Mark’s Remarks: Join us for Dinner!
By Mark Frydenberg
The Religious Committee is trying an experiment this fall. After each of our monthly Shabbat evening services on October 15, November 19, and December 17, there will be a Shabbat dinner at the Temple. Turn Friday night into Shabbat evening as Rabbi Nathan leads spirited singing to welcome Shabbat, with services at 6:30 pm, followed by a home-cooked meal, good conversation, and songs and blessings after the meal. We’re hoping this shared experience will help to strengthen our Shabbat evening community.
Rabbi Steve Greenberg, an Orthodox rabbi and fellow at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, writes: “The Shabbat table community … can happen anywhere that there are people, wine, hallah and good food. It helps, too, to set the mood, to prepare white tablecloths and flowers, but with these ingredients and a measure of good cheer, a Shabbat community is created. The rituals of Shabbat dinner themselves, while being very Jewish, seem nonetheless to speak a much wider language. For example, netilat yadaim, the custom of washing hands before eating bread, marks the table as an altar, the hallah bread as sacrifice, and members of the Shabbat community as priests, responsible for all the families of the earth. … Shabbat [is] a day of Edenic joy, a taste of a perfected world to come.”
He continues, “a Shabbat community is convened in a single evening and then disappears; still, its power to shape identity and experience is remarkable. …It engenders great pride in Jewish tradition and culture, while stretching the very meaning of Jewishness in marvelous ways. Shabbat dinner provides us with a sense of nostalgic Jewish homecoming wherever we are, and is, at the same time, a most amazing gift to almost anyone.”
We can’t promise flowers and white table cloths, but we invite you to join us for wine, hallah, and good food, as well as good conversation and some wonderful melodies and songs. Leave the work of your week behind for the evening, and bring your stories, your family, and your friends. The only “rule” is that you have to sign up ahead of time. See the flyer in this newsletter to reserve your place at the table.