Thursday, April 21, 2011
My Favorite Part of the Week
By Esther Berlin
The best part of the week for me is Friday evening at the Jewish Home. I shall never forget my first Sabbath here, six and a half years ago. I walked in for dinner and was unprepared for such a change in the dining room. It was obvious that something special was about to happen. Tables were set with white linens and each place had a glass of wine, a small challah, and flowers. Seeing this beautiful sight, tears of joy ran down my face. I realized how much I had missed celebrating Shabbos. It had been a long time since I made the same preparations at my home on Fridays. Once my two children went off to school and I was alone, I stopped our family's tradition of reciting the prayers and lighting the Shabbos candles.
Now, each Friday that I am able, I go to the Synagogue to say a special prayer for my friends and family who are ill. The Mi Sheberakh seeks physical cures as well as spiritual healing, asking for blessing for all human beings. Celebrating Shabbos with Rabbi Rita Hertzberg is very special for me. Her soft, lovely voice is very soothing and I find myself relaxed, peaceful, and calm. I particularly enjoy singing the Kiddush Motzi when everyone joins in. It seems that all who participate are filled with joy. In the dining room, Rabbit Rita always provides a helpful explanation about the various Sabbath rituals. And then to top it all off, we have that wonderful big bowl of delicious matzah ball and chicken noodle soup! I feel so blessed to be living at the Jewish Home where we observe the traditions of our faith each week.