With the High Holy Days soon coming, many people, Jews in particular, may be under the impression that these are the most important of the Jewish Calendar. Certainly they are, as they are when we ask for forgiveness, and G-d writes our names in the Book of Life for the New Year. However, many people forget the Holiest of all days: Shabbat, the Sabbath. Shabbat is so important that G-d even gave one of The Ten Commandments to The Nations. It is so important that it does not apply to just The Jewish People.
The Talmud says that if everyone were to observe two consecutive Shabbats, the world would repair itself. So, when is Shabbat? Many people are under the impression it is Saturday. Many Christian denominations observe their Sabbath on Sunday. However, the Jewish Sabbath begins 15 minutes before sunset Friday until 45 minutes after sunset Saturday, lasting a total of 25 hours. During this time, we are commanded to rest. This means do not work, cook, drive, spend money, or anything that exerts energy.
Even Animals are commanded to rest on Shabbat. If it comes between an Animal working and a Human working, the Human must always take the burden upon himself. Also, if a person’s life is danger, it is permissible to work to save his/her life.
The importance of Shabbat is primarily about Family. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Family you were born with, or the one you’ve made. I’ve talked about Family on this blog before. You can make a Family out of anything or anyone. So, this next Shabbat, please, spend time with the ones you consider Family. Turn off the television, the computer, and the telephones. Play some board games. Have a nice dinner (it doesn’t matter if it’s Kosher or not). The point is, just turn off the world. It can wait for one day. If you have to work, then make your own Shabbat, where you can just tune the world out for one day.