Jews are a lucky bunch, we have a holiday each and every week that lets us put all of our worldly cares, troubles, and work to rest for an entire day. From sundown on Friday till sundown on Saturday, we observe the Shabbat (The Sabbath) and its importance cannot be overstated. The Shabbat is mentioned over 80 times in the Torah and G-D commanded;
“On the seventh day, God finished that work that He had been doing…. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done.”
“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy…for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
…annnnnnnd further still;
“Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God freed you from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe Shabbat”
So you can see just how important this day of rest was, is, and shall forever be to the Jewish people. We greet the Shabbat “with the joy of a wedding” as my Rabbi often says and in all honesty, my family looks forward to the Shabbat all week long. We eat a nice meal together as a family, we light the Shabbat candles, drink grape juice, and indulge in the deliciousness that is Challah bread (dipped in honey). We sing songs, pray, clap hands, and everyone in our house has a good time just like a celebratory holiday would be. Being Reform Jews, we still do no work on the Shabbat, we connect together as a family, though sometimes we play video games together or listen to records (Nothing beats the Beatles on the Shabbat evening).
To my family, the Shabbat is all about relaxing, putting the world behind us, and enjoying “family time,” together, as well as going to Shabbat services as a familial unit. As I said, all week long we anxiously wait for Shabbat, it’s our time, as a community, and as a family, together as one. I cannot tell you how many “Shabbat Shalom’s,” we all say during services and how much we all connect and share in the love of this most sacred of days. So if you’re reading this on Friday evening or Saturday morning, Shabbat Shalom, from me and mine to you and yours.