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Shabbos Chic Blog

Shabbat, Shabbos, Sabbath

Personal Prayer on Shabbos and Every Day

Women, and men if there are no women present when it's time to light candles, have the precious privilege of kindling the flames prior to The Sabbath. Watch and listen to a mom and daughter lighting candles together for a couple minutes and you'll be truly inspired this week.
Special prayers for each child and family member are always welcome on Shabbos, but what about our personal prayers everyday? I commented on Jonathan Slater's article, How Do Jews Pray? and invite you to do the same.

Shabbos Chic personal prayer lute angel

King David is our example, and so we have all the permission we need to sing and cry out from our hearts and our very souls. I know I do! Are you hesitant to make personal prayers in your own life?

Comments welcome below.

by Rabbi H. Rafael Goldstein, CJC


Happy Shabbos Purim!!!

shabboschicpurimbasketI am set to enjoy the fascinating annual celebration of light out of  darkness this week, and do just what it says in this email I received from
This weekend (Saturday night and Sunday) is the festival of Purim. Why do we dress up on Purim? We're commemorating the miracle of Purim, which was hidden in nature. On Purim, what's inside turns outside, and what is outside turns inward. The whole world is upside down! To add more meaning to your Purim, try dressing up as something that evokes the internal dimensions of your soul. What positive aspects of yourself are concealed? Let them out to play on Purim!  This afternoon, when you light your Shabbat lights, take a minute to meditate on the aspect of yourself that is hidden, but that you'd like to bring to the surface, on Purim.

Here's a precious picture of Mishloach manot, the traditional Purim gift basket. This one is a stylized photo from the lushness of Joy Of Kosher's recipes and gifts. Yum!

Shabbat Shalom Terumah!

One of my teachers, Chana Bracha Siegelbaum, posts this week about the mikdash (sanctuary) in our hearts, a fitting study for the Torah portion this week, Terumah.
Her post is called

                      "Making a Sanctuary in our Heart
We know that all the mitzvot of the Torah are eternal, but how is it possible to fulfill the mitzvah of building the mikdash today? A person is like a mini-cosmos. Therefore, the command “make me a sanctuary” implies that we all are charged to perpetually make a sanctuary in our heart, in order to prepare a place for the Divine presence to dwell. When G*d dwells in the heart and soul of every one of us, the continuation of the verse: “that I may dwell among them” is fulfilled."

Although I try to remember everyday,  the day I remember my responsibility to be a sanctuary is usually Shabbos.  On weekdays I know that there is a flame burning in my heart, but on Shabbos it becomes my primary activity to remember and uphold the sacred space I occupy.

Good Shabbos Mishpatim!

fiddlerThis minute-and-a-half YouTube video with the sound of A Sabbath Prayer from Fiddler On The Roof and the sight of Jewish art and photos will inspire you today. Made by mother for her two daughters, it captures the essence of Shabbos for us. 

Taste of Shabbos Yitro - Cholent Forever!

Enjoy listening to the acoustic folk song Shabbos Kodesh from  Shemesh Music in Beit Shemesh Israel while you're reading...

There's no doubt that the traditional Shabbos stew called Cholent is a favorite all over the world. Devorah Klein Lev-Tov shares her stories, saying, "Cholent is one of a small number of dishes that are intrinsically Jewish. Because Jews have been scattered all over the world for generations, however, there is no single recipe: The flavors have been refined according to each region’s tastes, resulting in a large variety of cholents."

Get your own Cholent started this week with a half dozen recipes, and send me your own recipes and photos to share!

Rabbi Marshall I. Klaven of wrote a dvar Torah that brings Parsha Yitro right into our daily lives. He says, "Though written hundreds of years ago, the dynamics involved in this midrash could easily apply to today's world, particularly with how people deal with the sometimes conflicting obligations of work and family." 

And Rabbi Yosef B. Friedman of shared the following in his email this week, "Important as the mother's influence on her children is in their formative years, her role does not end there. Throughout their lives, the entire family's spiritual and even physical well-being remain dependent upon the mother's  ongoing  ability to inculcate them with love for G-d and His Torah. Even the husband's spirituality is greatly dependent upon his wife's. Every woman sets the tone in her home and is thus actively responsible for the physical and spiritual health of her entire family."

What an awesome privilege and responsibility to create Shalom Bayit, a peaceful home in the light of Shabbos!

ShevatInfographic from  Rabbi Avraham ben Yaakov Greenbaum

"Just like it is the woman who gives birth physically, so does she bring forth spirituality and Torah into the world."
Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

Shabbat Shirah - Sabbath of Song שבת שירה

A celebration of freedom, Shabbat Beshalach is also Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath of Song.  Here's a description by Rabbi Walter Homolka, rector of the Abraham Geiger College for the training of rabbis, also a professor of Jewish Studies at Potsdam University in Germany:

"This Shabbat is called Shabbat Shira, because this week's Torah reading, B’shalah, includes Shirat Hayam , the song the Israelites sang after they crossed the Red Sea. It opens with the words, "I will sing to the Lord, for the Lord has triumphed gloriously; horse and driver the Lord has hurled into the sea" and ends with "Adonai will reign forever and ever.

In a world of forgetting, Judaism is all about memory. How often are we urged ‘to remember’ what God did for us “with a strong hand and an outstretched arm”. Remembrance is the very basis for our trust in God’s faithfulness and love:
This is My Name forever, and this is My remembrance from generation to generation." (Exodus 3:15; 2:23-5).

This is also the Shabbat of feeding the birds, some of whom surely sing to the Lord to help us remember daily as well.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schwartz shares a list of miracles to remember from this Torah portion, including, "All thebabies and even children in their mother's womb said Shira," and his video highlights Tu Beshvat, the New Year of The Trees we're also celebrating this Shabbat Shira. Thanks, Rabbi!
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