Uneventful Shabbat (Sabbath).  Quick update, more for me than anyone else.

Friday night Mincha and Ma’ariv (Afternoon and Evening Services) at shul (synagogue) was hard.  There were more people than usual because of a bar mitzvah.  A lot of people were clapping during the singing and making a lot of noise which I found uncomfortable, then the new rabbi initiated circle dancing after Lecha Dodi, which he seems to do a lot, even though there isn’t a huge amount of space for it.  I struggled with the noise and I’m not sure if I struggle more with it now I am aware of my autism or if it’s just that in the past I would have wrongly attributed my discomfort to depression or social anxiety.  I sat out (well, stood out) the dancing again.  I was exhausted from the autistic difficulties I had with going to the barber earlier, plus walking a lot during the day, plus the noise in shul and didn’t feel I could cope with holding hands with people I don’t know very well, being squeezed into a space too small for the number of people there and feeling awkwardly like everyone was staring at me (although it’s debatable whether I felt less stared at sitting it out, given how few people didn’t join in).

I had hoped to go to shul this morning, but after a night of insomnia and, when sleep eventually came, very strange dreams (upright talking orangutans who use public transport and patronise kosher cafes) I overslept.  And then slept for a further two hours after lunch and so am wide awake now.  I went to shul for Mincha today, but there was no seudah and shiur (third meal and religious class) as usual because a Famous Rabbi was in town and everyone was going to another shul to hear him speak after an hour of chevruta (paired) learning to prepare.  My experiences of chevruta learning in the past, including last week, have rather put me off it and I suspected Famous Rabbi’s shiur would be drily halakhic (on Jewish law), so I came home and read (parts of: a Doctor Who graphic novel (The Phantom Piper), a book on the Spanish Civil War and Rabbi Hayyim Angel’s fascinating book on Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi).

That was about it, really.  A little bit of anxiety about the quiz I’m going to tomorrow and about trying to sell my writing, but mostly I was OK.  Admittedly that was because I was asleep a lot.

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