Friday, May 30, 2008

Shabbat Shalom

Here in New York, Shabbos is about 80 minutes away. Unlike Israel, the sounds on my street do not change. Over on Kingston Avenue, the stores are shuttered. Anyone driving through the Jewish section is just passing through.
Any other day of the week, it gladdens my heart when my site meter registers a visit from another place. My fondest hope now is that I am joined with my readership by Shabbos. When my children are in distant places, I look at the clock and do mental arithmetic so I can visualise the colour of the sky wherever they might be. On Shabbos, I like to imagine where in this day my readers may find themselves.
Sometimes during Shabbos, I am flooded with ideas that I would write down any other day of the week. On this day, I visualise an apple tree from which the fruit falls unpicked feeding the tree from which it has fallen.
This is a day that connects me like family to other Jews around the world. For no particular reason , I am thinking now of the Abuyudaya in Uganda, who now must surely be sleeping. It pains me to think of the Holy Land, from which I endure a painful separation. But the Shabbos consoles me, joining me to Jews in Russia, Argentina Syria and the U.K . The sense of family that I feel with those to whom I am joined by Shabbos evokes thoughts of the family of nations. It is through experiencing my connection to my own family that I feel connection to the family of man.
Most importantly, I spend a week chasing my dreams. The illusion that all comes from strength of will, from my own effort is a tempting illusion. As a Jew, as a human being, I need the reminder that there is a force beyond me, a Guiding Hand. I need a tangible reminder that the grass will grow without me, that the grapes ripen on the vine and the wine ages in the cask beyond our direct control.
Yet again, until Shabbos departs , wherever you are, I hope that we are joined by it and not by this web site. Shabbat Shalom
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