Those who know me well also know that each week, from approximately 15 – 20 minutes before sunset Friday evening until roughly 40 – 45 minutes after sunset Saturday night, I go into what those near and dear to me refer to as Total Jew Lock Down (aka TJLD).
So, not only am I the Kosher Samurai, I am also the Shomer Shabbos Samurai! 
Like the laws of keeping kosher, the laws of keeping the Sabbath are, to the beginner, numerous and complex. Like so many new things, it’s not all that hard once you get used to it. Becoming shomer Shabbes, like keeping kosher, is life-altering for the person who decides to take on that obligation. But that’s not what I really want to discuss right now.
What I find interesting and what I want to focus on in this piece is the effect Total Jew Lock Down has on the gentile or non-observant Jewish relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintances of the shomer Shabbes person.  Very often, their reaction follows certain “stages”, not unlike the Kübler-Ross Model of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance as set out in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.
Here are my own personal Five Stages of Dealing with the Sabbath Observant Jew.
Wilful Blindness: Some will simply choose not to deal with the situation by pretending it’s not there. They will set an appointment, event, etc, on a Friday night or Saturday and then be shocked… shocked… when you say that you can’t make it. “Why on earth not?” they will ask with stunned surprise. When you start to explain for the tenth or twentieth time, they will become terribly confused. A kind of blank expression will overtake their faces. Their eyes will glaze over. It is during the Wilful Blindness stage that you will receive repeated and increasingly frustrated or alarmed messages on your voicemail on Friday night and Saturday wondering why you aren’t replying. This can go on for months.
Exasperation: Eventually, the Wilfully Blind move to the next stage and display annoyance, frustration and impatience. While almost never reaching the point of outright Anger, petulance is common and hissy fits have been known to occur. Exasperation is often combined with broad hints that you are being selfish, unkind and unreasonable. Passive-aggressive tactics are widely used during this phase. It’s also during this stage that you are most likely be labelled a ‘fanatic’ and there are whispers that you are ‘exhibiting cult-like behaviour.’
Haggling: When it becomes clear that displays of Exasperation have no effect, the move to Haggling is swift and smooth. Trying to take the supposed ‘high road’ of reasonable negotiation, the Haggler will present all sorts of creative alternative ways to ‘get around’ the Sabbath. When met with the inevitable rejection, the Haggler will often give an innocent blink and ask for the reason why their compromises are being rebuffed . It is important to appreciate that the Haggler almost never cares what the actual reason is. They are not inviting you to give a dissertation on why you cannot manually turn off a lamp on Friday night but it is OK to set an electrical timer to have the lamp automatically turn off on Friday night. The point is to get you to cave in to their request that you stop being shomer Shabbes, at least insofar as it affects them.
Petulance: At this stage, the Haggler more or less gives up but simply cannot let go of the irritation. The attitude, albeit not usually put in blunt terms, is ‘I can’t discuss this subject with you because there’s no reasoning with an extremist!’ Passive-aggressive tactics put in a return engagement. There is an enticing mention of a get-together of old friends at that darling new bistro downtown… “but of course, we can’t do it Saturday when everyone ELSE is available, heaven forbid!” Rolling eyes, shaking heads, sullen looks and heavy sighs abound. Pouting is lifted to an art form.
Resignation: Hard as it may be to believe at times, few people can stay in the Petulance stage forever. They either terminate the friendship or resign themselves to the fact there there’s not a heck of a lot to do other than go along with things. Phone calls, emails and text messages appear with less frequency on Sabbath and eventually stop altogether. When there is a message on the voicemail, it goes something like, “Hi, it’s me. I know you won’t get this message until tonight but call me after Shabbos, OK?”
I’ve been extremely lucky. When I became more and more observant over the years, people were curious and didn’t really understand it all but were quite accepting and even supportive. I think deep down they like the idea of someone standing by their beliefs and principles, no matter what. They don’t need or even want an explanation as to why I do what I do. They just like to put things in the right mental slot.
I think a fine example occurred a few years ago on a late Friday afternoon. Several of my friends and colleagues and I were at a cafe patio enjoying a social get-together after a long day’s work. I looked at my watch. It was getting late and I needed to get home before Sabbath began. I finished my Diet Coke, got up announced my departure with a cheery “Well, folks. I gotta go. G-d said!” As I gathered my things, I noticed a colleague asking one of my non-Jewish friends, “G-d said?” She merely smiled at the colleague, nodded and replied, “It’s a Jew thing!”
And that’s all that was needed, really.
Or as Elisabeth Kübler-Ross might have exclaimed, “Acceptance!”
 For the over 99.7% of people in Canada and the U.S. who aren’t observant Jews, shomer Shabbos or shomer Shabbat (שומר שבת) is the term for one who observes the commandments (and Talmudic/rabbinic interpretations associated therewith) concerning the Jewish Sabbath. Those of you familiar with the movie The Big Lebowski will recall a scene where John Goodman expresses himself with a certain degree of warmth about not being able to compete in a bowling tournament scheduled for Saturday because he is shomer Shabbos. These commandments also apply, with some variations and modifications, to the 13 biblically mandated Jewish holy days of the year, for example Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur and Passover, to name a few. Whether it’s for Sabbath or the Holy Days, my friends simply refer to it as Total Jew Lock Down.
 For the purposes of this piece, I am presuming that the relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintances of the shomer Shabbes person are not themselves Orthodox Jews or, at least, not as observant as the shomer Shabbes person. An interesting phenomenon is that sometimes those most resistant to the Sabbath observant are Jews who are not themselves shomer Shabbes. Example, two friends from childhood, both growing up Reform or Conservative. As adults, one of the friends decides to become observant and live an Orthodox Jewish life. Of all of the people the newly-observant Jew knows, the non-Orthodox Jewish friend (as well as non-observant family members) may very well put up the most resistance. It is unlikely that Catholic, Protestant or agnostic friend will kick up as much of a fuss as the non-observant friends or family.