I haven't posted for a couple of days- first, because I spent so much time setting up my photo album on Facebook, and then because it was Shabbat. I kept Shabbat here, and it was beautiful. For those who don't know, we abstain from creating (it may also be thought of as "work" but it's easier for me to remember this way, since as someone said, 'We can move around every piece of furniture in our home, but we can't strike a match, and which one is more work?') on Shabbat to remember that there is a Creator, and as Rabbi Marcus taught us today, to "thin the mask" between us and Him. This is a great concept. For six days G-d created the world, which serves as a mask between us and Him. He does that so that we have the free will to choose to have a relationship with Him. If He didn't, if he revealed Himself to us, then we'd be so overwhelmed with the pleasure of His company, we'd try to attach ourselves to Him and never let go-- but that's not free will. So for six days G-d created, and the seventh day, G-d rested. Rested from creating the mask, so on Shabbat, the mask thins. Every thing we do to keep Shabbat thins the mask and allows us to connect to Him. Every thing we do that doesn't keep Shabbat thickens the mask and makes that connection more difficult. Awesome class.
I was blessed to spend Shabbat in the Old City of Jerusalem. When you're not carrying anything you can almost imagine yourself living there, just running around the corner to your neighbor's house- and I've walked the same streets enough times to almost know my way! I just think for Shabbat it's the most magical place on earth. I guess it's not magical, because magic isn't real.... it's just very, very special. Holy. Praying at the Kotel, seeing every style of Jew come to welcome the Sabbath- even a group of secular Israeli teens shared their song book with T and I and we sang songs with them for a while. We don't speak Hebrew, they didn't speak English, but we were all Jews and that was the only language needed.
I hope I merit to spend another Shabbat in the Old City someday soon. We could all use a little more holiness in our lives.