Ceremonies /
Sabbath
Greeting Shabbat in a Seminar

"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore".

Isaiah 2:4

Welcoming the Shabbat

Annual Seminar Topic – Zionism in Peaceful Ways

Youth Movement Circle

December 2010, Tevet, 5771

CANDLE LIGHTING

Blessed are you G-d, our Lord, king of the universe, who sanctified us with his commandments and ordered us to light the Shabbat candles (traditional version)

Shabbat is the relaxation after production and the beginning new production. It's a spiritual Sabbatical to renew spirits. A person who had not produced anything in the weekdays, will not appreciate the flavor of Shabbat, and he who does not know the flavor of Shabbat, will not realize the flavor of doing. Shabbat in the life of a producer, as in the life of an entire nation, is virgin soil for the type of thought that leads to actions.

Thought precedes actions, Shabbat is the bliss of the complete rest that follows action, in order to repeat and carry out another and another achievement that had already been contemplated.

(Zalman Shazar)

Welcome Shabbat,

Please bring with you the restfulness

and tranquility that follows a diversified week filled with bustling action and educational work. The void in which we could shape endless dreams –

together and separately.

Welcome!

Blessed is your candle.

(Movement Version)

 

"It is a proper thing - that all of humanity unite into a single family and put an end to all provocations and all evil attributes..."  (Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook)

The sixth day. And the heavens and the earth and all their complements were finished. And G‑d finished by the Seventh Day His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. And G‑d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, for on it He rested from all His work, which G‑d had created to do.
Attention Gentlemen!

Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the world, who creates the fruit of vine.

Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, king of the world, who made us holy with His commandments and favored us, and gave us His holy Shabbat, in love and favor, to be our heritage, as a reminder of the Creation. It is the first of the holy festivals, commemorating the exodus from Egypt.
For You have chosen us and sanctified us from among all the nations, and with love and goodwill given us Your holy Shabbat as a heritage.
Blessed are You, Lord, who sanctifies Shabbat.

(Traditional Version)

 

Welcome

Welcome

Angels of Peace

Sublime Angels

From the King of all Kings

The-Holy-One-Blessed-be-He

 

Welcome in Peace

Angels of Peace

Sublime Angels

From the King of all Kings

The-Holy-One-Blessed-be-He

 

May you Go in Peace...

 

"And I shall give peace onto the land... and no sword shall path through your land" (Leviticus 26:6)

 

The Blessing Over Bread

Blessed are you G-d our Lord, king of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth (traditional version)

We shall say the blessing over bread

as a symbol of man's production,

his labor and the fruits of his work.

Since he has the liberty to choose between good and bad –

and he chose the good.

(Movement version)

May Everything

May everything

belong to everyone

who can benefit it

The child - to the motherly woman, so that he may grow,

the wagon - to the skilled wagon driver so that he may lead it well,

and the land to those who irrigate it so that it may give forth its produce on time.

And it would be in my heart like a burning fire, confined in my bones (Jeremiah 20, 9)

He Who Makes Peace

He who makes peace in his high places

Shall make peace over us

And on all of Israel

And say Amen.

He shall make peace, he shall make peace

Peace unto us and on all of Israel

 

The Maharal of Prague said: That which is called peace, referring to its definition as 'completion', is referred to as such - since peace completes reality, to the extent that it achieves a state of completion, with no fault.

Netivot Olam 2 – Netiv Hashalom – Chapter 1

Rabbi Muna said: And all three of them (Judgement, truth, peace) are one: If judgement is arrived at truth and peace are achieved.

Tractate Derech Eretz Zuta Chapter on Peace

Who is the Man

Who is the Man

Who desires life

Who loves days

to see goodness

Guard your tongue from evil and your tongue from speaking words of deception

Keep away from badness and do good,

Seek peace and pursue it.

Let it Be/Lyrics and Music: Naomi Shemer

There is yet a white sail on the horizon,

Set against the dark and heavy clouds,

All that we ask for, let it be,

And if in the windows by evening,

The festive candles should flicker,

All that we ask for, let it be,

 

Let it be, let it be,

Please - let it be,

All that we ask for, let it be,

 

The anguished voices I hear,

The sound of the shofar and the sound of drums,

All that we ask for, let it be,

And if within all of them should be heard,

A single prayer from my lips,

All that we ask for, let it be

 

I Was Born to Peace/ Lyrics and Music: Uzi Hitman

I was born to the melodies
And to songs of every country
I was born to the language, and to the land
To the few and the many
Who will give peace a hand.
 

I was born to peace - let it draw near
I was born to peace - let it come.
I was born to peace - let it appear
I want, I want to be in it already.

I was born to the dream

in which I see peace coming

I was born to desire and to belief

That it will come after thirty years

 

I was born to peace - let it draw near

I was born to a people two thousand years old.

With a land of their own
And their own piece of heaven.
A people watching the new day unfold,
And it sees a beautiful moment
Which is that of the coming of peace.

I was born to peace - let it draw near

THE PORTION OF THE WEEK: VAYECHI

This week we will deal with Jacob's blessings to his sons, some with curses and some – with rage.

