Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shabbat Travel: Enjoying What G-d Has Given Us!

Many of you have read my last two posts which were about the day trips that my wife and I have taken over the last couple of weekends. As was previously stated, this is a significant change to our weekly routine as we have previously attempted to observe Shabbat in the more traditional Orthodox way. The purpose of this post is to address this observance shift and explain a little with regard to why we have made this change.

What we have found over the last year or so was that while we were so focused on how we observe Shabbat that we had lost sight of the real purpose of the day. We had been focused on limiting ourselves about what we could and couldn’t do that we weren’t able to see what we could do and what was available to us. We were separating ourselves from our family, our friends, and the community and not spending any real time together. We were withdrawing from the world.

We both wrestled with the question of what Shabbat really means to us and how we honor G-d on this day. In the end, it came down to a simple question that we both had to answer for ourselves: does G-d want us to serve Him through solitude or by showing our deepest appreciation for all that He has given us in this world and in our lives?

Needless to say, we both agreed that there are too many beautiful gifts that have been bestowed upon us for us not to show our boundless gratitude by doing our best to embrace as many of them as we can. This is what led to our decision to make Shabbat our day of exploration and discovery. Not only are we taking the time to appreciate the people in our lives but also all the places around us that we have never taken the time to visit.

This change allows us to not just pray with words but with our actions. We will never be able to see all that G-d has created nor will we ever be able to meet all those created in His image but we are going to try to see as much as we can and meet as many people as we can. It may not work for everyone but this is what connects us with G-d and the journey is what brings us together and I pray that this exploration will continue to increase our appreciation of what we have and what we have yet to receive.