Thursday, March 2, 2017

We all need Shabbat this week.

It's been a hard week. A hard month.. A hard year (and it's only March!). Regardless of your political leanings it's clear that there's a lot of hurt right now. Too much pain, and fear, and anxiety.
Yet there has also been hope. There have been acts of kindness and solidarity large and small. Rallies. Calls for action. Notes and phone messages. Perhaps enough to fill in the cracks, perhaps not. But gestures of comfort and love nonetheless.
Tomorrow night begins Shabbat. That "palace in time" that comes every week for us as Jews. It is a chance for us to take a deep breath, to give ourselves permission to step away, if only for a moment, to cherish what is most holy in our lives. A reminder of why we do what we do the other six days.
As we look toward Shabbat, let me be so bold as to make a suggestion; find a synagogue, and go to services (we happen to have two tomorrow night, 6:30 and 8pm). Whether you're a regular or haven't been in a while. Or ever. Whether you're Jewish or not. Go and be in community. Go and be in sacred space. Go and simply be. Go and fulfill the words of the poet Ruth Brin:
God, help us now to make this new Shabbat.
After noise, we seek quiet;
After crowds of indifferent strangers,
We seek to touch those we love;
After concentration on work and responsibility,
We seek freedom to meditate, to listen to our inward selves.
We open our eyes to the hidden beauties
and the infinite possibilities in the world You are creating;
We break open the gates of the reservoirs
of goodness and kindness in ourselves and in others;
We reach toward one holy perfect moment of Shabbat.