The neurologist Oliver Sacks reflects on his Orthodox childhood in London, his estrangement from his family and tradition, and his eventual, if partial, reconciliation with both:
My mother and her seventeen brothers and sisters had an Orthodox upbringing—all photographs of their father show him wearing a yarmulke, and I was told that he woke up if it fell off during the night. My father, too, came from an Orthodox background. Both my parents were very conscious of the Fourth Commandment (“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”), and the Sabbath (Shabbos, as we called it in our Litvak way) was entirely different from the rest of the week. No work was allowed, no driving, no use of the telephone; it was forbidden to switch on a light or a stove. Being physicians, my parents made exceptions. They could not take the phone off the hook or completely avoid driving; they had to be available, if necessary, to see patients, or operate, or deliver babies. . . .
The peace of the Sabbath, of a stopped world, a time outside time, was palpable, infused everything.