If you come here to peas love & carrots often, you know that normally the words just flow for me (the spelling not so much…). For some reason though, as I sit down to type up my thoughts on shabbos I feel like I’m struggling to properly put my feelings to words that accurately describe them.
I’m conflicted between the spiritual side of me that loves to disconnect from our crazy world and take time to reconnect to our Creator and people we love, and the side of me that knows that as a mother of young children, shabbos doesn’t really mean a day of rest.
I love to cook beautiful and delicious foods that are served on platters befitting the holiness of the day. I love to set the table with my nicest dishes and glasses. I adorn every plate with cloth napkins dressed in my favorite napkin rings. I start out shabbos with a sparkling kitchen, counters that are spotless, and everything in it’s place.
Then comes time to light the candles. It’s truly my favorite time of the week. In that millisecond where the whole world changes from a place that wasn’t something special and then with a simple bracha became a world filled with holiness I am overcome by my desire to be close to Hashem and his Torah.
All of that is real for me and inspires me. These days though shabbos also means something else. With a house full of little kids, it means serving food, clearing the table, sweeping, rinsing, resetting the table, heating up more food, serving more food and clearing more plates in addition to getting kids dressed, getting them redressed after they took off their clothing, picking up toys, changing diapers, and finding lost shoes.
Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what excalty it is I love about shabbos. But no matter how hard I work on shabbos, every week come Thursday night and I am counting down the minutes until I get to light my candles.
This didn’t come easy to me. I went through a phase where I wished that shabbos would come every ten days instead of every seven. So I thought a lot about what I want to get out of my shabbosim and totally reframed the way I think about.
Instead of thinking about shabbos as a day of connection through rest, I now think about strengthening my relationship with Hashem by strengthening my relationship with my family and people I love.
That means being totally present and mindful to the time I get to spend with my family on shabbos. This period in my life will only come once and I don’t want to take a minute of it for granted. I listen to their, sometimes long but always sweet, divrei torah with an attentive ear. I play games with them that we all enjoy. I make extra shabbos treats so that everyone can find exactly what they like to munch on while we sit and do puzzles. I set the table with a little extra love and attention to detail so that my family can sit down to a beautiful shabbos seaudah no matter how many seconds it takes for someone to spill their grape juice.
Come time to make havdalah and every week, no matter how hard I worked all shabbos, I am always sad to see it go. Whether I napped or not, said the extra tehillim that I wanted to or not, finished reading the article that I started at least ten times throughout shabbos or not, I am relaxed and calm.
Because at each stage, rest means different things to our souls.
Now, at this stage in my life, resting my soul means giving my family as much of myself as I can.
Every shabbos that I accomplish building my relationships with the people I love I know that I am now one step closer to my Creator as well.
And that is why I love shabbos.
NOW, ON TO THE FOOD!
This dish is actually super simple to make but packed with enough flavor to have people thinking it took you days!
It’s loaded with just the right amount of deep flavored spices, and the rich lamb is perfectly balanced out by the acid in the wine and oranges. It’s like a modern, American raised girls version of her Moroccan grandmother Lamb Tagine.
This post, is really part of a larger post that was the brilliant brain child of the uber-talnted Sina Mizrahi from the Gatheratable blog. She wrote an extremely beautiful post all about what shabbos means to her and over the course of two weeks posted her favorite shabbos recipes. To finish off the series she came up with the idea of a virtual pot lock.
What’s a virtual pot luck you ask?
Well, it’s where Sina, myself and a bunch of other extremely talented and creative bloggers get together, divide up the different dishes that make up a shabbos seudah and each of us develop a recipe for that dish.
We all posted our recipes on the same day, thus “bringing our food to the virtual pot luck”. If you put all our recipes together you will end up with an extremely delicious, creative and absolutely beautiful menu to prepare for shabbos.
What’s a pot luck though without people to share the food with? You’re all invited to join in our meal!!
To make it really easy for you, the links to everyone else’s recipes are below!
So, click away to get in on the action and come have some fun!
Oh, and of course, SHABBAT SHALOM!