Shabbat and Candle Lighting for Friday, March 1, 2019 / 25 Adar 1 5779
Light Shabbat candles at 6:07 p.m
ngregation Kehillah and Friends,
Parashat Vayakhel(in non-leap years read together with Pekudei) continues with details regarding the building of the Mishkan (the 'tabernacle' aka portable sanctuary-tent). Each individual was asked to step up and use his/her particular skill/knowledge in building the Mishkan. The Torah refers to these skills (knowledge) as 'wisdom of the heart.' In Ki Tisa (last week's parasha), our ancestors used this 'wisdom' in building a golden calf; now they use their gifts in building the sanctuary! The parasha begins and ends with reminding us of the importance of observing Shabbat.
Vayakhel means 'gather.' Here's an important teaching from Rabbi Gail Labovitz: How do we "do" Shabbat? What positive act do we take to "make Shabbat"? We assemble. We gather together in community. Shabbat does not happen, actively or otherwise, only at the level of individual Jews, each refraining from his or her ordinary occupations and activities. It is not truly Shabbat until each of those Jews uses that freed-up time to join together, in harmony, with other Jews: to pray, to learn, to eat, to talk (and yes, to love).
kavannah for candle lighting for Shabbat Vayakhel
Holy One, please help me to wisely choose how to use the gifts that you have so lovingly given me. Your gifts to me are uniquely mine; may I put my abilities towork to increase holiness and connection in our community and in the world, my gift back to You and Your creation.
Looking forward to seeing you on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. for Kabbalat Shabbat, when we'll welcome guest speaker Aaron Pratt, Director of the Arizona office of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He'll speak on "Advancing the U.S.-Israel Relationship in Challenging Times." And before services, at 6:30 p.m., I'll be presenting "Geography of the Synagogue," a look at what a synagogue is and what happens in a synagogue.