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How do I enjoy Shabbat with all its prohibitions?

by Rabbi Ari Shishler

  

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The truth is that Shabbat can be enjoyed because of its prohibitions.

We live in the 21st century, where stress is a way of life. We run around at a thousand miles an hour all week (except when we’re stuck, cursing, in traffic). Answering phones, checking emails, reading text messages, paying bills, giving/taking instructions- life is hectic. We eat on the run; barely have time for our families and battle to nurture our souls.

Shabbat is time-out.

You are not allowed to answer the phone. You may not deal with your business affairs. Driving is verboten. Your business associates, clients, and friends learn to accept it. You may be tempted to “check in on the office” when you’re on vacation. On Shabbat you have no choice. That’s the advantage of the “prohibitions”- they’re non-negotiable.

e run around at a thousand miles an hour all week (except when we're stuck, cursing, in traffic). Answering phones, checking emails, reading text messages, paying bills, giving/taking instructions- life is hectic
On Shabbat you do sit and eat a meal as a family. You might even catch up on some sleep. You dedicate time to prayer, meditation and a bit of study. It’s actually refreshing.

Besides, much of our stress centers on our thinking we’re in control. Since we believe we’re in charge, we feel we have to carry the full weight of life on our shoulders.

Shabbat refocuses our perspective. The Shabbat prohibitions are designed to make us realize that we cannot always do things as and when we please.

Shabbat coaches us to defer to Higher Authority - at least for 24 hours a week. Then, we step into the week’s work-whirlwind relaxed, ready to focus and secure in the belief that Someone-Up-There is looking after our interests.

You don’t enjoy only Shabbat with its prohibitions; you enjoy the whole week.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Shabbat » Forbidden Activities

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.