The blessings before the Sabbath meal

Home Prayers for Sabbaths and Festivals

Rabbi Hayim David Halevy sees a Jewish religious ideal expressed in the link between Kiddush (initiating blessing over wine) and the meal — namely, the fusion of the spiritual and material, the sacred and the secular.

The intense spirituality and deep faith of the sages did not make them disown the material comforts of life or affect their appreciation for the good things in life.
“Three things expand a man’s spirit: a pleasing dwelling, a pleasing wife and pleasing clothing” (Berakhot g7b).

The spiritual and material worlds are compatible, even good one for the other. Perfection in this world, to whatever degree this is possible, cannot be obtained through one or the other.

The material must be infused with the the sacred must be joined to the secular. As the natural wholeness of man consists of both the physical and the spiritual, so does the wholeness of the Sabbath.

Shabbat shalom (Gut Shabbas)

From: To Pray as a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin
Basic Books, member of Perseus Books Group, p. 321


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