Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shabbat shalom

Shabbat shalom
Shalom means peace in Hebrew. It is a greeting often used when meeting someone. Shalom may also be used instead of farewell. During the shabbat, we have a special greeting, which is shabbat shalom.

Yesterday evening my room mate Gershon and I were invited for the shabbat service at the home of neighbors Teniel and his wife Naomi. We accepted the invitation only for the kidush, the blessing of the wine. However, after kidush, Teniel enthusiastically invited us to stay for shabbat supper, and I accepted. Gershon declined.

I accepted because I wanted very much to be included in the rest of the beautiful shabbat ceremony. After kidush and before the meal, comes the washing of hands. Each of us fills a cup with water pouring it over the right then left hand. Before drying hands, we say the following blessing: "Blessed are You, Lord, King of the Universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us concerning washing of hands."

There is something that you should know. Although I am Jewish and studied Hebrew for seven years in preparation for my Bar Mitzvah, I do not know very much at all about these Jewish ceremonies. My Mother and Father did not hold Jewish tradition such as shabbat. Now in my later years, I feel very lucky to be included in the shabbat of Teniel and Nomi.

My Son Joseph and I are invited for the next shabbat at Teniel and Naomi's home. Joseph will be flying in to Israel late in the afternoon on June 17th. Click [here] to view more about the shabbat ceremony.