Friday, September 5, 2008
SHABBAT IN THE HOLY CITY
We had Shabbat dinner at the house of a young religious couple in the old city. We sat on the roof top of their building just before sunset to learn about Shabbat. Friday is a holy day for the Jews. In Israel, there are 6 day work weeks, and a crazy conflict. So, on this day, Jews all over the world forget about yesterday, tomorrow and the world around them and focus on friends and family, and the moment at present. They aren’t sad or angry. They reflect on being themselves. It is a wonderful concept that is important in this crazy world. They don’t drive, they don’t work, they even don’t use electricity. Which made me wonder how she cooked this wonderful meal and served it to us warm. The evening started with traditional Jewish hymns and prayers. Our hosts sang one particular song over and over again until we joined in and clapped. Then when 3 stars were in the sky, Shabbat had begun. The host blessed the bread and wine and shared it with us. Then courses and courses of food came out, fish, meat, salads. It was delicious and way too much food. Our host talked about the need to be practical about the conflict, but on Shabbat, it was the place to be idealistic. He talked about God putting each of us on this earth to do something for the world. It spoke to me so much.