I was a special guest at the Shiffers, close neighbours from a previous apartment building in Double Bay, Bibaringa, last night for the Jewish evening home ritual to ‘welcome the Shabbat’.
After working hard for six days, following God, we welcome the seventh day for rest.
What’s happened to that ‘day of rest’ in this modern world?
After being initiated in this Jewish of Jewish traditions by a Jewish Jesuit in Jerusalem last week, and visiting the synagogue for the evening service, there was even greater significance in being part of this ritual in a Jewish home here in Sydney. While at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, I picked up two yarmulkes, the Jewish skull caps, and brought them back for Sidney and me to wear on this occasion.
As I mentioned in my recent blog, it’s hard to believe that it’s taken 71 years of my otherwise ‘worldly’ pursuits before participating in this special Jewish tradition. I can’t blame my education, and disregard of other Faith traditions solely on ‘blinkered’ Irish nuns – they were out of my life more than half a century ago.
But better late than never!C onverted to the importance and solemnity of this age-old tradition, for my gentile friends, I now share what happens in this weekly ritual.