Shabbat Greetings from Cantor Margot Goldberg – November 16

Shabbat Shalom!  In this month’s issue of Real Simple magazine, I came across a wonderful article called “how to say grace” by Kate Braestrup (click here to view).  It is wonderful and I can’t stop reading it.  She speaks about how to prepare to bless a meal.  At first glance, blessing a meal is easy for us, we say motzi and eat.  But blessing a meal, for example Thanksgiving, is not so easy.  It is like a toast.  As we gather family and friends together, we feel a pressure to mark the occasion, welcome our guests, thank the cook(s), and say something extraordinary that will match the feeling of the occasion.  Kate Braestrup goes on to say that in order to create a proper blessing, and I would like to suggest in order to hear the blessing, you have to stop doing other things, you have to be present, and you have to listen.  She suggests that grace could simply be silence and taking the time to focus and listen to the sound of our own breath and the breath of those around us.  She tells a story about “a rabbi who explained the Jewish prohibition against speaking or writing the name of God, lest it be taken in vain.  ‘Many think it’s actually impossible to speak or write the true name of God,’ the rabbi said.  ‘Because the name of God is the sound of breathing.  Breathing in…breathing out.'”  This article/story is not just about saying grace, it is not just about Thanksgiving, it is about prayer.  In order to pray, we need to stop doing other things, we have to be present, we have to breathe.  Join us at TBA this Shabbat and take a moment for yourself to listen to your breath, to hear the breath of those around you, and to be with God.

Author: Melissa