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No More Monday Blues

November 1, 2015 | by Debbie Gutfreund

Transform your weekdays with the gifts of Shabbat.

Shabbat is a time to re-connect with family and friends, a time to bring sanctity and peace into our lives. But the real secret of Shabbat is that we can bring its gifts into the rest of the week. Here are seven lessons Shabbat can teach us that have the power to transform our weekdays.

1. First things first. Shabbat reminds us what is most important in our lives – spending time with our family, paying attention to our children, talking with our spouses, reconnecting with God. We can bring this awareness of our priorities into our everyday life and examine our schedules to see if they reflect what we value most.

2. Elevate the physical. When we say kiddush on Friday night and sanctify time itself, we learn how to elevate the physical world and recognize the infinite within the finite. We can use the material resources we are given each day to reach beyond the surface and reveal the inner depth and meaning in the world.

3. Share with others. Shabbat is a gift we pass along to others by having them at our tables, sharing the precious peace and warmth of the day. We can continue doing this all week by sharing wisdom we have learned, by reaching out to someone in need, by offering a listening ear and by having the courage to smile first.

4. Be in the moment. Shabbat gives us a unique opportunity to put away our phones and turn off the distractions and noises that surround us all week. It gives us a chance to be present, to take a step back and think about what we really want out of life. We can learn to do this each day – to take a moment each day to be present and think about what we are living for, to turn down the noise and listen to our hearts.

5. Gratitude. Shabbat teaches us to be grateful for the creation of the world, for the family members, for friends around our tables and for all the blessings that we have in our lives. Bring this gratitude into the week and appreciate how God not only gave us life but continues to give us life each day. Focus on all the goodness. See the sunrise. Learn to see blessings each day.

6. Learning. Shabbat gives us time to learn and search for answers, to appreciate the wisdom of Torah and how it gives direction and purpose to our lives. Bring this wisdom into the week. We can learn, even for small blocks of time, each day. Ask new questions. Keep searching for answers.

7. Unity. Jews celebrate Shabbat and share in this special gift. We realize that the Jewish people are one, that the labels and differences that divide us are unimportant compared to the beauty and love of our people. We can bring this unity into our week and remember that we are all connected to one another and responsible for each other.

Every day is a new opportunity to take the power of Shabbat and use it to elevate our daily lives.

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