Saturday, October 19, 2013

Good Shabbat


Heinrich was looking forward to the end of the day and nothing unusual came up to delay his departure. He asked Dietrich if he would please take care of the shop and lock up afterwards on Saturday and Monday, if needed; and he agreed. Friday then had a different feel to it when he left the shop and headed home. It was not just another day, but the start of a sacred time of rest. He noted where the sun was and guessed that there was less than an hour before it set. 

When he got home he surveyed the room and saw that the dinner table was set as fancy as he had ever seen it. Its white table cloth was festooned with their best china and silver. There were two candlesticks standing proudly in their silver holders, with a white cloth over a special dish set in the middle. Heinrich saw the serving bowls and food arrayed around the table, making the whole place smell intoxicating. Standing on either side of the table were the beautiful women of the house dressed in their finest - and they were smiling as they said in unison, “Good Shabbat Heinrich.” He was very impressed and humbled as he said, “Good Shabbat ladies. This is very special and you are all so beautiful.” The special unique feeling that the Sabbath tradition brings was about to begin.”

Heinrich knew a little bit about the ceremony, but wasn’t sure about the etiquette, the words, or the order in which things occurred. Freyda suggested, “Perhaps you’ll want to freshen up first and then we can begin. We’ll start with the candle lighting when you are ready - but it has to be before sundown.” Heinrich wasn’t sure if he was ready, but replied, “OK - I’ll be right back.” He went upstairs, washed up, put on fresh clothes, and came back down. All the ladies were still standing, so he held a chair for each as they sat down and he took the chair at the end of the table. With the shadows lengthening, Freyda took a burning candle and positioned herself near the middle of the table. She prayed in Hebrew and then in German as she lit the first and then the second candle: “Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzevanu or goyim v’natan-lanu et Yeshua Ha Mashiach or ha-olam. Amen. Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments and has commanded us to be a light to the nations and gave us Yeshua the Messiah, the Light of the World. Amen.”

Freyda then moved her hands around the candles and brought them to her face several times as Rebekah said, “We are welcoming the Sabbath as a bride.” Heinrich juxtaposed the word bride with Rebekah and pictured them both welcoming the Sabbath.

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