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Shabbat 4How do you get ready for Shabbat? Let’s start out by just resting. Can you do it?

Resting is one of the hardest things to do in a world that tells you to keep going. Are you able to put aside the doing and going? Do you feel guilty resting your mind for a few hours without wondering if you need to get up and do something, anything? Do you need a reason to pause? Do you need to put a stop to the running around? Do you feel weary and heavy laden? Then this blog is for you.

If you are following this blog, you may or may not know that I am writing about Shabbat. We are a Christian family that celebrates the Jewish Shabbat. In this part of my blog, I invite you to follow us as we live out what it means to live a life of Shabbat keeping and since this is primarily a food blog, follow me as I try out some new Jewish and Middle Eastern food recipes.

I just got through reading the book “Sabbath as Resistance- Saying No to the Sabbath as ResistanceCulture of Now” by Walter Brueggemann. It’s a great treatise on Sabbath rest and celebration. One of the main themes throughout the book is about helping Christians understand what it means to resist the demands of a society which says that we need to consume more, do more and accomplish more. Here’s my takeaway from the book-keeping the Sabbath allows for things that are really important, like God, family, other people and just as important, how to live a more fulfilled life practicing Shabbat.

In getting ready for Sabbath rest, you need to know that God rested. Here’s how I know-“For six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day and consecrated it.” Genesis 20.11. So rest, cease, stop, enjoy, listen, and laugh. Sing songs, pray prayers, cook food, and bless one another.

I love to cook and gather with friends and family. For me, my practice of ceasing starts early in the week with a meal plan for our Friday Shabbat. I love cooking international foods. In keeping with the international theme, I chose a while back to learn to cook foods from Israel and the Middle East.

Matzoh Ball Soup

Matzoh Ball Soup

I bought a few cookbooks to help me in my cooking and I have started to collect a few recipes that I have made for our Shabbat these last 8 months. One of the first things I learned to make was Matzoh/Matzo/Matzah Ball Chicken Soup. A simple, yet flavorful dish. I bought a box of Matzo Ball mix. Matzoh is basically unleavened bread traditionally eaten by the Jews during Passover (more later on Passover). Matzoh ball is like a dumpling-basically floating in soup. I made a basic chicken stock and added some carrots, celery and onion along with the chicken pieces. You can pick up a box of Matzoh soup mix, which you can find in the Jewish section of your grocery store and follow the directions. This soup is a great starter soup before your big meal. It’s also a meal in itself to have along with your challah for your Shabbat.

In the coming weeks, I will add some more great amazing recipes to the blog- foods like Lamb dishes, roasted chicken dishes, cassoulets, chicken liver and onions, salmon dishes, Israeli salad, hummus, and more.

So, follow me and look for how we celebrate Shabbat, Jewish festivals and observances. See how these practices intersect with living out our Christian faith. Also, I will get more into what to do to get ready for Shabbat Friday’s. But in the meantime, won’t you join us in ceasing, and resting?

-Shabbat Shalom.

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