In Exodus 31:14-17, the Torah once again reminds the Jewish people to keep Shabbat. In this section, however, Shabbat is referred to as Shabbat Shabbaton, which is translated as a complete rest. According to the great Biblical commentator Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki - France, 1040 – 1105) as understood by the Sfat Emet (Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter - Poland, 1847–1905), this means that "rest" on Shabbat is not supposed to be a rest because one has nothing else to do, but a deliberate rest during which one refrains from even thinking about the mundane activities of the week.
Hey, great! A deliberate period of "chilling out." In truth, however, the state of rest described by the Sfat Emet is not easy to attain. After all, a person’s professional life is often intricately tied up with a person’s self--and talking business is second nature.
To help you create a Shabbat Shabbaton, Jewish Treats presents five tips for resting:
A) Spend time with those who have no business cares – kids. Enjoy time with your own children, nieces/nephews, grandchildren or the children of your friends.
B) Get together with one friend on a regular basis (every Shabbat or every other Shabbat) and talk about something you find spiritually uplifting.
C) Choose a special book to read or study on Shabbat that has nothing to do with your weekday life.
D) Play a game with friends, but keep it light and keep out the competitive edge. Play for the sake of playing.
E) And of course, one can always enjoy a Shabbat nap.
This Treat was originally published on March 12, 2009.
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