Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why should we observe Shabbat?

The observance of Shabbat with all of its details was given to us at Mount Sinai. Last week we celebrated the Shavuot holiday commemorating the giving of the Ten Commandments. Commandment number four speaks of the observance of Shabbat and " to keep it holy". Today, people observe Shabbat in many different ways but it seems that it still remains essential to observe Shabbat in accordance with our tradition with all of its intricate details.

There is a well-known quote of the rabbis that says, "More than the Jews kept the Sabbath, but the Sabbath kept the Jews."  During our long and bitter exile, it was Shabbat that was the binding force that kept Jews united and even today, it has the same effect.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Torah: To stay connected, join the Shabbat counterculture

Torah: To stay connected, join the Shabbat counterculture | j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California:

No matter how many directions the people in your lives seem to be spinning in, Shabbat comes around once a week to give us the opportunity to pause and reconnect with each other. What is also important is that it encourages us to be affectionate with each other. On Shabbat parents literally place their hands on the heads of their children and bless them, perhaps adding their own special words to the priestly benediction. And partners take a moment to invoke words of our tradition for each other, adding a few loving words to make the particular moment special as they embrace. These affectionate rituals bring us together, and they just might keep us together.
I resonate to the words of Ruth Brin in the poem “Sabbath Prayer”: “God, help us now to make this new Shabbat. After noise, we seek quiet; after crowds of indifferent strangers, we seek to touch those we love … We break open the gates of the reservoirs of goodness and kindness in ourselves and others; we reach toward one holy perfect moment of Shabbat.”
May the traditions and spirit of the Sabbath add holiness and meaning to our existence, as we add depth and meaning to our week. And may the call to live according to the inherent holiness in time bring us a sense of shlaimut, of wholeness.

'via Blog this'

Friday, May 4, 2012

A message for Shabbat: Love and mercy from the same God


A quiet friendship breaks down walls: Imam Yaser Alkhooly (right), of the Islamic Society of Central New York, Rabbi Daniel Fellman of Temple Concord in Syracuse and Mohamed Khater (left), president of the Islamic Society. They're pictured here at the Islamic Society; Alkhooly and Khater will speak tonight at Temple Concord.