Every Friday, Bryan and I sit down for dinner and light two candles. I look forward to this time together all week and start preparing as early as Wednesday evening for the meal. For Jews, Shabbat is the holiest day of all holidays and it comes once every week.
When I was studying for my conversion, I was fascinated by this special day and loved that we got to celebrate it each week. From sundown on Friday to sunset on Saturday, we are to rest from all work and simply be with family (and if you are more traditional than we are, study Torah). Children are encouraged to take a rest from homework and do art or read a book. There is this concept that you can accomplish more by working less and infuse the coming week with the peace and spirituality gained during Shabbat. While we are still finding our own Shabbat rhythm, we make an effort to stay in, reflect on the week and have a meal together.
The ritual of lighting our candles also reminds us that we are all connected to each other and of the responsibility we have to help others in need of healing or solace. While we may be absorbed in our own problems during the week, Shabbat reminds us to take a step back and illuminate the darkness for others in any way we can. Regardless of religion, I think it's a great idea to spend 24 hours each week to rest, reset and connect with loved ones.
Shabbat Shalom from our home to yours.