Saturday, October 27, 2007

A productive, thoughtful Shabbat!

Although Shabbat quickly draws to a close ... I wanted to toss out something I just read in "To Life!: Prayers and Blessings for the Jewish Home" by Rabbi Michael Shire, which I just bought off the sale table at the local Borders.
Shabbat ... is the mainstay of Jewish family life, offering a weekly respite from work, and a time to be rather than to have. Ahad Ha'am, the famous nineteenth-century Jewish esasyist, poignantly remarked: 'More than Israel has kept the Shabbat, the Shabbat has kept Israel.'
I think what I like most about this is the "a time to be rather than to have." This is the essence of Shabbat, and it would appear that this Shabbat has been most insightful for me. Not only did I fill up three pages of my notebook on notes/thoughts/commentary on this week's Torah portion (Va Yera), but I also did some reading in Isaac ben Abraham of Troki's "The Strengthening of Faith" (Chizzuk Emunah), which basically defends Judaism and sort of goes point by point (and citation by citation) as to why the Christian disputation of Judaism is wrong, wrong, wrong! It was a productive afternoon, by golly. I'll likely post my Shabbat comments tomorrow (a little late, but better later than never!), as I"ll be heading out for the night shortly.

On another note: Going to Borders is so dangerous for me ... I went with the express purpose of buying a workout DVD (which I bought) but then also picked up Ani Difranco's "Canon" (eeep!), not to mention "To Life!" I also collected two or three other books on a list to add to my Amazon Wish List, including:
Feel free to get me anything you deem necessary ;)