May 9, 2014

60 Days of Growth – Make Shabbat Great (Day 11)

Last week we talked about the 4 categories of shabbat, all of which are required to fully experience and be uplifted by shabbat, not to mention connect with God and our Judaism. Last week we talked about the importance of enjoying shabbat, this week I would like to talk about Kavod Shabbat or making shabbat great. But how can we make shabbat great?

Yishayahu (Isaiah 58:13) tells us, “וְקָרָאתָ לַשַּׁבָּת עֹנֶג, לִקְדוֹשׁ יְהוָה מְכֻבָּד, וְכִבַּדְתּוֹ מֵעֲשׂוֹת דְּרָכֶיךָ – if you call shabbat enjoyable, in order to connect with God and you say that it is worth being made great, than make it great by not doing your usual things!” It is clear from this that the way we make shabbat great it by separating it from the rest of week through our speech and actions. We need to make shabbat an island of peace in an otherwise tumultuous world. The Talmud teaches us that some of the ways to accomplish this are as follows:

  • shutterstock_123866533Wearing special clothes on shabbat in order to feel extra special on this day.
  • Not talking about things that stress you out, like school, work, or money.
  • Not ‘walking’ or going about your life in the way that you would during the rest of the week.

The goal of all of these things are, like I said before, to make shabbat an island of peace, this is why we greet each other “Shabbat Shalom – Have a peaceful shabbat“. This is another way of making shabbat great, greet others with the special greeting for the day, don’t just say “Hey…” say “Shabbat Shalom” It is like the Jewish version of “Peace, man” and is special for Judaism’s day of peace.

There is another way of making shabbat great and that is getting ready for shabbat, showing yourself and others that the day of peace is coming, you can do this by:

  • Cleaning up your area/house for shabbat.
  • Showering, shaving or getting a haircut on Friday with shabbat in mind.
  • Getting flowers or a gift for your boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad/etc. and giving it to them before shabbat in honor of shabbat.

So, today before shabbat and tomorrow night once shabbat starts spend some time making shabbat awesome and great and you will be more than half-way to fully experiencing shabbat and connecting to God and your Judaism!