Friday, August 26, 2011

Welcoming Shabbat the secular way

Every Friday at sunset, hundreds of people gather on hill facing sea at Tel Aviv Port to greet Jewish day of rest with singsong. --- Tzofia Hirschfeld

Some people express their love for Shabbat by lighting candles, other add a synagogue prayer, a meal and songs. Some love it through dancing, and others – like the Beit Tefilah Israeli organization ("Israeli Prayer House") – love it next to the sea.

Welcoming Shabbat the secular way - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews:

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Shabbat Meals: At the Kibbutz Table – Jew and the Carrot –

"In Israel, Friday night dinner is an institution. Israelis of all backgrounds, from observant Jews of Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood to members of the artsy Mitzpe Ramon community in the south, celebrate the Shabbat meal with a homemade festive dinner. Strong Jewish tradition, a deep national spirit and the geography of this small country ensure that Shabbat dinner is mandatory for all. And so, every Friday night, families gather at the homes of the elders of the tribe. Siblings update each other on their love lives, children sing songs and aunts and uncles debate political views until everyone unites at the table to eat an honest home-cooked meal. This time, all across the nation, becomes holy." --- By Naama Shefi

Shabbat Meals: At the Kibbutz Table – Jew and the Carrot –

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Exclusive: New Android App “Three Stars” Let’s Everyone Know When Shabbat Is Coming | iPad News Tracker

Kwazi, an independent workshop Releases Three Stars, an app aimed at people who want to know when Shabbat and Hag are coming, everywhere in the world! Three Stars Offers ongoing Shabbat notification from its start to its end, option to automatically set your phone to silent mode, auto place locator (wifi & GPS based), ability to set your own alerts to notify you before Shabbat is in, and a beautiful Widget will tell you when next Shabbat is coming every week!

Exclusive: New Android App “Three Stars” Let’s Everyone Know When Shabbat Is Coming | iPad News Tracker

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rabbi Rafael Halperin, ex-world-champion-wrestler, dies at 87

Former world champion in free wrestling, founder of optical centers succumbs to illness at 87 in Bnei Brak. His last years dedicated to battle for Shabbat
by Ari Galahar 
Published: 08.21.11, 06:01 / Israel Jewish Scene

The Halperin family says he managed to fill up the Yad Eliyahu Stadium three times in his life: Once when he fought a Jordanian in free wrestling, then when he pressured the Israeli government to secure the release of (former Prisoner of Zion Natan) Sharansky during US President Ronald Reagan's term, and finally with his battle for Shabbat, when he established an association calling on Jews to observe Shabbat.,7340,L-4111512,00.html

‘Words with Friends’ – the power of an unplugged Shabbat

By Rabbi Joel Seltzer

In this increasingly technological, staggeringly global world, many of us have come to the terrifying realization that our time is no longer our own; this is why, more than ever, we need Shabbat in our lives.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The shul that fits

August 19, 2011 BY RACHEL HELLER, JewishJournal

"Several months ago, I finally put my finger on it: “Shabbat Shalom.” I yearn to give and receive the ritual greeting I’d always taken for granted in my youth.

"It happens most Friday nights. I close my laptop, pack stray work-related thoughts into my mental filing cabinet and begin to decompress for the weekend, when an insistent pang starts tugging at my brain. Something, I’ve long felt, is missing."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Why even ‘social justice’ workers need to rest

A Conversation on Religion and Politics by Sally Quinn

"Many of us in the world of public service and social justice feel this same sense of urgency. Even though we know that we have more than a week to do our work, we still worry that if we put down our blackberries for twenty-five hours (the length of the Jewish Sabbath), or even one hour, we’ll miss an emergency. We believe that if we could somehow work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, we would be far more productive.

"But the very point of the Sabbath is to teach us that this all-encompassing approach to work helps neither us nor the world."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Woman's Spiritual Edge

Posted 8/13/2011 by David Suissa

"I got a taste of that edge last Friday night at Temple Beth Am, where a packed house welcomed their new cantor, Magda Fishman, a soulful trumpet player who sings Shlomo Carlebach melodies like Billie Holliday sings the blues."

At Camp Be’chol Lashon, It’s Bug Juice and More for Jews of Color -

“If there’s Christians of all colors and all kinds, and Muslims of all colors and all kinds,” Amalia, 11, said over Shabbat lunch, “then why would Jewishness be any different?”

At Camp Be’chol Lashon, It’s Bug Juice and More for Jews of Color -

Leaders of Jewish movements agree to promote Shabbat joys

This was originally posted Friday, March 28, 1997 by DEBRA NUSSBAUM COHEN, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

NEW YORK -- Some spend the day praying in synagogue, sharing a meal with family and friends, resting and then praying some more.  For others, Shabbat is a time for a family outing or a walk in the woods.

Jews from all denominations separate the day of rest from the work week, cherishing the gift of time set aside for spiritual and physical restoration.  And though the leaders of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements are warring, they all agree on the need to promote Shabbat.

Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald wants to bring the gift of Shabbat to all Jews. And according to surveys, it's a gift most American Jews have never gotten.  Buchwald is the founder and director of the National Jewish Outreach Program, which tries to bring basic Jewish literacy to everyone by sponsoring short courses at synagogues.

So he designated Friday, April 4 as "Shabbat Across America." He hopes that at this time, some 40,000 Jews of every religious stripe will welcome Shabbat with worship and dinner at their local synagogues.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lieberman Wants His Legacy to Be About Beauty of Shabbat

August 10, 2011 - Ron Kampeas, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

The book also provides a glimpse into how religion shaped this most adamant of congressional centrists, whose stubborn hewing to his beliefs brought him within shouting distance of the vice presidency before propelling him toward the end of his political career (Lieberman announced in January that he will not seek re-election in 2012).

One potent example of Lieberman's championing of freedom through restrictions is how the dictates of the holy day liberate him from his BlackBerry.

"Six days a week, I'm never without this little piece of plastic, chips and wires that miraculously connect me to the rest of the world and that I hope makes me more efficient, but clearly consumes a lot of my time and attention," he writes. "If there were no Sabbath law to keep me from sending and receiving email all day as I normally do, do you think I would be able to resist the temptation on the Sabbath? Not a chance. Laws have this way of setting us free."

Impressive background takes back seat to Shabbat for this author

Written by Brigit Katz   
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
TORONTO – Dr. Yvette Alt Miller boasts an impressive academic and professional background. She earned graduate and post-graduate degrees from Harvard, Oxford and the London School of Economics. She then went on to teach as an adjunct professor at several universities and work as an international Trade Analyst with the US International Trade Commission.

It may come as a surprise, then, that Alt Miller’s first book is far removed from the worlds of academia and politics. Instead, Angels at the Table: A Practical Guide to Celebrating Shabbat is a comprehensive introduction to the practices involved with observing the Sabbath, and the book is deeply rooted in Jewish religious tradition.

“I think everyone craves real experiences, especially these days, when everyone is twittering and IM-ing,” she said. “[Shabbat] is a day to connect with other people…. Any exposure to a traditional Shabbos is nothing but positive."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Joe Lieberman releases book about beauty of Shabbat
Upon meeting with Lieberman in his Senate offices last week, before the Aug. 16 release date of his new book, “The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath,” he laughed at the term evangelical. But he also embraced it.

“In a way it is” evangelical, he said.  Not that he wanted to convert anyone, Lieberman emphasized.  “This gift, I wanted not only to share with Jews who are not experiencing it, who haven't accepted it, but also in some measure to appeal to Christians to come back to their observance of their Sabbath on Sundays,” he said.