Good Shabbos. Now I'm really off to work.

I start work on July 1st, this Saturday. Wish me luck!

I don't know how many of you faithful readers have been following the discussion over at House Of Gil about "shomer-shabbos residency programs." I commented a few times there, but let me air my objections in my own daled ames (personal space), where I'm not afraid of injecting non-Orthodox heresies into a cozy Orthoblog. I assume I'll have my own Ortho commenters here, at any rate. (Hi, Dov.) And feel free to remember that I am very much not an unbiased party in this discussion (see the first sentence in this post).

I think it's yet another instance of confusing leshem shomayim (for the sake of Heaven, i.e. honest spiritual striving) with a race to Chumraville. Consider the following facts: nearly everyone in, for example, an internal-medicine residency will be taking care of dangerously ill patients the great majority of the time. ("Dangerously ill" is the relevant halachic category, allowing for translation losses. One can act in certain ways to treat such patients on the Sabbath.) Secondly the great problem with regards to shmiras Shabbos (keeping the Sabbath) in a hospital is electricity, the bane of the observant Jew's existence on Saturday. Yet there is room, on the left end of the spectrum, for leniency with regard to use of electricity. Lastly, it appears that at least some of the Orthodox poskim, well-respected and, naturally, massively erudite Torah scholars, who have weighed in on this issue are not fully informed about the metsies (the facts on the ground) that obtains in modern-day residency programs.

All of these would seem to militate for a reconsideration of what it means for a resident, or a residency program, to be shomer shabbos, Sabbath-observant. It would be wonderful for the Conservative movement to have a crack at it. Or, at the very least (from my way of thinking), it would be greatly preferable to aimless speculation if the two eminent Conservative poskim I have written about my personal situation would answer my e-mails.

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