Thursday, February 12, 2009

For the sheer joy of it

Judaism has a long tradition of learning and teaching. In fact the very word Torah means teaching. And what is life but a series of lessons to be learned and lived. We must impart to our children that Torah and Mitzvos are privileges and not a burden (learned from Rabbi Benyamin Yudin). We have to be cognizant of endless opportunities for everyday holiness. And we must feel joy and enthusiasm in our religious observance. Life is often full of challenges but we must not forget to see all the beautiful things that are there too. Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis in one of her books recommends that we sing with our children. Shabbos is an especially good time for that. Music has a special ability to carry one to great heights beyond the here and now. Shabbos is also the space in time that takes us out of the reality we normally inhabit. So Shabbos and music are natural partners in that respect. There is a wonderful book I bought recently called Shabbos in My Soul by Rabbi Boruch Leff on how to make Shabbos more meaningful, it's a real treasure - both the Shabbos and the book :) Shabat shalom to all and here is another great nigun from Shlomo Katz to get us into the proper frame of mind.


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