Friday, 6 August 2021
Preparation day today! Are the challah on to cook yet? Have you polished the candlesticks ready for tonight? What's on the menu?
We ask these questions every week - they are part of beautifying the mitzvah, making Shabbat not just an observance but a pleasure and a blessing to HaShem, as we show Him that this time is special to us as well as to Him.
How will you celebrate Shabbat this week? Attending services is obviously a key part of what we do, some on Erev Shabbat this evening, some on Shabbat morning. We come together to read the set portion from the Torah and hear the portion from the prophets. This week, we have parashat Re'eh (See!) and the third in the seven haftarot of consolation between Tisha B'Av and Yom Teruah, focusing on the sheer futility (and stupidity) of making idols and HaShem's call to focus on Him and what He is going to do to set this world to rights. Do it soon, L-rd, in our days!
Make sure you turn your cell 'phone off over Shabbat this week; that way you won't get distracted by social media or marketing junk that you don't want to read anyway. The release of knowing that this is a day to relax with and before HaShem, rather than staying vulnerable to being twitched by everyone else's noise and rubbish is so precious. Let's focus on Him and find the true peace that only comes from both quality and quantity time in His presence.
Then, as you light your candles this evening - don't be late; you can always be early, but not late - feel the peace and presence of HaShem flow through you as you set the day apart and make the end of the six working days. Make kiddish, designate the next 25 hours as holy time, set apart for Him; say HaMotzi and remember that He provides everything: every mouthful of food, every meal on the plate, every dollar in the bank - they all come from Him. Bless G-d and enter into His rest in Messiah Yeshua.