Shabbat

"Does the Sabbath exist independently from the preparation, from the tradition?  Can you meet your family for a pizza dinner on Friday, relax together for the first time all week, drive home after dark, snuggle up to a video tape, feel happy to be alive, and call it Shabbas?  Can you go to the beach with your family on Saturday, enjoying the creation on a beautiful day, and fulfill the observance?  The rabbis rather firmly say no.  A tired man and woman might prefer yes.

"Here’s a puzzle: If you race home from the office, snap off the cartoons, shake your roast chicken out of a box, and light the candles exactly by sundown; if you bound out of bed next day though you desperately need your sleep, and then head out to services in the rain on foot when driving would be more restful; if you stand and sit in the chapel, your concentration constantly interrupted by children, and then you return home in the rain: this might pass for Shabbas, and the rabbis would probably confer their blessing.

Possibly religion is not appropriate for parents of young children."

– Elizabeth Ehrlich, Miriam’s Kitchen.

One Response to “Shabbat”

  1. Mieke Says:

    I suppose it depends where you go to shul. Our rabbi would say that it is the spirit of Shabbat we should seek. We have Shabbat dinner at home, by that we light candles, do the blessings then light up the barbeque and cook a juicy trip, and eat as a family. The only other mitzvah we try to observe on Friday night and Saturday is to avoid talking about work so that we can be focuse on each other. We don’t go to shul on Saturday but we do try to make it a family focused day (we drive, we spend money, etc). Jonas looks forward to shabbat every week. It is sure to get his mood to switch if he’s grumpy in the moring and I mention that tonight will be Shabbat. He loves it. So do I. Jefferson says specific blessing to each one of us, things he observed during the week that we did that made him feel happy or reinforced that Jonas was kind. It’s a lovely tradition.
    In my business the hours easily bleed into private time, so I love the structure, the permission I give myself to say no to phone calls, meetings, dinners, and emails.

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