Personal reflections

Simon Shear

A Chassid, a Yeshiva University alumnus and a South African backpacker whose Jewish identity was forged from Woody Allen films meet at the Western Wall. Their chance encounter “felt like a conversation between brothers that had begun thousands of years ago”.

by Simon Shear
Nikki Elbaz

Here’s a secret you won’t hear anywhere else: Shabbat is not synonymous with peace and quiet.

by Nikki Elbaz
Yaakov Lehman

But, Shabbat is a day of immersive mindfulness.” - Discover how Yaakov Lehman taught a group of high-flying executives from Facebook, Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn an appreciation for the power of Shabbat – the ultimate mindfulness experience.

by Yaakov Lehman
Simon Shear

“Shabbat, at its very best, is a kind of cosmic bebop.”

South African journalist Simon Shear puts up a surprisingly convincing argument that Shabbat is “the Miles Davis of days”.

by Simon Shear
Marion Isaacs

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m a bad Jew. A very bad Jew. A colleague who is the daughter of a priest made this observation last week. When someone of a different faith – albeit one who works in a predominantly Jewish office and is familiar with the particular neuroses and psychoses of the Jewish way – is able to recognise your shortcomings in the religion and culture of your birth, you know they are a speaker of truth.

by Marion Isaacs
Michal Muller

This past weekend, I did something that scared me. And, to my surprise, I was acutely reminded of past moments filled with love and sacredness. It seems Shabbat truly does speak to our higher selves. In fact, Shabbat is actually what drew me towards Judaism in the first place. And as an outsider encountering the Jewish day of rest for the first time as a young adult, I simply couldn’t remain indifferent. Shabbat demanded my attention.

by Michal Muller
Marilynn Yarbrough

A family brought together. A Jewish identity awakened. An epic voyage of self-discovery… all from one Shabbat.

Read Marilynn Yarbough’s extraordinary story.

by Marilynn Yarbough
Sandy Levenstein

“For me, Shabbat is an awareness of being present; a reminder, not just to be where I am, but to really swim in every moment.”

In this intensely personal piece, Humans of South Africa curator Sandy Levenstein offers her reflections on the connection and comfort of Shabbat.

by Sandy Levenstein
Emily Bobrow

“Now, as a parent myself, it is my turn to craft traditions that will help teach my son how to live in the world. It is my turn to figure out how to guide him to be good and feel grateful; how to find meaning and question received wisdom. It is my turn to pass on the lessons and experiences I have felt nourished by in my own life. It is my turn, it seems, to find a way to celebrate Shabbat.”

The Economist’s Emily Bobrow on parenthood and how her feelings for Shabbat have “taken a turn”.

by Emily Bobrow
Michelle Ritterman

The renowned psychotherapist casts her mind back to the Shabbat of her childhood in this deeply personal, stream-of-consciousness exploration of what Shabbat means on a metaphysical level.

by Dr Michele Ritterman
Gayle Apfel

Hi, my name is Gayle, and I’m a perfectionist. But at least I’m in recovery now.

by Gayle Apfel
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A Hasid, a Yeshiva University alumnus and a South African backpacker whose Jewish identity was forged from Woody Allen films meet at the Western Wall. Their chance encounter “felt like a conversation between brothers that had begun thousands of years ago”.
by Simon Shear
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Lana Wilder - Arizona