The Power of Shabbat

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Shabbat is a very powerful and special day of the week. Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath that takes place every Friday from sundown to Saturday after nightfall. It is a day of celebration and rest. Shabbat is more than a religious obligation for me. It is a chance to connect to my family, God, and to myself. Ever since I was a child, we have had the same tradition for Shabbat. As Friday would roll around the corner, me and my siblings knew it was time to clean the house and get ready for the holiest night of the week. We spent the whole day cleaning and cooking for Shabbat. Then, right before the sun would set, we would light the Shabbat candles to honor the beginning of Shabbat. Lighting the candles was a role only for women, which symbolizes peace and festivities. Shortly after, our guests would arrive for Shabbat dinner. A prayer was said before eating to thank God for all that we have. Shabbat dinner is something I always looked forward to. Not only was it a time to eat delicious food, but it was a time to spend precious time with family and friends that I did not see all week. Me and my cousins shared many laughs and stories through Shabbat dinners, and it is something I will always remember and make sure my daughter gets to experiences as well. During Shabbat, my stresses from the week disappear, and I am able to solely focus on my faith and family. There are strict rules to not work, touch money, and use electronics on Shabbat. I am thankful for these rules because we all need time to let go of work and relax. It may seem hard to not use you cell phone for one day, but I have learned how peaceful and serene my day is without it. Use the time you are unplugged to do things you could not do in the week because you were too busy. Read a book, talk to family, meditate, or pray. Going to synagogue is part of Shabbat’s tradition, but it is not meant for everyone. Although I would occasionally attend Shabbat services synagogue, I have realized that praying or meditating on my own feels just as good. With all that being said, I want to stress that you don’t need to be Jewish to practice Shabbat. The idea is that whoever you are, wherever you came from and whatever your religious background may be — you can take the idea of Shabbat and bring it to your own home and family. It is about unplugging, being present and connecting with your loved ones.

 

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