Every day we make choices; go here or there, do this or that, answer the phone, check the email. So many distractions, so much noise, so much to do and so little time. It almost seems that being connected 24/7 is a requirement for the modern, 21st-century American worker. Commuting back and forth to work, sitting in a cubicle for eight or ten hours a day, for 20 or 30 or 40 years, going slightly mad as you stare at clock waiting for quitting time, daydreaming of a long, relaxing holiday. Then reality sets in; you don’t have enough vacation days for that dream trip and the best you can look forward to is the weekend so you can clean the house, do the shopping, do this, do that; oy vey iz mir.
This is why I am grateful to be Jewish. As a Jew, I am a sentient being and I have the conscious ability to choose one day from another – to choose one day every week to set aside time to reflect on my own existence and develop a meaningful sense of self in relation to my family, friends and community. This is why I Choose Shabbat.
Shabbat, a 25-hour period lasting from sundown each Friday through nightfall on Saturday, is a weekly commemoration of the seventh day of creation. Shabbat is a time to redefine and reconnect with G-D, ourselves and the people that bring meaning to our lives. Shabbat presents a new opportunity every week to find a separation between the mundane, routine ordinariness of our daily routine and the sublime.
Whether you choose to embrace all of the traditional rules of Shabbat or you pick one or two observances, celebrating Shabbat is one of the most beautiful and meaningful ways to bring spirituality into your life. Shabbat happens every week for a reason; it’s a chance to reset the clock and remind ourselves, our families and loved ones what is special and important in our lives.
Choose Shabbat, choose to celebrate, choose to try different things out and see what works for you. You can choose to do – or choose not to do – something or many things during Shabbat. Choose to turn off the television and have a nice family meal on a Friday night. Choose to light candles and sing songs. Choose to not check your email or Facebook for one day – it is a very liberating feeling.
Welcome to Choose Shabbat, a campaign encouraging Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods to explore and embrace Shabbat in both traditional and nontraditional ways and to share our personal experiences with one another.
This moment of Jewish learning is brought to you by the Florida Region of FJMC. We serve the needs of Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods across the State of Florida from the Panhandle to Miami. Our mission is to involve Jewish Men in Jewish Life by fostering fellowship and camaraderie between Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods in the Florida Region, inspiring interest and involvement in Jewish worship, Jewish studies, Tikkun Olam and ensuring the success of new and existing leaders of our Florida Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods. If you are not yet affiliated with the Federation, then today is the day to join us. Get to know more about the Florida Region of FJMC and our growing statewide network of dynamic Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods on our website www.FloridaRegionFJMC.org and please visit and LIKE our Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/FloridaRegionFJMC.