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Switch to Forum Live View Response to Riviya-Reform use of Ritual on Shabbat
10 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2008 - 1:58PM #1
Posts: 30
Riviya asked:

We have begun to have a Shabbath meal with candles and prayers. The kids demand it now. They love the ritual and the sharing at the end of the week. Then we go downstairs and have family movie night. That is the end of it.
I'd love to find ways to make the Shabbath a day of rest and reflection. It seems to take more of a commitment than we are ready to make. What ways do you all bring ritual into your lives, if indeed that is a meaningful aspect of Judaism for you.

I understand your husband's unease with Chabad's policies and outlook.  I also understand that sometimes its just not possible to get to services.

My husband and I don't have children yet, but our jobs demand that sometimes we are working, or answering pages on Friday night and Saturday.  I think the Shabbat dinner is a good start.  I find that even if we can't make it to services, we can find the time to sit together and light the candles and have some challah.  Most weeks we do make it the services at least on Friday night.  In our jobs here, we both need to see patients on Saturday more often than we'd like.  So we don't often make it to services on Saturday morning, and we can't often take a full day of rest on Saturday.  We do make a point of calling relatives and friends on Saturday.  Staying in contact with the people we love seems like an important Shabbat activity  to us.  We also do discuss God more on Shabbat, even when my husband and I don't agree (he is an agnostic leaning toward atheism) we are at least discussing God, and the role morality plays in our lives. 

Try to have discussions about what is meaningful for your family.  A family game night or movie night I think is a perfectly reasonable way to start, especially with small kids.  To my mind part of Reform practice is evaluating traditional ritual and adding to it in ways that are meaningful in the modern world.
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10 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2008 - 8:01PM #2
Posts: 1,199
[QUOTE=phaco;278596]To my mind part of Reform practice is evaluating traditional ritual and adding to it in ways that are meaningful in the modern world.[/QUOTE]And trying, when possible, to approach a more comprehensive observance.  I understand your constraints.  For my part, I'm single so a Shabbat dinner doesn't happen very often in my apartment, but I am able to get to services most of the time.  I've recently started to turn the computer OFF when Shabbat arrives and not turn it back on till after Havdalah.  It's harder than I thought it would be!
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