Friday, November 30, 2012

Thinking about Shabbat

Thanks to my friend and colleague Rabbi Anne Heath, I have just been reading a blog by Rabbi Rami Shapiro to a new rabbi. I quote:
Resting on Shabbat matters because working 60-80 hours a week is killing us. Not shopping on Shabbat matters because consumerism is killing us. Pesach matters not because we were slaves to Egypt's Pharaoh, but because we are slaves to the Pharaohs of the military-industrial-financial-media complex.
Shabbat is beginning. What do you or will you do to observe and celebrate this day? Traditional Judiasm teaches us many things that we are traditionally commanded to do and not to do on Shabbat. But in today's world, we are free to find our own way. What makes Shabbat special for you? What could make it special if it is not already? What is it that don't you have time to do during the week? What would it take to set aside time between sundown on Friday and nightfall on Saturday to do / not do what matters most to you?

I invite you, I challenge you, I encourage you -- find a way to make Shabbat a special day for you and your family, a day when your blood pressure goes down notch, a day when you smile and laugh more, a day to help you refresh and renew your body and your soul. And I also invite you, challenge you, and encourage you to give this day a Jewish flavor. Lighting candles on Friday evening can touch your heart. Setting aside a few moments for prayer can touch your soul. Gathering with family and friends can touch your sense of community. There are a myriad of ways to bring a sense of Shabbat and Judaism into your day. May you find one or many, and may you feel strengthened and renewed in the process.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Katy Allen

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