Westchester Jewish Center

I’m Not Keeping Shabbat This Week

Posted on May 22nd, 2017
BY SAUL SUDIN for Hevria


There are some weeks when I just can’t deal with Shabbat.

I spend the whole week living like a pinball; bouncing and ricocheting through life. By the week’s end, the last thing I need is someone telling me how to relax.

Shabbat gets in the way all the time. Sometimes it’s because of my intense workload, or an event with friends I’m missing, or how nice it would be to just binge-watching TV.

I don’t work a nine-to-five, and my income is reliant on how hard I can push myself. When deadlines are crunched, an extra twenty-five hours is a major difference in what I could be accomplishing.

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Kabbalat Shabbat

Posted on May 15th, 2017
BY GEORGE ROBINSON for myjewishlearning.com 


What happens during the Friday night prayer service.


In the first verses of Bereshit Genesis, God creates light and “there was evening and morning, the first day.” (Genesis 1:5) The rabbis reasoned that if the Torah, the product of divine revelation, said that the first day began with evening, that must have been God’s intention, for “days” to begin at sunset. So when the sky is streaked with the fading Friday sunlight, in Jewish homes around the world, candles are lit, blessings are said and Shabbat is welcomed. And in synagogues, the Friday Ma’ariv service begins with a series of hymns, Psalms, and blessings collectively known as Kabbalat Shabbat/ Welcoming the Sabbath.

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Shabbat Liturgy

Posted on May 8th, 2017
BY RABBI DANIEL KOHN for myjewishlearning.com 


A guide to Shabbat services and what makes them unique.


As a day of unique sanctity, Shabbat ’s liturgy is different from the standard weekday liturgy in its structure and in many of its themes. A number of the themes interwoven throughout the liturgy of Shabbat emphasize certain larger spiritual values of Judaism; in order to explore them, we must turn our attention first to a structural characteristic of Shabbat liturgy.

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Shabbat and Meditation: Just Be It

Posted on May 1st, 2017
BY JAY MICHAELSON for myjewishlearning.com 


How mindfulness can deepen your Shabbat experience — and vice versa


Shabbat is a day of being, not doing. As interpreted by the rabbis, the day’s multitude of do’s and don’ts are essentially about not making anything, not destroying anything, and simply taking the world as we find it–for one day. The rest of the week, we Jews are exhorted to improve the world, better ourselves, and provide for our extended families in whatever roles in which we find ourselves. But this day: just be. Serve God not in changing the world, but in relaxing into what’s already there.

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The Easiest Crock Pot Roast for Shabbat

Posted on April 24th, 2017
BY JENNIFER STEMPEL for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com


As someone who runs her life a million miles per minute, but still values the fruits of a home-cooked meal, the slow cooker is certainly a mainstay in my kitchen. Because of this favorite small appliance, my family gets to enjoy rich, hearty meals that taste like they’ve been simmering all day, even on those days when I’ve got just a few minutes to get dinner on the table.

I especially love making this savory slow cooker pot roast for a festive Shabbat meal. Any good starchy side like rice, potatoes, or noodles will sop up the juices in a fabulous way. Plus, if you’re lucky you’ll have leftovers, which I have been known to turn into pot roast tacos the next day.

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