It comes every seven days yet for so many of us carving out the time to make these 24 (or 25) hours different is one of the most challenging tasks of our week.
Here are some inspirational writings to inspire, ignite, and begin the conversation in your home around the special gift that is Shabbat:
- Wondering how you might enhance your regular Friday nights so that they might become Shabbat eve?
Read Seven Ways to Make Friday Night Special for ideas, which include sharing a meal with others, having fun, helping others, and taking a Shabbes Shluff (read: a fantastic and much-needed Shabbat afternoon nap).
- The poem "Erev" by Rabbi Annie Lewis reflects on Friday's setting sun and ruminates on the potential to feel shaleim (whole) and shalom (at peace).
God who brings evenings,
You are the Master of transitions
the Artist of Ma'avarim,
and we, Your people, we are called Ivrim,
those who pass from one place to the next,
who travel to the edge
who seek You in the in-between,
We and You, forever becoming,
rolling dusk into twilight
and darkness into dawn.
As you preside over time
the sun rises up and bows low,
the moon stretches out and curls in,
our bodies wax and wane.
Everything is on the move.
Particles flip and twirl.
Light floods in and fades away.
You offer us sparks of holy
time, soul and space.
When Shabbat comes in stillness,
We are whole.
We are here.
- If you are looking for a meditation to set the Shabbat mood, look no further than "Numbering the Stars" by Ariel Neshama Lee.
See yourself walking in the desert under a night sky. You look up to see a canopy of stars above you. Now envision a scroll made of pure light filling the skyline. Now you see a ladder of pure light leading to the scroll. Now an angel approaches you, takes your hand, and leads you to the ladder of light. See yourself ascending the ladder until you find yourself standing before the scroll. As you stand among the countless stars shining all around you, you sense the presence of Abraham and Sarah, and all the foremothers and forefathers and all the generations that followed them. You sense the generatins of your own departed family members. You sense the presence of future generations who will come after you. You see the light of the generations-past, present, future-all around you. You sense the light within you.
Now envision yourself standing together with all these generations. Together you all stand before the scroll of light among the stars that God created. Together you stand in awe before the One who numbers the stars and calls them each by name, the One who numbers the generations and calls each one by name. As the scroll unfolds before you, you note letters of pure light lifting from the scroll, dancing against the sky. And now the words of light flow from the scroll to you. Feel these words flow into the pores of your skin. Feel the words of light flow into your arteries and veins. Feel the words of light flow into every cell in your body. See your whole body flow as you become filled with the light of Torah, as you become filled with the light of the One who numbers the stars. Feel the light of the souls of the generations glowing around you, embracing you, becoming one with the light of your soul.
Hold on to these images as you now become aware once of your surroundings. As you take a few deep breaths, become aware of the gentle rise and fall of your chest. Become aware once more of your presence in your physical space. Then-whenever you are ready-slowly, gently open your eyes.
- Of course, Scarsdale Synagogue welcomes you weekly at our Shabbat evening and morning worship opportunities. It's a great time to connect with yourself, your friends and family, and your temple community. Click here for our shabbat schedule!
With blessings for a relaxing and peaceful Shabbat in your home and in all homes around the world..