art by Wendy Elisheva Somerson
Shabbat is the seventh day of the week, the day of rest in the Jewish calendar. The tradition of Shabbat comes from two stories in the Torah: The creation of the world, because God rested on the seventh day, and the exodus from Egypt, because freedom means having a day off from work. Following are a few resources for CJJniks wishing to deepen their own Shabbat practice, or to include Shabbat programming in their chapter events. This list will continue to be updated. Got a resource you'd like to see here? Let us know!
And you can celebrate Havdalah with CJJ any week by watching the following video. CJJ and Jewish for Good members took a pause together between Shabbat and the week to enjoy some Yiddish songs by Jane Peppler and folk/rock music by Jess Klein. The video starts with Havdalah blessings led by Neshama Littman.
- Hamakom's "Shabbat & The World to Come: A Radical Shabbat Guide", by Madison Slobin & Cantor Shira Stanford-Asiyo. This resource from a Vancouver community notes, "There are so many aspects of Shabbat that we think are beautiful and radical. Shabbat (like our other holidays) is a form of Jewish technology, it is an evolving tradition that can be used as a blueprint for navigating our world. Shabbat teaches us lessons about time, rest and recuperation that were not only useful to our ancestors but continue to provide us with guidance in our modern context."
- "Shabbos: The Political Significance of Jewish Law", by Avi Garelick. This 10-minute talk was part of the Democratic Socialists of America conference on "Building the Religious Left." In it, he distills the concept and practice of Shabbat as a radical practice and homes in on the ways in which, with a weakened labor movement and ever-encroaching, 24/7 service economy, we've reached a perverse reality in which Shabbat observance is a privilege of the leisure class. This, he explains, is literally the opposite of the explicit commandment of the Torah, in which Shabbat is for the purpose of the service class and the leisure or owning class is required to cease its labor in order that the servants may rest. Through this, he lays out, succinctly, a clear, religious Jewish leftist politics: to make it possible for working class Jews to observe the shabbos.
- "Moments of Radical Rest: A Ritual Toolkit for Black Lives Matter on Shabbat", by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. "Six days a week we take actions of protest, of learning, of working hard to dismantle the systemic racism within us and in the world around us and on Shabbat we pause from traditional ideas of work and do the radical act of rest."
- Human Rights Shabbat, T'ruah. "On Human Rights Shabbat, we celebrate the deep intersections between Judaism and human rights. Since 2008, nearly 500 communities have joined this celebration. Human Rights Shabbat is observed on the Shabbat closest to International Human Rights Day, December 10, which is the anniversary of the UN’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
- The Nap Ministry, founded by Tricia Hersey: An organization that examines the liberating power of naps. "Our 'Rest is Resistance' framework and practice engages with the power of performance art, site-specific installations, and community organizing to install sacred and safe spaces for the community to rest together. We facilitate immersive workshops and curate performance art that examines rest as a radical tool for community healing. We believe rest is a form of resistance and name sleep deprivation as a racial and social justice issue."