You must always have good things to think about - an empty mind is a vacuum awaiting destructive thoughts. Chaverim, remember to "fill the cleansed house of your mind" (Luke 11; 24-26) with Godly things and also take seriously the recommendation from Ps 77:12, "I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds." This Shabbat, fill your minds with the thoughts of YHVH, and be blessed. Amen
Shabbat ends with Havdalah's (Heb. 'Separation') last blessing: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, sovereign of the universe, who separates between sacred and secular, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, between the seventh day and the sixth day of labour. Blessed are you, LORD, who separates between sacred and secular." Shavua tov, chaverim. Be blessed, take risks, live anointed!
For Shabbat. consider the words of Dan Juster: 'What is of primary importance is that our activity be a true renewal of life in God. We need not legalistically define what constitutes "work." However, activity which is wearing on us, which depresses is to be avoided. Sabbath should be a real contrast from other work days. To make Sabbath a delight let our celebrations be creatively expressed and not rote."
"When you come to a place that seems outside of God's realm, too coarse for light to enter, and you want to run away, know that there is no place outside of God, and rejoice in your task of uncovering Him there." May you find Him this Shabbat, in the place of peace, in the glory of Yom Tov.
Yeshua said: "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." (Mk:2:27) "It was never meant to be a day of legalistic conformity... Sabbath itself antedates Israel's existence and is a reflection of the creation order. However, Israel is given the Sabbath as a memorial of God's gracious rescue from slavery as well as a memorial of creation and God's resting in the seventh period." [Juster]
This Shabbat, thrive on the goodness of Messiah. Make your time and space Godly – for Shabbat is your release from the "olam ha ze" (this world) and practice for the "olam ha ba" (the world-to-come). It's your weekly practice for when we shall live in a world that doesn't need fixing, when serving God will not be a means to an end, but when we can see holiness itself. Shabbat shalom to you all - enjoy your rest.
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day... call the Sabbath a delight & the LORD's holy day honorable... honor it by not going your own way & not doing as you please or speaking idle words... you will find your joy in the LORD & I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." [Isaiah 58:13-14]
'Genesis 1 cut through the murk of ancient mythology with a shaft of light-light that the whole world lives by now... it is a mystic vision of the origin of things, put in the purest and strongest words, intelligible to the child, inspiring to adult genius, clear enough to survive in primitive eras, and deep enough to challenge sophisticated cultures.' Genesis also says... 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'
A question once posed to Rebbe Nachman of Breslev: "What if someone feels distant from God and Torah? How can he enter the 'loop' of spirituality which on one hand is so appealing, and on the other hand so intimidating?" Rebbe Nachman answered, "Go to a Shabbat table and sing a niggun [wordless melody]. Sing it with zest and verve, with feeling from deep in your soul. That's the way to jump in!"
From the words of Abraham Heshel: 'Unless one learns how to relish the taste of Sabbath... one will not be able to enjoy the taste of eternity in the world to come... Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else.'
For too long people have been deceived into thinking that Messiah Yeshua broke the Sabbath in order to show us we were free from the Sabbath. This entire concept is a blasphemy and an affront to the Most High. It is born out of ignorance and rebellion. Why would anyone want to be "free" from a gift of God?
"All week we may ponder and worry whether we are rich or poor, whether we succeed or fail in our occupations; whether we accomplish or fall short of reaching our goals. But who could feel distressed when gazing at spectral glimpses of eternity? The Sabbath is no time for personal anxiety or care, for any activity that might dampen the spirit of joy. The Sabbath was given by God for joy, for delight, for rest, and should not be marred by worry or grief." (Abraham Heschel, The Sabbath, p. 30)
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