Shabbat Shalom is A Temple in Time that transcends space. Our modern rabbinic prophet Abraham Joshua Heschel is our guide. Shabbat is the term that conveys the singular nature of our tradition. Six days we create worlds, and on the seventh we Shabbat. Heschel teaches that the representative document of our civilization, the list of Ten Teachings on the Tablets revealed to Moses on The mountain Sinai has only one word not translatable into Greek Latin or English, the Hebrew word Shabbat. He asks; “What is Shabbat?”, and answers: the embodiment of the idea that all are equal before the law, that Shabbating is a dream of slaves becoming royalty and the stranger our neighbor. Sabbathing promises walking in Gods way of making the Shabbat holy.

My personal dream of Shabbat is an echoing of the Chassidic teacher Rabbi Yaakov Yosef ; a renewal of Shabbating. The Rabbi teaches a Sabbath that is to the other six days of the week what the soul is to the body. Be warned that my renewal is not orthodox and therefore by definition heretical. To begin with I envision Shabbat as a day for Jew and Non Jew alike. In fact, true interfaith dialogue begins with Shabbat and its observance,

In our times, ironically, the Shabbat is a sitting at sixes and sevens.

When is Shabbat? Confusion reigns.

My challenge to orthodox Jews and Christians is to honor the Ten Principle teachings by Shabbating on the same day, The Sabbath, if you can imagine that.

Jews begin by inviting gentiles to our Sabbath worship and Torah readings. Christians have been chosen by God and so may recite the blessing “ asher bachar banu” This is my minority of one Rabbinic opinion, but we need to start somewhere. Thoughtful gentiles will follow the weekly Shabbat cycle and annual liturgical calendar as a Tikkun of the patristic annihilation of Shabbat. The Lords day is, of course, the unique right of Christians.

Returning to the sources the prophet Isaiah is honored, and his vision at the end of his book is fulfilled.

Amen. Sealah
Rabbi Alpern

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