As the days get shorter and shorter, and Shabbes starts earlier and earlier, I find myself feeling pressured at the end of each week, trying to prepare for Shabbes in a short space of time, and making hurried arrangements for guests, meal plans and the suchlike. This week, as I was planning for Shabbes, I stopped and thought; perhaps, this isn’t actually what it’s all about.
Shabbes and Chanukah have one thing in common. They’re both about increasing the amount of light in the world. When we light Shabbes candles, and when we light the Chanukiah, we are bringing in holiness and light, and sharing this light with our families, friends, and all of klal Yisroel. As we prepare to celebrate the miracle of Chanukah, remember that Shabbes is about light. And although the external light is important- the light we bring to others when we host them for a Shabbes meal, and the light we spread when we honour Shabbes- let’s not forget the internal light. The miracles we take for granted. We’re alive. We’re breathing. We’re here to celebrate another Shabbes. The preparations can wait for a minute- stop and think about what you’re looking forward to this Shabbes, and what you’re thankful for.
This week, Shabbes candles should be lit in London at 3:34 PM, and Shabbes ends at 4:50 PM tomorrow. With gratitude to Hashem, I am happy to announce the birth of a baby girl to two of my dearest friends- please keep her in mind for a refuah shleimah when you are lighting the Shabbes candles. Her name is Tinokes bas Shana Rochel Golda Rus. Also, please remember Chaim Elozor ben Baila, Moshe ben Genya, Moshe ben Hadasa, Shmuel Yossef ben Soroh Malka, Chashachana bas Bryna and Rivka Miriam bas Tsivia Bina. Thank you, and gut Shabbes!