Shabbat shalom, and may your table be blessed this Sabbath with love and holiness!
I used to go to a used book sale benefiting Brandeis University every year. The book sale was discontinued a few years ago (it’s online instead). Anyway, they always had a great Jewish section as the event was primarily attended by the Jewish community. One of my little treasures was a book called Sabbath: The Day of Delight by Abraham Millgram. It was published in 1944. It is an anthology of information on Sabbath as well as quotes and even a little humor. At 488 pages, it has a lot to ponder. Anyway, for this week’s Sabbath meditation, I thought I would share two things with you, a little humor and a thought for the week.
A SUCCESSFUL SERMON
A Maggid (preacher) once delivered a fiery sermon against Sabbath-breakers, warning them of the dire punishment that awaited them in the next world. On the following day he went from house to house for the contributions he was wont to collect for his preaching. In one such house there lived the most notorious of Sabbath-breakers. He kept his store open every Sabbath day. To the Maggid’s surprise the man welcomed him heartily and gave him a large contribution.
“God be praised,” said the Maggid, “that he has turned your heart toward repentance, and that you are turning from the evil of desecrating God’s holy day.”
“Oh, no,” answered the storekeeper. “My generosity is born of no repentance. I am grateful to you for your sermon, for it will induce other store owners to close shop on the Sabbath, and I’ll have at least one day in the week without business competition.”
On a more serious note . . .
The Roman emperor (Hadrian) asked Rabbi Joshua ben Haninah, “Why is it that Sabbath dishes have such a fragrant scent?”
Rabbi Joshua replied, “We put in them a certain spice called Sabbath.”
The emperor said, “Please give me some of that spice.”
Rabbi Joshua answered, “It is effective only for those who keep the Sabbath.”
(Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 119a).
So, spice up your Sabbath. Let the spices be prayer and love for family, congregation, friends, and, above all, the Mighty One. If you need more inspiration, go and read a psalm. As Yeshua would say, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”