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11/28/2022 09:06:36 AM


SHABBAT! A gift to yourself! Shabbat is a restful pause where we hold our hands up to the outside world, saying "give me some space to breathe... I will get back to you on that to do item on Sunday."  My week has always centered around SHABBAT. A Jew is always moving in time towards or away from Shabbat. My husband and I used to joke that on Sunday we already start planning for the next Shabbat! I have always been sad that so many people have succumbed to using Shabbat as the day to do errands, etc... that they could not complete during the week. I understand that. But, as my mother would say when I would refuse to taste a new food: "You don't know what you are missing".

Shabbat is a practice that takes time to cultivate. But, the rewards are beyond measure. What does it mean to "practice" shabbat? How can you incorporate a little shabbat practice to gently move towards experiencing this gift of  pausing? Here are just a few suggestions to make Shabbat a special day in your home,  one you can look forward to: These suggestions are created for home practice, although we would love to see you at shul on Friday night and/or Shabbat morning, because spending time and connecting with fellow Jews is a super way to practice shabbat.

These are activities that bring you into the shabbat spirit: 1 Thursday or Friday: buy flowers, put a white tablecloth on your table. Plan a family dinner (chicken NOT required), make your tzedakah contributions, play a Jewish Youtube, Look up the Torah portion of the week and take 5 minutes to read a summary. (Check out the Rabbi's weekly blog!) 

2) Friday night:  Light candles and recite Kiddush,  Bless your children,  Review Friday evening prayer melodies here, A family dinner at a table with Kiddush and Challah! Video chat with grandparents, Save the most special dessert of the week for Friday night.

3) Shabbat Day: Reserve a block of time for family bonding activities such as walks, games and puzzles. Gift yourself with time to meditate, read or do yoga or some other restful activity. Try to end Shabbat with the 5 minute Havdallah ceremony that helps you transition back into the active, busy world of "doing."

These are some things you might want to avoid doing on shabbat as they detract from Shabbat: Bills, Shopping, Banking, Laundry, Cleaning, Yard Work, Worrying about the future... 

Shabbat is an opportunity to pause our "doing" each week and focus on "being". But, it will only happen if you actively take steps to make it happen. Start with one step at a time... and you might see what you have been missing in your life. 



Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784