Gut Shabbes! (Balak)

Shabbes is meant to be a joyous day; so much so that it is forbidden to be sad. Sadness, like the mundane acts of work, is supposed to be strictly off limits, as we rejoice and thank G-d for the gift of the seventh day. Some weeks, this comes easily to me. Shabbes is often the only day on which I go out for enjoyment, and it’s the only time I see my friends and go to shul. But on other weeks, trying to rejoice is unbelievably difficult.

It’s on these weeks that I try to transform negatives into positives. I remember how G-d, through Balaam, turned curses into blessings in this week’s Parsha, and I resolve to do the same. Rather than cursing the rituals of Shabbes, and the forced merriment of the day, I thank G-d for the paradise in time, and use it as a chance to switch off and regain my strength.

In London, Shabbes candles should be lit at 9:00 PM, and Shabbes ends tomorrow evening at 10:28 PM. When lighting your candles, please keep in mind Chaim Elozor ben Baila, Moshe ben Hadasa, Moshe ben Genya, Chashachana bas Bryna and Shai bas Odeya for a refuah shleimah. Thank you, and gut Shabbes!

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