I have a friend who is jewish and I asked her to teach me something about being Jewish so she came over on Friday night to teach me about Shabbat. Having no idea what to expect she comes over after the sun goes down, she lights 2 candles, brings out a massive and beautiful loaf of challah bread, and pours a glass of wine. In my mind you know what I am thinking "hell yeah, this is my kind of night."
She says a blessing in Hebrew over the bread and then we eat it...rip it right off the loaf in fact. While we munch on it's deliciousness and wash it down with smooth red wine she explains this Jewish holiday.
She tells me that every friday at sundown in Shabbat and you tuck into your home, put away your electronics, turn off the electricity. Perplexed I asked why, to which she responded "so you can rest."
You have got to be kidding me...my heart skipped a beat..."mandatory rest is a part of your religion?" I immediately wanted to be Jewish for my heart longs for a weekly Shabbat. Ohhh the joy of unplugging and doing nothing. I don't know about you, but that is all my soul yearns for, especially on a Friday after a whirlwind of a week being a mom, wife and business owner. I want a weekly Shabbat too.
What a refreshing idea that is steaped in tradition. She called her Aunt Iris to tell us a little more about the why behind Shabbat. When we asked Aunt Iris why they do Shabbat her response was simple "cause on the 7th day he rested" she said. I grew up uber Catholic, we believe the same thing...on the 7th day he rested, but we choose to honor it, by doing the exact opposite. We put on our Sunday best and head to a loaded church in the community, we stand, sit and kneel and timed intervals, we sing loudly, we listen to lectures. Church was anything, but rest and most often as a family we needed to go home and rest after sunday mass..LOL
I though immediately about the way we gather at the studio for a delicious #yinyoga practice. It is in a way our Shabbat. We have made it a part of our religion as a human to come to our mat and rest. Deep down it is what we all need and we benefit immensely for the outcome of rest is renewal.
Oh how I wish for mandatory rest in our nation. I wish Apple would set up the iPhones to shut off every Friday night from sundown to sunrise so we could all rest.
I ecourage you to find a way to carve our dedicated time for a spiritual Shabbat in your own life. Make it mandatory for yourself...rest weekly. Put away your phone, turn the lights down, put on something comfy, and just rest, or come to a yin #yoga class we are doing the same thing, we are making a conscious and powerful choice to show up and rest. It is a beautiful thing and it is my hope that more and more of us find renewal this year from the simple yet profound act of taking rest. Shabbat Shalom