Faithful readers will recognize this story. In Modern Jewish Mom’s Guide to Shabbat, Meredith Jacobs tells the story of a rabbi relaying this image of Shabbat. He asks you to imagine a book. Now think of how many sides a book has. You may say six: a top and bottom, a front and back, and two sides. But there is one more side. The seventh side is the inside where the most important information about the book is located.
All week we are toiling on the outside, doing the work we need to do in our jobs and keeping our household going. On the seventh day of the week, we are called to go inside and to look inward. We take the time on Shabbat to pray, reflect, and rejuvenate.
Now my good friend, Rabbi Brief, the emeritus rabbi at our synagogue, would be all over the significance of the number seven in this story. Rabbi Brief has never met a number that didn’t have great significance. So let us take the obvious, the creation story in Genesis. God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. And God saw that it was good. Good enough for me.
This Sunday, February 27 I will lead our challah making family event at our synagogue. We will make our own challah dough. While it is resting, Rabbi Ginsburg will offer reflections on the special gift of Shabbat. Then we will shape our challot (plural form of challah) and take them home. If you are in the Chicagoland area, come knead a little spirituality with us.