Celebrating Shabbat through a Spiritual Lens
An introduction to Shabbat through the lens of spiritual practice, inviting discussion of home, family, neighborhood, and interpersonal interaction.
Stop. Look. Listen. The three stages of a full day of uninterrupted
practice, tied to the natural cycle of the sun’s setting, rising, and
setting again. This stunning and inspiring work reintroduces
Shabbos to those who have grown up with the holy seventh day,
as well as to newcomers who wish to gain access to the power
of this most venerable of Judaism’s traditions. It provides fresh,
innovative readings of core biblical and talmudic passages, as
well as guidance for expressions such as melody, storytelling,
prayer, listening, and silence.
Going beyond merely taking a “day of rest” from technology,
we are here invited to explore Shabbos’s interior landscape,
to overcome restlessness, to check the urge to accumulate,
to move beyond self-cultivation to self-transcendence. On
Shabbos we can find a different way of inhabiting the world:
appreciation without grasping, perceiving without attempting
to incorporate into the self, coming into place and lingering
intently. Shabbos enables us to feel hibbat hakodesh – the
sweet, precious embrace of the sacred. A textured landscape
of indescribable beauty, Shabbos is the greatest, most noble
gift we can give to the world, to our communities, to ourselves,
and to God.
By Nehemia Polen