Need a little R&R?

I know I do!

Each busy day in my life is so hectic that by the end of the week I’m ready to prop my feet up and enjoy some time to myself with a nice frosty beverage.

This week is no different.

However, there is one Friday night tradition I always strive to accomplish before zoning out for the weekend – Shabbat.

Shabbat is an observed weekly event at our house. It is a time for my husband and I to recharge and reconnect with each other.

We sing songs, light candles, recite blessings and eat delicious foods together.

I really look forward to Shabbat.

Now – technically Shabbat starts at sunset on Friday and goes all the way until Saturday night as soon as 3 stars are visible in the sky. Which most people agree is about 40 minutes after dark on Saturday night.

There are two things that Jews are commanded to do regarding Shabbat.

They are to Remember (or in Hebrew Zakhor) and Observe/Guard (or Shamor).

I won’t get into all the tricky nuances of those commandments or the debate that goes on about which one or both should be followed and what exactly following them entails. Perhaps, in another post if you’re really interested!

I’ll just go on to say that in our house we remember Shabbat – in our own way.

We start Shabbat at nightfall. I light two Shabbat Candles while reciting a blessing in Hebrew – which I’m still impressed I learned how to do!

Then Mr. Challah-girl says a blessing over the wine called the Kiddush.

Then we ritually wash our hands, eat special challah bread together and then yet another blessing before our meal.

After that,  we’re done with our Shabbat rituals, but not with the peace that generates from them.

We sing a lovely song on most Friday nights called Shalom Aleichem – which translated means: Peace be upon you.

I find that by observing these traditions I do feel at peace.

I’m not sure if it is the serenity that comes from the quiet darkness in our house right before I touch the flame to the candle wicks or maybe from the sense of history and unity that swells in me when I speak that special blessing. I’m really not sure.

However, I do know that Friday nights always seem a little sweeter – even if we don’t follow every guideline and rule.

For example, we have tickets to Harry Potter Part II this evening, but I know when I sit down in that theater tonight – I’ll be glad I took the time to remember and if just for a moment let peace be upon me and my family.

Shabbat Shalom!

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