Shabbat is coming!

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends —

Hooray: Shabbat is coming!

Our sages teach us that Shabbat is the source of all of the blessings which flow into creation. They compare Shabbat to the tree in the center of the garden, to the Garden of Eden, to the nectar in the heart of the flower. Shabbat is the holy apple orchard, the oasis in the desert where we can bring forth life-giving water.

When we celebrate Shabbat, we open the spigot of blessing on high. When we celebrate Shabbat, we irrigate the thirsty world.

During the week, we live in a world of duality and separation. And that’s not a bad thing! Duality allows for difference: day and night, hot and cold, chocolate and vanilla, me and you. But it also has downsides. We never really know one another. We are each existentially alone. Shabbat is our chance to relinquish dualism and to live in a state of oneness.

Shabbat is our weekly tune-up. It’s a chance to do the spiritual chiropractic work which will re-align us with our deepest selves.

Here are the blessings for Shabbat, courtesy of the URJ — blessings for candles, wine, bread, children, and the Shabbat meal. (And here are two Jewish Renewal settings of a short one-line grace after meals — Brich Rachamana, now with sheet music.)

Of course, you’re welcome at CBI tomorrow morning for Shabbat morning services, as always. I’m looking forward to singing, praying, and being with y’all.

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel


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