Rabbi AbrahamAbraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God’s covenant – that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel – begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham. Joshua Heschel described ShabbatShabbat is the Sabbath day, the Day of Rest, and is observed from Friday night through Saturday night. Is set aside from the rest of the week both in honor of the fact that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. On Shabbat, many Jews observe prohibitions from various activities designated as work. Shabbat is traditionally observed with festive meals, wine, challah, prayers, the reading and studying of Torah, conjugal relations, family time, and time with friends. as a day that asks us “to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation, from the world of creation to the creation of the world” (The Sabbath).
When we observe Shabbat we neither produce nor consume. We acknowledge and appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world around us. We eat good food, enjoy the company of friends and family, devote time to study and prayer, and slow down enough to see what is good in nature and valuable in the communities we have built.
In a society that functions 24/7, even minimal Shabbat observance sometimes seems to contradict everything around us. For some people, it might feel radical to insist that something bigger than all of us requires us to change our pace and be grateful and humble once a week. Yet, as Heschel asked about the Sabbath: “Is there any other institution that holds out as much hope for (humanity’s) progress?”
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