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In Solidarity With Jewish Friends, Atheist Also Does No Homework On Saturdays


Photo by the Daily Pennsylvanian

Credit: Lucas Weiner

Ally of the year? Morgan Cavatappi (C’23), longtime atheist, joins her orthodox Jewish friends in refraining from doing any of her schoolwork on Saturday in an act of radical compassion and empathy. Saturday is Shabbat, which is considered the day of rest in Judaism, and many Jews actively choose to engage in restful activities. 

“I just want to be there for my Jewish friends as they observe this meaningful day,” said Morgan, who has personally rejected organized religion. “I mean, I totally would do my homework on Saturdays. But I feel like it’s really rude if I’m doing my work right in front of them. So, I’m doing the noble thing and putting down my pen and pencil to stand with my Jewish friends.” It should be noted that Morgan is a chronic procrastinator with an essay due on Monday

Morgan says that she’s going to do the “classic” Shabbat activities. “My friend Seth told me all about it over Shabbat dinner on Friday night. We’re going to just join together and wear our Menorahs, read our kippah, eat our Sukkots,” said Morgan, as she squinted to read the smudged writing on her hand. 

Seth Shulman (C ‘22), Morgan’s orthodox friend, commented on Morgan’s commitment to honoring Shabbat. “You know, I think her heart’s in the right place. But her kippah definitely isn’t.” 

(Morgan promptly removed the kippah from her head after this comment. )

When asked why she still uses her phone on Shabbat, considering that many Jews also refrain from using technology, she said, “Look, I can’t be the perfect ally, okay? It’s exhausting. I’m showing up in the best way I know how. Plus, I don’t want to lose my Snapchat streaks.” So inspiring.