For the past three weeks on Friday we have been discussing how to better connect with your Judaism and God through the vehicle of shabbat. We outlined 4 categories of shabbat which we need to actualize in order to fully realize shabbat’s potential for connecting us. The first (and in my mind the most important) is enjoyment of shabbat. We have discussed this enjoyment in broad terms, but this week I want to try to give you a more concrete mission.
The Torah tells us, “וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אִכְלֻהוּ הַיּוֹם, כִּי-שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַיהוָה – And Moshe said to the people, eat it [the ma’an] today, because shabbat is a day for God” based on this line we can clearly see one of the ways we can enjoy shabbat. Eating! Part of shabbat and enjoying it, is delicious food, like we see in Pirkei Avot “אם אין קמח, אין תורה – if there is no food, there is no Torah” God knows that the best way to connect with us is through our stomachs. As we have said before, God created this world for us to enjoy, he could have just as easily given us all the nourishment we needed in a tasteless goop, or not created us in such a way that we require nourishment. The fact that God created us in such a way that we require nourishment and that that nourishment comes to us in a medium that is delicious shows us that God loves us and wants us to enjoy this world that he created for us.
So, building on what we discussed over the past few weeks, today before sunset prepare a delicious meal, shower, get dressed and prepare for shabbat, once the sun sets, remember shabbat as an island of peace by making kiddush and follow that up by enjoying a delicious meal with your friends and family!
Note: As we have discussed before all of the pillars of shabbat must be used in harmony to be fully actualized, so try your best to mix it up and build on these pillars from week to week.
Another Note: It is traditional to enjoy 3 separate meals on shabbat, Friday night dinner, Saturday brunch/lunch and Saturday late lunch/supper, there is no point in gorging yourself until you are sick, but the more you can enjoy yourself the better! As well, it is traditional to use 2 whole rolls or loaves of bread to remember the ma’an that our Jewish ancestors ate in the dessert while traveling from Egypt to Israel, being that we are all on our own personal journeys it is appropriate to eat in this fashion to remind us that God takes care of us on our journey just like he took care of them on their journey.