What are you doing to observe Shabbat? For the past three Fridays, several of us joined together to celebrate Shabbat on Zoom. Each sitting in front of a computer, lighting our own candles, sipping wine and saying the Hamotzi. No, it is not the same as being with your family, or even being at shul together where we can warmly hug, sit next to each other and see the reflection of the lit candles on the face of the leader. There is no shared food (God forbid) with new members or visiting guests. But it is wonderful, nonetheless.
Sharing Shabbat puts us in touch with those in our community. Much more than that, over the long and rich history of the Jewish people, the weekly observance of Shabbat has played a critically central role. Through joyous times and unimaginably terrible times, we thank God for our blessings and are hopefully inspired to follow the example of taking the pleasure of a day of rest and appreciation.
Today, we all struggle to find meaning during this worldwide pandemic. So, we search for tools to help us confront the truth of hardship, isolation and loneliness to find answers and healing. If we withdraw into our own private pain, ritual has the power to pull us out. It connects us with community and provides us with hope, love and wisdom others can offer. As we build new cures for healing and hard times, Shabbat will continue to reminds us that we can find great comfort among people and in actions that support and soothe, even if they don’t solve.*
So, here’s the prescription: Join us this Friday evening with candles waiting to be lit, a glass of wine/juice and bread.
Friday, May 1 Shabbat services at 7PM on Zoom
Please join us at URL:
*These thoughts were inspired by readings on the Reconstructionist website, should you desire more inspiration.