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Rediscover Shabbat

From the Pages of the Sinai Bulletin
Experiences of Shabbat Contributed by our Members


Dear Rabbi

This past Friday night, we didn't have the energy to go to family services, but we absolutely wanted to celebrate Shabbat together. We chose your book Gates of Shabbat, plus both our prayer books. We did the bless- ings and had a delicious meal. Then, we sang prayers in all the various tunes we knew (and we know a lot). We read poetry from your book, or should I say "our" book. My daughter chose all the poetry. I chose the songs. She talked about which poems were her favorites and we discussed how they related to us. Then we did what we do almost every Shabbat. We discussed "what was your favorite thing that happened this week? What was your least? What are you most grateful for?" Before we knew it, it was 8:15 or so and we hadn't left the dining room table. Our Shabbats are special and "our" book is a wonderful addition. Thank you.


Dear Rabbi

When I heard your sermon on Shabbat, I was very interested in the soda piece. Several years ago I went through a very difficult period in my life and as a result I slowly became addicted to Diet Coke. Over the last several months, I have been trying to quit by cutting down on my consumption, but have been rather unsuc- cessful. When I heard your sermon about saving Coke for Shabbat I thought I should try it: save my Diet Coke for Shabbat. I spoke with my husband. I told him that I was in- tending to do this but it didn't have to be a whole family thing. In the end everyone said they would try it. I love it. I find myself looking forward to Shabbat with even greater sweetness. Last night at the dinner table I was sitting with our children when one of them asked if she could have some Diet Coke and I told him no that it wasn't Shab- bat. His response was "I wish it was Shabbat, it is only a few days away, can we just pretend?" I told him no, but it really made me think of how something so non- religious as a drink can change the way my entire family looks at this very special day.


Dear Rabbi

You asked for examples of anything people had done differently in response to your sermons and Torah study about Shabbat. I have tried to make sure that I spend some time being reflective, whether that is at Torah study, or on the weekend I was unable to attend, in the car (I drove to New York City the Saturday before last). I also try to make this reflection about family -- have I told my partner something nice today or just been grumpy? Have I spoken to my parents yet this weekend to ask them about their trip? And so on. Which I proba- bly should be doing every day, but hey, 1/7th of the time is a start. I also made challah for the first time three weeks ago and it turned out so well that I volunteered to repeat it for a future Temple event. Thanks for the inspiration!


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