- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On June 23, 2017
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we make our way towards Shabbat.
Tonight, we go outside for prayer and celebration of Shabbat in the garden of our own synagogue.
Shabbat returns us to nature as Abraham Joshua Heschel taught: we turn from the world of creating to the creation of the world. We are granted the space for awareness.
It’s an experience we have shared at various points of our lives when we take in the created world in gratitude and appreciation. We feel its power when we hear the ocean against the shore, the sounds of birds and bugs or the rustling of leaves on the trees. We feel its effect on our souls when we walk through the woods, dig down into the dirt to garden or catch the magnificence of the sun rising and setting. We notice, but for how long?
Shabbat means to stop and then to be able to pay attention. To be outside for Shabbat offers us these moments through prayer, individually and collectively. In preparation (and wherever you may find yourself tonight), I offer these words from Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav, as an intention.
Grant me the ability to be alone;
may it be my custom to go outdoors each day
among the trees and grass – among all growing things
and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer,
to talk with the One to whom I belong.
May I express there everything in my heart,
and may all the foliage of the field –
all grasses, trees, and plants –
awake at my coming,
to send the powers of their life into the words of my prayer
so that my prayer and speech are made whole
through the life and spirit of all growing things,
which are made as one by their transcendent Source.
May I then pour out the words of my heart
before your Presence like water, Eternal One…
Come experience Shabbat in the garden at 6 p.m. Go to the end of Nessel Way and enter through the wood gate. It’s accessible for everyone. We are looking forward to greeting you and celebrating Shabbat in this beautiful setting. Shabbat continues with Torah Study at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning.
I look forward to hearing your reflections and thoughts HERE. Live stream Qabbalat Shabbat HERE.