Ki Tisa: The Gift of Shabbat
By Cantor Lauren Adesnik
Moses is communing with God over 40 days and 40 nights at Mt. Sinai. One of the most pivotal moments in Moses and God’s spiritual connection occurs at God’s declaration that the People of Israel shall observe Shabbat and that this observance will serve as the symbol of the holy relationship between God and the People of Israel forever. In this parsha, this declaration later forms a central part of our Shabbat liturgy: V’shamru.
Ki Tisa teaches us that Shabbat is an anchor in our chaotic world. From the inception of our Jewish heritage, Shabbat has been the focal point defining our sacred time. According to S.A. Taub of Modzhitz, a Hasidic teacher in Poland, Shabbat is intentionally mentioned twice in this parsha to emphasize that Shabbat is about being and doing. Shabbat is both a state of being and an existence that has to be actively pursued (hence the “doing” part).
Not only is it a time for us to rest from the busy schedules of our daily life, but it is also a time to gather as communities and families. Actively gathering together in this way fosters deeper and more meaningful relationships with those we love, with the world, and with God.
Take a moment this weekend, and bask in the elevation of holy time. Pick one moment and immerse yourself in it. This is the gift of Shabbat.