Shabbat Shalom

Continuing with this week’s theme of stress and taking time to slow down and focus on communing with our Lord, I prepared a meal to celebrate Shabbat.  The Jewish Shabbat meal takes place on Friday evening with ritual, blessings, and family.  Our meal would be on Saturday evening as a way to welcome the Sabbath.  I took some elements of the traditional Shabbat and made them our own.  We invited some friends to join us.  Out came the best dishes, napkins, and tablecloth.

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I thought the table looked beautiful.  We began with the tzedakah which is a box (or in our case a small jar) passed around as each person places some coins in as a way to remember that we are to give generously to the poor and needy.  We collect change throughout the year to use for shipping costs for our Operation Christmas Child boxes.  I lit the candles, and we remembered that we are to be lights in the dark world.  There was a blessing said over the drink (traditionally wine, but in our case grape juice) and bread (a traditional loaf of challah bread).  One element that I thought had a lot of meaning was a blessing said over each child.  We washed our hands in a basin and recited the Lord’s Prayer together.  We enjoyed our meal, not in a rush to get to the next thing but slowly taking time to talk about the day, our lives, the children we sponsor in far reaches of the world, and sharing fun memories.

It was such a wonderful way to welcome the Sabbath.  What better way to welcome a day of rest and worship than with friends and family.  We also had time for an after dinner craft.  The girls and I put together an Easter garden that I had seen on Pinterest.  Our crosses and empty tomb all came together, now we’ll see if we can get the grass seeds to sprout.

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And to you….peace on the sabbath.  Shabbat Shalom!

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