Friday, May 20, 2016

Vatican Official: We Need to Learn More From Jews on Role of Shabbat, Family

Vatican Official: We Need to Learn More From Jews on Role of Shabbat, Family

“The most important thing we can learn from the Jewish people is first of all it’s a religion not of the synagogue but of the home, the family,” Cardinal Kurt Koch told the publication during a two-day symposium with leading theologians from both faiths.

The Cardinal, who is President of the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews, said he is positive that Jewish survival is “rooted in the family” and the “clear tradition of Shabbat.” He also noted that “family and Shabbat are two main challenges for Christianity,” and that the Sunday “culture in Christianity is very weak.”

Friday, May 13, 2016

Shabbat Is a Gift From God

We are spiritual beings but we are also physical beings. We cannot be spiritual, close to God, all the time. That is why there is secular time as well as holy time. But one day in seven, we stop working and enter the presence of the God of creation. On certain days of the year, the festivals, we celebrate the God of history. The holiness of Shabbat is determined by God alone because He alone created the universe. The holiness of the festivals is partially determined by us (i.e. by the fixing of the calendar), because history is a partnership between us and God. But in two respects they are the same. They are both times of meeting (mo’ed), and they are both times when we feel ourselves called, summoned, invited as God’s guests (mikra kodesh).

We can’t always be spiritual. God has given us a material world with which to engage. But on the seventh day of the week, and (originally) seven days in the year, God gives us dedicated time in which we feel the closeness of the Shekhinah and are bathed in the radiance of God’s love.

The Shabbat Table: Eating the Bible

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Are you looking for some ‘food for thought’ as well as food for your Shabbat Table? You’ll be inspired by: Eating the Bible: Over 50 Delicious Recipes to Feed Your Body and Nourish Your Soul by Rena Rossner.
Eating the Bible is a visual feast for the eyes, palate, mind, and soul that will inspire those gathered around your table to reflect on the beauty of simple ingredients combined in creative, innovative ways. Mouthwatering recipes and magnificent photographs are intricately interwoven with biblical text and quotations into a tantalizing culinary tapestry.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Being stuck in revision is the very reason I need Shabbat

Last term I didn’t go to Friday nights, so how can I justify it now, when I’m looking for a reason to get out of the library? It would have felt disingenuous, as though I were using Shabbat as a get-out clause.
The thing is, though, isn’t that sort of what Shabbat is? Isn’t it meant to be the get-out clause that we all need once a week, an excuse to stop doing the miserable things that we haven’t been able to escape? What is Shabbat if not an obligatory wind-down? My being stuck in revision is the very reason I need Shabbat.