This post is about neither singing nor Judaism--although you could say that life is always about connecting to Something Greater, which I find within the context of Judaism. Which means everything I write is, by default, on topic. Today I bought a new mattress, to be delivered tomorrow. I can't really afford it, but months of waking up with backaches finally convinced me to take the plunge. One reason I waited to so long is that I can generally fall asleep anywhere--on a couch, sitting up in a chair, whatever. I like to sleep and seem to have a talent for it, although don't get nearly enough practice. That I was able to remain unconscious for many hours at a stretch on my current rocky plain of springs and cotton helped me delay this purchase for many years. Then last week a friend spoke in ecstasy about her new bed, and I was jealous--and realized Something Greater was giving me a hint.
As a child I was taught, rather vehemently, that the purpose of a mattress was to offer support, end of story. Mushy beds were coveted by mushy, spineless people. It didn't help that my college roommate had a board under her mattress (the closest she could come to the sensation of a sleeping bag in the woods, her preferred habitat), and my post-college boyfriend opted for the Marine-quality brand. I would never admit to them, or anyone else, that I yearned to sink nightly into a sea of fluff. I've purchased two prior mattresses in my lifetime, and in both cases stood in the store struggling with the words of past and present loved ones in one ear ("You're strong! You don't need pillow-top!") and the Heavenly Messenger of Comfort in the other ("You know you want it!"). I remained stoic.
But now I understand that I'm honoring God with this new mattress. God wants us to sleep--we're ordered to rest on Shabbat, and during the week must have energy to work. So sleep is surely a mitzvah that keeps us alive and able to fulfill God's commandments. And we're instructed to perform mitzvot with a measure of elegance and beauty (hiddur mitzvah)--I could indeed sleep on the floor, but this new mattress will raise the experience to a level of art I know God will appreciate.
Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Tomorrow night, accompanied by the Angel of Hedonism, I will experience my very first pillow-top Shabbat.