"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Friday, March 21, 2014

"Shabbat is [almost] Here, Shabbat is [almost] Here..."

To quote a song I knew as a kid, "Shabbat is here, Shabbat is here, aren't you glad that Shabbat is here? Candles burning bright, it's Friday night; I'm so glad that Shabbat is here!"

Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath, comes every Friday night approximately eighteen minutes before sundown and lasts until an hour after sundown Saturday night.  On Shabbat, we are forbidden to work.  The labor from which we must refrain is not chosen because it is strenuous but rather because it is creative or destructive, changing the world.  Categories of labor from which we must refrain include, but are not limited to:
  • Cooking, or changing the nature of food (We can still chop things up, peel vegetables, etc. though.)
  • Anything to do with fire (Orthodox Jews refrain from using any kind of electricity for this reason; Conservative and Reform Jews do not believe that electricity is fire and continue to use it.)
  • Writing, drawing, etc.
  • Tearing paper or cloth
  • Tying knots
  • Building
  • Weaving
  • Braiding hair (This falls under either building or weaving, depending on whom you ask.)
  • Anything to do with business (For this reason, I do not use my computer or my cellphone.)
Additionally, our prayers on Shabbat avoid requests for anything; we try to rest and be peaceful and content in what God has given us here and now.  This aspect of Shabbat has become especially meaningful to me since I became a Reece's Rainbow Prayer Warrior as well as committing myself to praying for up to seven people or causes at a time.  Praying that hard is exhausting; I genuinely need the break that comes with Shabbat.

This Shabbat I happen to be home on Spring break, and I will be observing and celebrating with my family.  I will pray on my own tonight (I pray three times a day, but I think I'm the only one in my family who manages that), and then tomorrow we will gather together and pray as a family.  I think we might even have a family friend joining us tomorrow! (For reasons I do not wish to explain, we no longer go to the local synagogue.)  Tonight we will have a nice, festive meal, and after we eat we will sing and say grace--together!

Hooray for Shabbat!

And, of course, closing with a picture of "Jacob":


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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!