Friday, July 10, 2009

A Pre-Shabbat Thought

From the Union for Reform Judaism's, "Gift of Shabbat" Deck of cards:


“I differentiate Shabbat by keeping kosher: no milk and meat together, no otherwise forbidden foods, paper plates, etc.”
I am a “foodie,” or as much of one as a pescetarian can be. I love to cook and to eat. I watch Food Network and listen to The Splendid Table. I adore entertaining and cooking for family and friends. Food is very much a part of my physical and spiritual nourishment. (I’m even the one who typically comes home from a day at the office and cooks for my family.)

Cooking can be a chore, but it can be incredibly relaxing. The rhythm of the knife going through the vegetables, the creative nature of putting together a meal, and the soothing kitchen sounds of bubbling pots and clinking spoons can put me into a Zen-like state. Cooking before Shabbat dinner is even more special. Every Shabbat Natalie, the boys, and I gather around our kitchen table and recite the blessings over the candles, the kids, the wine, and the meal before we eat.

Food is eaten. A meal is experienced. The Shabbat meal is a special, shared experience. In our home, we don’t eat leftovers or throw together sandwiches. We spend time talking about what we want. We think about what foods go well together, what we have not had in a while, and whether I have time to make something as fancy as what I envision. Whatever ends up on the table is made with love and care, which is what the Shabbat meal is all about.

May your Shabbat meal bring you closer to the ones you love this week and always.

Shabbat Shalom!

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