Saturday, April 01, 2006

Celebrating in Our Own Way

J and I have been trying to celebrate Shabbat every week. For those of you who are not Jewish, Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath, celebrated from Friday at sundown until Saturday until a few minutes after sundown.

Shabbat is the not the same as Sunday church, something that my mother does not understand no matter how many times I try to explain it. I think because people always want to equate another religion with the one they believe in, instead of just accepting that the practices are different and separate and IT IS OK MOM MY GOD IS NOT SENDING ME TO HELL FOR NOT GOING TO TEMPLE EACH WEEK IN FACT THERE IS NO HELL.

And then she passes out.

Shabbat is about the day of rest. Spending time with your family. Eating together, drinking wine, separating the work week from this day, celebrating God but also taking pleasure in the world. Every person and family does it differently. People go to services, they bless the wine and eat challah and they might pray. But you can celebrate it at home too, by taking a nap in the afternoon, going for a walk, studying Torah, having sex (actually it is a COMMANDMENT to have sex on Shabbat which is J's favorite thing actually).

We try to eat dinner together. We make something special. We drink wine. We talk to each other in a way that we usual don't have time to do.

It has made such a difference. It is interesting because that sounds sort of lame and stupid and cheesy. And I suppose it is. But I feel more Jewish on Shabbat (even if our dinner is something like cheeseburgers) and feel like I have more purpose.

Last night we celebrated Shabbat by watching the Silvertips beat the Americans and move on to the next round of the playoffs.

It was just like going to the temple.

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