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SA Jewish News

Community has internalised the Shabbos Project

  • ChiefRabbi
It is deeply moving to watch how the Shabbos Project has matured here in South Africa over the last five years. It has become part of the fabric of our community, and touches almost every one of us in a real and meaningful way. I saw this so clearly during Sukkot, when my wife and I hosted the student leaders of the various Jewish day schools in our Sukkah. Three even came from Cape Town to be part of the gathering, which was devoted to brain-storming and galvanising to work together for the Shabbos Project. I was struck by the warmth, energy and enthusiasm of these young grade 11 leaders who love the Shabbos Project and what it does for our community. It made me realise how much the Shabbos Project has entered our hearts and minds.
by Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein | Nov 02, 2017

During the last five years the Shabbos Project experience has become deeper and more meaningful for our community. This last Shabbos it was so heart-warming to see the streets thronging with Shabbos walkers, to feel the spiritual singing at a Dark Tisch, and to feel the buzz in the community. I went with my family to a street dinner nearby and saw neighbours and friends, new and old, come together in a spirit of unity, and was moved to think about how these street dinners are now spread throughout the country. People have brought their creativity and sense of fun to make this project their own. Our Shuls also embrace the Shabbos Project with more proactive energy with each passing year.

It is so beautiful to see how keeping Shabbos has become within the reach of all of us, and how we are connecting more and more with the magic of Shabbos. When visiting the primary schools in the lead up to the Shabbos Project I asked the kids what their favourite thing about Shabbos is. The most popular answer is that they enjoy spending uninterrupted time with their parents. I feel that our community is connecting more often and more deeply with the joy of Shabbos, which seems to be more needed with every passing day in our crazy world. The experience of Shabbos brings the refreshing power of connectedness to a world of increasing pressure and fragmentation.

Over the years I have watched the Shabbos Project unite and strengthen us all. It bonds us and makes us feel like one community, with shared purpose and vision. It bonds us with Jews throughout the world, who have followed our lead and join us in the Shabbos Project. We have opened our hearts and our souls to the Shabbos Project and in so doing we have been blessed.

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