web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Shabbat: A Time for Menuchah V’simcha


Jewish women lighting Shabbat candles

Jewish women lighting Shabbat candles
Photo Credit: Serge Attal/Flash 90

Share Button

I remember going to shul with my mother and always being slightly puzzled when we left to go home after the tefillot. My mother would wish and be wished a Shabbat Shalom, but she always added something extra that left all who encountered her with smiles on their faces. She would compliment everyone she met with something personal. It might be about the clothes they wore, the inspiring way they davened, or a comment on the wonderful behavior of their children during the prayer service.

I remember asking my mother why she always felt the need to do this. She replied that while it didn’t cost her anything imagine how those few words of recognition would add to someone else’s Shabbat joy.

My brother Yehudah, a”h, would emulate my mother’s trait. He would add his own personal touch – in a literal way. He would put his arm on a burdened shoulder, and tell a joke to leave yet another person with a smile on his face.

There are many other ways to make someone feel special and noticed, and thus add to their good feelings on Shabbat. For example, there are people who make note of someone who did not come to shul on a particular Shabbat. These absentees would either receive a surprise visit that day, or a phone call after Shabbat, or even a mention of having been missed the week before when the next Shabbat arrived. I have been the recipient and doer of such an act of chesed.

A few weeks ago, I lit my Shabbat candles with a heavy heart. I had received some difficult news about someone I care about, and found that I was just not in the mood for Shabbat. What a terrible feeling! Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Three little children stood there with a paper bag in hand. “For Shabbat,” they said, as they shyly proffered the warm bag. I looked inside and found freshly baked challah, an unexpected gift from a neighbor. Suddenly, my Shabbat looked so different to me. I was able to find the joy of Shabbat in this small gesture of kindness.

When I encountered my neighbor the next day, I told her how her challah had not just added to the ta’am of Shabbat in a physical sense, but it had also returned to me the very essence of the true taste of Shabbat.

Shabbat is a time of menuchah, of rest. It is also a time of simcha, of happiness. We are often too busy during the week to stop and think about how we can do something simple to bring simcha into someone else’s life. When we can combine the menuchah of Shabbat together with its inherent simcha, we can bring ohr laYehudim, light to all of us.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Shabbat: A Time for Menuchah V’simcha”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Debbie Garfinkel Diament
Lessons-in-Emunah-new

I insisted that one decoration, a dancing sevivon (dreidel) man, remain hanging in recognition of the chag. Some in my family questioned the appropriateness of this decision. Was it proper to have decorations hanging in what would soon become a house of shiva?

Lessons-logo

Shimon’s early years were not easy ones. His mother struggled to support both of them. She never acquired the knowledge needed to help her son through school years filled with homework and tests.

Chaim (not his real name) was walking down the street, feeling very discouraged. It seemed that lately, the news was filled with stories depicting the disparities, distrust and dislike between the different streams of Jews living in Israel. Much of it revolved around the different religious affiliations or non-affiliations that people adhered to. There were times when Chaim felt the situation was hopeless, with no way to bring people together as a cohesive group – despite their differences.

Like many religious Jews, our bookshelves contain a variety of sefarim. Among the sifrei Mishnah, the Gemara, the Chumashim, among others, there is one sefer that has special meaning to my family and me.

The rav was not a wealthy man, but earned enough to live comfortably. He earned his money by serving as the rav of a religious community in Yerushalayim. He also received some royalties from sefarim he had written over the years. He was well known, and many people approached him for a berachah, advice and help. They were not turned away.

Like many children, some of my grandchildren tended to rush through the berachot they recited each day. Somehow, the first few words were inclined to run together. The last few words often got swallowed up, especially those that were part of berachot made before eating something they really liked.

I never thought I would see the day when “Yossie” would smile. He was not an unhappy man, but rather very serious in demeanor. He never said hello, or any words, to his customers other than those absolutely necessary.

We first met Shlomie (name and some details have been changed) over 20 years ago. He davens in our shul, and he and my husband share a love of photography. Over time, we got to know each other well.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/menuchah-vsimcha/2012/02/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: