Reclaiming Shabbat

by Rabbi Audrey Pollack, October 2, 2015

“The meaning of Shabbat is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on Shabbat we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.”
– Abraham Joshua Heschel

Too often in our lives we do not take the time to pause. We are too busy with our work, our after school activities, our after work events, our high technology tools. We are too busy with our daily, seven day routines to pause and rest, to enjoy a moment to reflect where we are and where we are going. In Judaism time is holy currency. The reward for doing God’s work is the quality of life while we are here on earth, and so we must treasure the time that we have. The paradox in this is that in order to use our time well, we also need to guard it and protect it. Shabbat is meant to be a day of spiritual renewal, a time to refresh our souls.

This sense of timelessness is like being out in the wilderness on a camping trip. Preparing for the trip, finding the maps, inspecting the equipment, packing is some-times so much hard work you wonder if it’s worth it. But once you are out in the woods, without any obligations, time unfolds and expands in a natural rhythm. We have a chance to recapture a sense of the sacred in time, those peak spiritual moments that cannot be engineered, only experienced when we slow down and allow ourselves to stop doing and just be.

Take time for yourself and your family and friends and reclaim Shabbat for your-self as a gift. Doing something special to differentiate the seventh day from the six other days provides a rhythm to your week, focusing your attention on life’s blessings on a regular basis. Come join us at Solel and celebrate Shabbat at our Friday evening and Saturday morning services. Share Shabbat dinner with family and friends. Make Shabbat a special day by devoting the day to nature hikes, turn off computers and screens and have face to face discussions, remove your watch and avoid talking about work or financial matters. Why not try giving yourself a spiritual lift this week. Celebrate Shabbat!

For more resources on reclaiming Shabbat:

Rabbi Audrey S. Pollack

Filed under: Rabbi's Message

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