Archive for Shabbat

Shabbat inspiration

Copyright 2011 Neal Joseph Loevinger

Dear Friends:

Greetings from Jerusalem! Here’s a thought to take into Shabbat: upon
the advice of a friend, I was strolling through a neighborhood
called Yemin Moshe, which has a street devoted to fine arts and
craft shops. Along this street, there are painters, ceramic artisans,
weavers, calligraphers, silversmiths- and one person who has a sign
outside his Judaica shop which announces (in English) that he is
a “Mitzvah Beautifier!”

Now, it’s clear what he means- it’s an awkward translation of the
concept of “hiddur mitzvah,” or making our commanded and ritual
actions more beautiful. That’s why we use fine goblets for Kiddush,
or silver candlesticks for Shabbat candles, or hang lovely curtains
in front of the Ark in the synagogue- to make the mitzvah more
beautiful and appealing. So this artist is someone who makes ritual
Jewish objects at a high level of craftsmanship, and he translated
this as “mitzvah beautifier.”

But I love this idea! In fact, I think we should all be “mitzvah
beautifiers” in everything we do! What if we “beautified” not just
Shabbat and the holidays, but our tzedakah, our acts of compassion,
our Torah study and our prayers, too?

Here’s wishing you a beautiful Shabbat, and the insight and
creativity to be a “mitzvah beautifier” all week long.

shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Neal

PS- For those who asked- still no suitcase, but El Al assures me that
it’s at least in the country.

PPS- Please feel free to forward these posts to your friends, or
anybody you think would enjoy receiving them, or let me know if there
are people you think should receive an invitation to sign up. Nothing
would make me happier than learning Torah with new and old friends.

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