The table is set in white.
The candles are ready to be lit. I'm trying to make a regular habit of putting a few coins into the charity box before I light candles, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe said that there was a special segula, a special higher power when one gives charity right before lighting Shabbat candles.
Shabbat is a gift to the Jewish people. As it is said-more than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jewish people.
If you have any observant friends, try to snag a Shabbos invitation. Your soul will thank you.
If you are Jewish and not observant, consider incorporating one element of keeping Shabbat into your Friday night to Saturday night. You'll thank me.
I did not grow up religious, but becoming Shomer Shabbat, observing the Sabbath and holidays is really one of the very great gifts of my life. Every week is a holiday, every week focused on remembering G-d, remembering creation, remembering history, remembering the Exodus from Egypt. Every week, family comes together at the table. It's a magnificent thing.
The other quick note is that this is the period of the Nine Days in Judaism that precede Tisha B'Av.
I find it very chilling that this latest intifadah, precisely about the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is happening right now. The three weeks preceding Tisha B'Av and the Nine Days preceding the fast are a time of great sadness and reflection for the Jewish people.
These are interesting, challenging times.
I'll try to write more about this in the following days.
Hug your loved ones, call them, tell them you love them, tell your friends what they mean to you because you never know what each new day brings.