Saturday, May 7, 2011

Shabbat Shalom!!

Last night I had the time of my life celebrating the bringing in of a new Sabbath day. I asked myself, why don’t we do this? Why aren’t we as excited as they are for a new Sabbath day to dedicate to the Lord?
I unfortunately don’t have any pictures or videos because it is against the rules on the Sabbath to use phones, cameras or anything of that sort. They will get mad at the tourists that come if they pull out a camera. But I will do my best to describe this amazing even that we were part of. This is a Jewish tradition. Shabbat means Sabbath in Hebrew. Their Sabbath starts Friday night at sundown and ends Saturday at sundown. Hundreds of Jews gather at the western wall and pray and celebrate the coming of another Sabbath day. The wall is divided so the women have their own side and the men have their own side. You will see a lot of Jewish women, in long skirts and high-necked shirts. The women who are married have to cover their hair with a scarf or a wig. The men where large hats or yarmulkes, long curls right over their ears, have long beards, and usually a white button up shirt with dark slacks. They prayer to the wall and rock back and forth and then they back away with out turning their back on the wall. Sometimes they stick notes in the wall to, but on the Sabbath is against the law to write so they can’t do it on the Sabbath.
We were standing on the women’s side watching them sing prayers out of their little books, I was surprised at how many young women our age there were. All of the sudden they started circling up and dancing, we got pulled into the circle and we celebrated with them. Even though we don’t speak Hebrew or even though we aren’t Hebrew they wanted us to celebrate with them and we loved it!!
We spent about an hour dancing and singing and watching the men do the same on the other side.
I have been so excited for the Sabbath day before. It is something that I will never forget. Lots of singing, chanting, praying, and dancing – my favorite.
If there is something that I have learned on this trip it is to not judge. We can learn something for every culture and the way they do things. I learned that we should celebrate the Sabbath every week and be grateful to worship the Lord. I also learned to accept others, celebrate with them!!! It doesn’t matter what you believe or how different you are, we can celebrate our Lord together!!
Shabbat Shalom everybody!! Shabbat Shalom!!

Here is a link to a video I found, it shows a little taste of what it looks like.

1 comment:

Jefferson said...

Wow, that sounds amazing! Glad you're having fun in Jerusalem! Stay safe!