Friday, 13 June 2014
With people, in song, in food, with Him
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven"
Ecclesiastes 3, 1
I was thinking about this the other day ; why do I love Judaism so much? It isn't just a rejection of other religions or adherence to doctrines, dogmas, commandments, mitzovt, or even the community spirit which our faith has. To me it is also about how we celebrate our Judaism, the rhythm , the heartbeat of the year . Or to put it another way; with people, in song, in food, with Him.
First. We have our weekly Christmas (well without the pressies!) of our Shabbat celebrations, the centre of which are the 3 meals we have, which fuse together friends, family and worship of G-d as well as fine foods, wine and plenty of singing ! In fact it is a commandment that we enjoy the food and wine and the company of friends and family. This is the G-d I know and worship, not the stereotype deity of the 'Old Testament' that some Christians enjoy portraying her as being (e.g. distant, vengeful, wrathful and generally unpleasant).
Second. We have numerous festivals throughout the year, which the centre of (aside from fast days such as Yom Kippur) is again family, friends and a festive meal, which also combines prayer, liturgy & some form of Bible reading or study. What is even more unique I think is that, except for the times of fasting, we have special food for each festival; such as Cheesecake& Kahee for Shavout, Matzah for Passover, Latke&Sufganiyah for Hanukah, Hammantashen & Fazuelos for Purim etc .
So my question is, if you are Jewish, what makes your Judaism? If you are not Jewish, but have another faith, what makes this faith for you? If you don't believe anything, how do you celebrate the rhythm of the year and life? One final thought; please add your own Shabbat experiences, thoughts or issues below. Feel free also to leave a song, a food recipe or a word of Torah .