Savor Sacred Time

Mitzvah of the Week:

Sh’mirat Shabbat

Guard the Shabbat – Savor Sacred Time


For many of our congregants, chanting V’shamru (And you shall guard…) is a favorite part of the service.  We stand, and rise higher and higher on the “eh-eh-et Ha-Shabbat”.  The words come straight from Torah, Exodus 31:16 and Deuteronomy 5:12, when the words inscribed on the Ten Commandments are read: “The people of Israel shall keep the Shabbat…”


What does it mean, to keep or to guard the Shabbat?  “While Shabbat occurs every Friday evening and Saturday, it is more than simply another day of the week. It is a special day and we invest it with specialness. Friday and Saturday come automatically, but Shabbat takes place only when we make it happen. We prepare for Shabbat by the clothes we wear, by the meals we eat, by the lighting of Sabbath candles, and by chanting the Kiddush over wine to set apart this special time…Rest, worship and study are essential elements of Shabbat observance. The principle of Shabbat is to sanctify time. The whole of Shabbat is greater than the sum of its parts. It is more than lighting candles, drinking wine, or attending a service. We sanctify Shabbat by setting it apart, making it distinctive, and differentiating it from the rest of our week.” 


This week’s mitzvah is to observe the Shabbat.  Find a way to make Friday night and Saturday special and sacred.  Of course, attending our community Shabbat dinner with Shabbat rituals, followed by Short ‘N Sweet Services, is a perfect way to enter into the spirit of the day! 


May you have a week of blessings and a Shabbat of peace.

Rabbi Debbie Israel