Saturday, November 13, 2010

About the Sabbath

       After several years of study, prayer, and deep seeking I have embraced the belief that GOD loves the Sabbath.  He loves it, and He expects us to love it and observe it.   I used to think that Sunday was the Sabbath, because that's the day most churches gather together to worship.  But, the more I studied, the more evidence I found that the Sabbath always was and still is Saturday.  (I won't go into all the details of how this can be proven, but it is provable.)
       And so we observe the Sabbath (Shabbat in the Hebrew language).  We observe Shabbat by resting - not doing "ordinary work".  Although cooking isn't expressly forbidden, I try to prepare most of our food on Friday so that I don't have to cook much on Shabbat.  I don't clean house on Shabbat.  We feed the animals, of course, but we don't clean their coops on Saturday; this is "ordinary work" and can be done the day before or the day after... It's okay to do work that is life-saving.  Just think about it: God chooses life for people - not death.
        Of course, we also observe the Sabbath by studying God's word and by praising Him.  No need to wait until Thanksgiving... go ahead and give Him thanks and praise today!

Our Shabbat table

       Well, I could go on and on about Shabbat - what to do, what not to do, various opinions, etc.  But, what I really want to talk about is how we bring in Shabbat on Friday evening.  It's a beautiful ceremony, and it can be very meaningful.  The lighting of the Sabbath candles is a centuries-old tradition.  Moshe blows the Shofar before we gather at the table.  Tzedakah is given (this is a collection for charity). We read Scriptures ,we recite prayers  in both Hebrew and English,  and blessings are proclaimed over each other and the family. I light the candles;  there are special prayers/and/or songs, and we also read a poem about welcoming Shabbat into our home.  After the candles are lit, Moshe gives the blessings over the wine (grape juice) and the bread. 
     Then, we say "Shabbat Shalom", and it is time to have a nice dinner by candlelight, followed by at least 25 hours of rest.  Nice, huh?
       I didn't go into much detail, but, if you are interested, you can Google Shabbat and get more information on how to celebrate it.  Another time I'll write more about it and include photos of our dining room table when the Shabbat candles are lit and all the Shabbat items are in place.
     Shalom Y'all - Twyla


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