Jacob left with his family to Egypt, to get respite from the hunger that prevailed in Israel. At the end of the seventeen years they spent there, Jacob calls his sons and blesses them before his death. By that time, Jacob, is very old (147 years old) and almost completely blind, but his mind was clear and his wisdom was intact and he wished to set stage for the future before his death. He calls his son and tells them, "Gather together and I shall tell you what shall occur to you in the end of days; Gather and listen, children of Jacob and be attentive to Israel your father". Jacob creates quite a dramatic event and he begins to bless them one by one. The blessings are worded very figuratively and attractively, but we wish to focus on Jacob's blessing to Shimon and Levi, or, to be more exact, of the lack of blessings to them.

Jacob does not bless Shimon and Levi, although he extravagantly praises and relates prophecies to the other brothers. He praises and acclaims them and wishes them only goodness. Yet Shimon and Levi are reprimanded. We shall quote this with commentary in parenthesis:

Shimon and Levi are brothers (partners in the plot, not necessarily referring to brothers by blood)

Stolen instruments are their weapons (their swords were stolen from the people of Shechem, they used stolen and vicious tools);

Let my soul not enter their counsel, my honor shall not join their assembly (Jacob's name should not be mentioned in connection to them and their deeds)

Since with their wrath they killed a man (with their anger they killed the people of Shechem)

And with their will they uprooted a bull (they had planned to kill Joseph, who is also called a bull in Deuteronomy);

Cursed is their wrath for it is mighty and their anger because it is harsh (cursed is their strong anger and their bitter rage);

(Genesis 49:5)

 

We have confronted both a series of accusations and a prophecy of destruction! Firstly, Jacob blames Shimon and Levi for two wrongdoings:

1. When the people of Shechem held Dina (sister of Shimon and Levi) by force and probably also raped her, the brothers came into the city stealthily and massacred the people.

 

2. Jacob probably accuses Shimon and Levi who intended to kill Joseph, yet he ended up being sold. As it says, "And they said one to his brothers... and now let us kill him" Rashi calculates and arrives as the conclusion that considering the social connections between the brothers, it is most probable that Shimon and Levi were the ones who suggested that their younger brother be killed.

Jacob declares that he wishes to cut off contact with Shimon and Levi and that they would be dispersed among the rest of the Israelites as it is written "I shall scatter them throughout Israel" and they would not dwell near each other in the land. For fact we know that the tribe of Levi had not received an inherited land and its members were compelled to wander from granary to granary to collect tithes and contributions coming to them for their service in the sanctuary, and the tribe of Shimon did not settle near Levi. Their tribe was comprised of poor people, and being primarily scribes and children's teachers, they were compelled to wander about the land. This reflects a retaliation for their acts in a measure coming to them: Although they were close brothers in their lifetime, in the future history of the tribes they would live in a distance from one another.

 

In his address to these sons he constantly refers to the anger that triggers their actions, both towards Joseph and towards Dina's abductors in Shechem. Is their future determined by their past deeds? Do they not have an opportunity for correction? And do Jacob's words "binds" them to their negative attributes and the feeling of deprivation?

Withholding the blessing from Shimon and Levi is not because of their anger: anger in itself is a trait common to all of us, and it's a good idea that we recognize this. Shimon and Levi do not know how to "deal" with their anger and it leads them to bloodshed: "Since in their anger they killed a man...", they do not know how to steer the great powers instilled in anger: "And with their will they (planned to) uproot a bull".

Their "wrath" and "will" are not negative in themselves. They reflect live energies. These energies may also be steered towards love and good deeds. The question is how to channel the energies described to creative and constructive forces and not to deeds done out of anger that can lead, as in our story, to destruction.

From the words of Rabbi Pinchas of Koritz:

Ever since I broke my anger, I hold it in my pocket, and when necessary I take it out from there."

From: "The Hidden Light – Chassidic Stories" /Martin Buber, p.130

 

Just as our forefathers in the scripture, Shimon and Levi are not perfect at all, and they teach us endless life lessons. They taught us in the previous chapters about the chronicle of the term of massacre for the sake of love, a term that is repeated many times in history – just as the tale of Helen and the battles of Troy in Greek mythology, for example.

And in this chapter, Jacob teaches us through his sons about the concept of anger. We must engage in introspection to locate this anger.

In Jacob's words to his sons, each son represents different qualities, all of which exist, to some extent in each and every one of us.

 

Shimon and Levi give meet us up with anger, boiling fury and its huge power to spur action.

Through their anger we can also learn about our anger. What is anger actually? What triggers anger in the incident involving Dina (and in connection with Joseph according to the Medrash)? What arouses our anger? How is anger manifest in our bodies (here it is described as swelling of the nostrils, in the words of the Medrash, "their heat" – anger manifests heat, fire...)

What could be the results of anger, when we externalize it? or if we repress it? What is the power of anger? Can it boost activity? Are there ways other than those of Shimon and Levi to manage rage?

 

"When anger grows within us, we can realize that anger is an energy within us... When we have a compost container full of rotting organic matter ... we know that we can turn this waste into flowers ... With regard to anger, we need to adapt the understanding and the nondual mindset of the organic gardener ... We know that it can be comprised of compost and that it can produce something beautiful."

From "Peace is in every step – The Way of Full Awareness in Day-to-Day Life" Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

Be Strong and Have Courage!

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