;  refers to a sense of cohesion, group spirit and camaraderie).
  • Seminariyon: Literally, seminar.

This past Shabbat, for example, one of the Shiputzim kids was on a seminariyon, and the other one was on a Shabbat [Location]. But as far as I can tell, the two events were fairly similar.

And so I turn to you, dear readers, to help me understand the difference between these two types of Shabbat retreats. Thanks in advance for your input.


We now return you back to your regularly scheduled post.

Both kids called home just before Shabbat.

One child vividly described the accommodations, the participants, the activities, the food, etc.

The other reluctantly responded to my questions with a few noncommittal monosyllables and said that “the details” [sic] could wait until after Shabbat.

Can you guess which one is a Shiputzim son and which is a Shiputzim daughter?



  1. I can guess. But it's stereotypical.

  2. I can, except that in my family it is the oppsite.

    (son gives every detail, while daughter is too busy to talk)

  3. My youngest is going on her first Shabbat Ulpana today and spent the week in deliberation about the room, what kind of candy she's bringing and what to pack.

    Shabbat Shalom!

  4. Yaffa - In this case, we definitely fit the stereotype...

    Keren - To be fair, I should note that once they got home, both kids were equally willing to talk about their respective weekends...

    Baila - Those are VERY important decisions which are not to be taken lightly - as, apparently, is the decision regarding which suitcase or knapsack one should take. (If the bag is too big, that's way uncool. But if the bag is too small, there's no room for one's sleeping bag...)


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