Recipe To Become Kind

Friday, 3 July, 2015 - 7:24 pm

Tomorrow we celebrate the 4th of July and our independence in these Unites States. It is also the Hebrew date of  the 17th of Tammuz. The 17th of Tammuz is a fast day when we remember the fall of Jerusalem and our loss of independence in Israel of old. It is also Shabbat, of course, and therefore we do not fast and the fast gets pushed off to Sunday.

How do we celebrate our independence, remember our loss of independence and celebrate Shabbat all on the same day?
To me the lesson is: Independence and freedom are wonderful but not enough. What do we do with our independence? What do we do when we are free?
Because we can be free from oppression and not free from ourselves. The fast day on the 17th of Tammuz points to a time when we were independent but we lost our independence because we abused it. We lost our way and Jerusalem was captured.
And that is where Shabbat comes in and overrides the fast day. Because the message of Shabbat is: Even though I work and labor 6 days a week, on the 7th I rest. We light Shabbat candles, we sit together as a family, we talk about holier things then our materialism. We show ourselves and the world that I'm independent from my job and career, I'm independent from the daily grind and I'm free to be my true self and to connect with my family and my G-d.
When we experience Shabbat like this and when we live life like this then we abolish the fast and we become truly free!

This weeks video is a teaching from Maimonidies on how to become really kind people. 

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Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yossi Friedman

Comments on: Recipe To Become Kind

ADBoykin wrote...

Thanks Rabbi Yossi!