After a long week of work, school and other responsibilities, it was always easy to avoid attending Friday evening Shabbat services. Although the list of explanations was long, the most successful excuse was that Dad usually fell asleep around 8:00 p.m. and services would not start until soon thereafter. However, when the synagogue decided to begin services earlier and to shorten its length, our excuse list disappeared, and we now make a deliberate effort, not always successful, to attend Friday night Shabbat services.
Our plan of Shabbat services and dinner has become one of our many family rituals. It is a chance for us to feel connected to God, to family and to a community of Jewish people, helping to reinforce the idea that we have responsibilities beyond our own individual wants and desires. We listen to the Rabbi’s sermon and then all too often criticize it on the drive to dinner. The children practice their prayers and begin to understand that Judaism is not just about prayers, but also about actions that they need to do every day. In our busy lives, we try most weeks to find one hour on Friday evenings to pray and give thanks to God.
Patti, Samuel, Rachel, Hannah & Sarah Rosenberg