The DC area and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic region were hit on Friday and Saturday with significant amounts of snow. Many areas are still without electrical power (ours came back on around 5:30 pm on Saturday), many institutions are closed (some school districts have already preemptively closed through Tuesday), and only the underground parts of the Metro system are operating.
Because the snowstorm was over Shabbat, some Jewish congregations canceled their services, while others went on as usual. At Segulah, we went on with the show (thanks to our host, Tifereth Israel, which never closes on Shabbat), and I’m glad we did. We got a respectable showing of 20 people or so. The missing demographic was young children and their parents, who quite understandably stayed home, but all other ages were represented from 14 to 70s. We also had the earliest average arrival time ever: at least half of the people who showed up were there at the very beginning or right after, and almost no one arrived after the Torah service began. This is probably because on a day like that, you’re either going to do it or you’re not; it’s not worth trekking through a foot of snow (the streets and sidewalks hadn’t really been plowed/shoveled yet) just to show up for the last half hour. We continued with a potluck lunch in an apartment that was powerless and electrically heated, but well-insulated and naturally lit. Everything else may remain shut down for a while, but nothing stops Shabbat!
If you’re in the affected area, and your power is on (or you can access the Internet with your phone), how was (or wasn’t) your Shabbat affected by the snow? Share your stories in the comments!