SHABBAT SHUVAH A ONETABLE GUIDE
Falling between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat of Return, ushers in a unique weekend, an incredible opportunity to reflect on the year that was and welcome the year to come. Over the centuries, rabbis, philosophers, and poets have added to the Jewish canon of texts designed to make the most of these Days of Awe, inspiring us to return to ourselves, to take stock of our minds, bodies, and souls, to consider when and how we may have missed the mark, and to forgive others and ourselves. We hope that this guide helps you and your guests imbue Shabbat Shuvah with intention and give the Friday night rituals an extra layer of meaning by incorporating the themes that make the High Holidays so sacred.
LIGHT Lighting Shabbat candles symbolizes the last act of the work week, and connects us to passages in the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, that remind us to keep and remember Shabbat. .הָ ע לָ ם אֲשֶׁ ר ִק ְדּשָׁ נוּ ְבּ ִמ ְצ תָ יו וְ ִצוָּנוּ ְלהַ ְד ִליק נֵר שֶׁ ל שַׁ בָּ ת
ֶא הֵ ינוּ מֶ ל ֱ אַ תָּ ה יְ ָי
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat. Blessed are You, Infinite One, ruler of the universe, who makes us holy through commandments and commands us to kindle the light of Shabbat.
FROM THE PROPHET HOSEA: A CANDLELIGHT READING . א הֶ י ֱ שׁוּבָ ה יִ ְשׂ ָראֵ ל עַ ד יְ הוָה .ע ֹו ֶנ ְקחוּ ִעמָּ כֶ ם ְדּבָ ִרים ֲ ִַכּי כָ שַׁ ְלתָּ בּ :וְ שׁוּבוּ אֶ ל־יְ הוָה ִא ְמרוּ אֵ לָ יו !ל־תּשָּׂ א עָ וֹן וְ קַ ח־ט ב ִ ָכּ
Shuvah Yisrael ad Adonai Elohecha. Ki chashalta ba’avonecha kichu imachem divarim. V’shuvu el Adonai imru alav: Kol tisa avon v’kach tov! Unshal’mah farim sifateinu. This is a night to return. We have all relapsed, we have all transgressed, and so we return, bringing to the Days of Awe these words: Forgive the bad and take the good! Accept our offering not of goods or money, but our offering of words.
WINE Kiddush allows us to sanctify time. We bless wine, we bless Shabbat, and we remember: We are partners with God in the ongoing process of creation and recreation, building a better world week after week, year after year. .אַ תָּ ה יְ ָי ְמקַ ֵדּשׁ הַ שַׁ בָּ ת
בָּ רוּ.הָ ע לָ ם בּ ֵרא ְפּ ִרי הַ גָּפֶ ן
ֶא הֵ ינוּ מֶ ל ֱ אַ תָּ ה יְ ָי
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam borei p’ri ha’gafen. Baruch Atah Adonai m’kadesh ha’Shabbat. Blessed are You, Infinite One, ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You, Infinite One, who sanctifies Shabbat.
FORGIVENESS: A KIDDUSH READING What do we want to let go? What do we want to forgive? This is what we must put down in order to raise our glasses, in order to say l’chaim — to life. I forgive you. Not for you, but for me. Because like chains shackling me to the past I will no longer pollute my heart with bitterness, fear, distrust or anger. I forgive you because hate is just another way of holding on, and you don’t belong here anymore. — Beau Taplin, Forgiveness
BREAD We pause. For a moment we remember that food isn’t a given, it’s a gift. Blessing the bread we eat is about the interconnectedness of community, the Oneness that links each step along the way. Nothing happens in solitude. . הַ מּ ִציא לֶ חֶ ם ִמן הָ אָ ֶרץ,הָ ע לָ ם
ֶא הֵ ינוּ ֶ ֽמל ֱ אַ תָּ ה יְ ָי
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam ha’motzi lechem min ha’aretz. Blessed are You, Infinite One, ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
THE NOURISHMENT OF GATHERING: A HA’MOTZI READING What is a Jew in solitude? What is a woman in solitude, a queer woman or man? When the winter flood-tides wrench the tower from the rock, crumble the prophet’s headland, and the farms slide into the sea when leviathan is endangered and Jonah becomes revenger when center and edges are crushed together, the extremities crushed together on which the world was founded when our souls crash together, Arab and Jew, howling our loneliness within the tribes when the refugee child and the exile’s child re-open the blasted and forbidden city when we who refuse to be women and men as women and men are chartered, tell our stories of solitude spent in multitude in that world as it may be, newborn and haunted, what will solitude mean? — Adrienne Rich, from Yom Kippur 1984
GRATITUDE ָוְ אָ כַ ְלתָּ וְ שָׂ בָ ְעתָּ וּבֵ ַר ְכתּ
V’achalta v’savata u’varachta. When you have eaten and are satisfied, bless. It’s a remarkable thing that Jewish tradition seeks to inspire us to be present before we eat, and all the more so that we are then directed to acknowledge our gratitude after we eat, not for the food itself, but for the incredible feeling of being full. At this time of year, perhaps more than any other, the notion of being sated is powerful. What does it mean to truly be fulfilled? In Hebrew, the root of the word for fulfillment — to be whole, to be complete — is shalom, the same as the word for peace. May we find peace this year, a whole and complete peace. May we be fulfilled, not only by our food, but by our family and friends, by our actions and our words.
.חמַ נָא מַ ְלכָ א ְדעַ ְלמָ א מַ ֵריה ְדהַ אי ִפיתָ א ֲ ָר
Brich rachamana malka d’alma marei d’hai pita. We are blessed with compassion by You, Infinite One, who sustains us with bread.