26 Mar Daily Inspiration – Make Your Shabbat A Shabbaton!
Bringing Shabbos to Life in these stuck-at-home times!
Valuable tips from Rabbi Samuel Ross.
If any of these points are of interest to you please be in direct touch and I can send you info and further ideas on any of these (email@example.com). These are just general points, each is a world to itself! Please note this should be applicable for a family at any level of observance, almost any point can be used for your personal circumstances.
1. Turn EACH Shabbos into a fun and exciting “Shabbaton” with various components, make and print your own schedule, even including a Saturday night activity, such as movie night. Keep changing things up and don’t use all good ideas at once!
2. Depending on your own level of observance, and of that of the rest of your family, maybe don’t go for too much. Maybe focus on one part of Shabbos if say, not yet observant. Make that as special as possible. These are not just trying times when we need to do all the mitzvos we can, and Shabbos is the cornerstone of all we do, but the kids will remember for life the special memories that are formed over Shabbos at this time.
3. Be structured, such as times for meals etc – you don’t want mayhem building!
4. It’s crucial to get buy-in from family. Have them lead roles both before Shabbos, like design a family “shul” sign, placemats for the table, bake challah etc, but also on Shabbos itself, like: encourage them to run parts of your Shabbos schedule, such as give over the divrei Torah if you have older kids, or to give over children service to teddy bears if your kids are younger. This will involve prep time on the adults behalf, but there are amazing resources out there that can help with all elements from running a children service to finding Divrei Torah, this is SO WORTHWHILE, if the kids take ownership of Shabbos, they own it!
5. Special stuff just for Shabbos, like candy, and Shabbos friendly games – there are so many! Message for a list.
6. Parents must prepare good stories, questions on the parsha for meals, good questions that engage your kids. There are tons of materials out there to help you prepare.
7. After-Shabbos incentives for the kids for doing things well over Shabbos.
8. Maybe do things differently for a Saturday day time meal, like a salad bar/make your own sushi etc.
9. Be part of community when possible e.g. online Kabollas Shabbos and online Havdallah. One family tuned into three last week!
10. We should learn the WHY of the things we do, such as why we make Kiddush, or why we eat three meals, or why we smell spices at Havdallah, share one each week at the Shabbos table.
11. We should learn the WHAT of Shabbos, such as what is “rest”, what is law, what is myth, share an idea each week at the table.
12. HOW to turn Friday night into Shabbos day, e.g. Friday preps like showering, getting dressed up, getting the candles ready.
13. If all else fails, someone who did a solo Shabbos due to being in isolation and single, shared amazing ideas that we should all do: be sure to DRAMATISE and LIVE what you do, such as when you sing on Friday night to welcome the angels, and focusing on the translation of words in “eishis chayil”, the words are amazing. Learn what they mean!
14. An idea that someone who is observant shared (whose own family are not): focus on knowing you are doing Shabbos because it’s what Hashem wants, and not just because others around us are, this is a SPECIAL feeling. It’s like a sports coach, they train you, and then you are on your own, you have to be able to maintain your own level of fitness.
Plenty of other people are keeping it… just not with you together right now.
Have a WONDERFUL Shabbos!