- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On October 13, 2017
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat.
The Torah ends and begins again without a breath even, a seamless circle of continuity. On Simchat Torah this past Wednesday night and Thursday morning, we read the last word of Deuteronomy, Yisrael, and then continued directly with the first word of Genesis, B’reisheet, as if these words could form the sentence, The Jewish people are at the beginning. This is actually true. We are at the beginning again, of the New Year and of the Torah.
Our tradition likes to have us begin again. This seems strange since to begin would seem that the experience is new. How is it possible to begin again? It is a reminder that we do not live in a linear fashion, but rather a seamless circle of continuity. We come around and experience anew, a fresh opportunity each time. The year has taken us in a full circle.
There is a blessing for this moment. It is called the Shehechyanu. The rabbis taught that we say it when we begin again. Though we find ourselves offering it during many instances of celebrations, it originated for a time such as the one we are in right now.
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu,
v’higianu laz’man hazeh.
Holy One of Blessing, your Presence fills all creation. You have kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this moment.
It is not just the year that brings us into a full circle. Each week, culminating with Shabbat, places us in a circular motion as well. Instead of offering the prayer, we enter into a different space in time for Shabbat, to stop, to express gratitude, to refresh our soul. It is also helpful to breathe. Then, we enter a new week yet again, with fresh possibility and opportunity to experience life anew.
As we begin again the New Year and enter Shabbat each week, may you find many blessings await you.
Qabbalat Shabbat begins at 6:00 p.m. Live stream HERE. Tot Rock for the little ones and accompanying grown ups starts at 5:00 p.m. with dinner followed by a short service with the Riverway Band. Soul Food Friday with the Riverway Project (20s/30s) gathers at 7:00 p.m. outside the chapel. Torah Study on Saturday morning begins at 9:00 a.m. with a short service followed by an engaging text study.
I look forward to your comments and reflections HERE.