The theme of my week has been rest. Mainly, not enough of it. Coming off of our epic Purim festivities, where we raised $5,000 for New Sanctuary Movement, I have felt a bit tired. And I have talked with several of you this week, and I know you too are tired. This administration is relentless. Everything feels urgent. There are literally three important, righteous meetings to go to in every night. And while we can mock it on Purim, we have to actually figure out how to live it sustainably in our lives.
This week's Torah portion includes the refreshing reminder I personally needed. Observe Shabbat...or else! Really rest. Turn off your screens, sit around in your pajamas, have extended conversations, take a long walk, play board games, do a puzzle, go to, not one, but two yoga classes. I know the list is long. But so is the week, not to mention your twitter feed.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his weekly writing shares this beautiful reflection on the relationship between Shabbat and the building of the tabernacle. In it he reminds us that in this lifetime, Shabbat must make it to the top of our to-do list.
"The Sabbath is a full dress rehearsal for an ideal society that has not yet come to pass, but will do, because we know what we are aiming for – because we experienced it at the beginning...The building of the Tabernacle was a symbolic prototype of the building of a society...The ultimate end of such a society is the harmony of existence that we have not yet experienced, living as we do in a world of work and striving, conflict and competition. God, however, wanted us to know what we were aiming at, so that we would not lose our way in the wilderness of time."
As we move into Shabbat, wherever you are, you have clear instruction and full permission from the Torah (and the Holy One!) to let go, relax and rejuvenate, because your health, your happiness and your life depends on it.
And if you are able to come to Kol Tzedek tomorrow, I invite you to sing and dance it out as we celebrate three simchas, including the Bar Mitzvah of Dayan Parker, the taking of a new name with Jessica Levine and milestone of becoming a grandparent with Carol Daniels.
Rabbi Ari Lev