Sabbath Observance: One Perspective

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Most of my readers follow the weekly Torah reading cycle. Whether you are one of them or new to this weekly reading schedule, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite Jewish commentators on the portions. Some of you will already be familiar with Rabbi David Fohrman. (By the way, he is also one of my favorite book authors; check my widget called “Read These”)

Rabbi Fohrman has a website called AlephBeta Academy. I love it! (Though that doesn’t mean that I agree with 100% of what he says.) I urge you to sign up for at least the free version of his website and emails for the weekly parsha (portion). You will not be disappointed.

Today, I received an email from his organization about Rabbi Fohrman’s favorite parsha. I couldn’t help but to share it with you all. It is not this week’s portion, but may help clarify some of the thinking behind Jewish tradition on Sabbath “work” restrictions.

No matter how much or how little Jewish tradition you adhere to in regard to keeping the Sabbath, this 10 minute video will offer you a peak into the window of the heart of our brother Judah. In my opinion, too many non-Jewish Torah keepers are too quick to dismiss Judah’s vast well of wisdom in regards to proper halachah and Scripture interpretation.

The issue of what to do and not do on Shabbat is always a hot topic with those returning to Torah. The 39 prohibitions in traditional Judaism are often viewed as rigid and burdensome. And I freely admit that I recommend that newcomers take baby steps no matter the expected halachah. However, in this short video, Rabbi Fohrman has explained in 10 minutes what years of consistent reading, study, and practice have failed to convey to me. Perhaps it will change your perspective on the 39 traditional prohibitions as well. I hope that you will find it as refreshing as I did. Or, at least, I hope it offers you a new way of viewing an old tradition.

Rabbi Fohrman’s video on Vayakhel

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