Shabbat Shalom
Shabbat Ki Tisa / 15 Adar 5775
Exodus 30: 11-21| Kings 18: 1-39

This Shabbat, David Barish shares 
Shabbat - A Work in Progress

It was Shabbat and it was Sukkot.  It was a beautiful day with a shining sun and warm but not hot air.  I watched as my neighbors walked from their shul down the street to the Rabbi's home a few doors down from mine. I was washing my car.  Rabbi Montrose invited me into his sukkah for kiddush.  He said nothing about me washing the car but I could feel the gaze of the congregants of his traditional congregation looking me over and judging the goyishe Jew from the neighborhood. I sat in the sukkah and recited the blessing along with everybody else. I expected to bless the lulav and etrog but then remembered that it was Shabbat and those blessings would not be done. I had a few conversations, sat and let time pass. When I got home I realized Rabbi Montrose had given me a chance to experience Shabbat without lecturing me about it.

I had spent the morning riding my bike while Rabbi Montrose led his morning service. I often saw his flock walking to services as I pedaled by. I rarely came to my own shul, to Beth Emet, on Shabbat morning. I had been to Kahal a couple of times and had enjoyed the shared feeling of the DIY Shabbat. However, I had not been moved to the point of abandoning my ritual of a Saturday morning bike ride. I would often go to services on Friday night and would stand as my wife lit candles on Friday evenings. Yet, I was not so moved as to devote the day to rest, contemplation and separation from the everyday tasks of building the world. I still struggle with honoring and celebrating this weekly Jewish holiday. I generally stay away from work and mostly avoid household chores but may still wash a car or run a few errands. I feel that my bike ride takes me away from building the world but am fully aware that I am rationalizing, trying to convince myself. I know better.

On a Shabbat where my wife and I have been to services, taken a leisurely walk, ignored our demanding devices, lounged in the hammock, read a book, or had a seamless conversation I know we have spent Shabbat in a meaningful way.  My legs still get itchy. I remain the little boy who wants to run around. That little boy, who was once told not to bring a ball with him to Junior Congregation, is still trying to figure out how to gracefully dance with his responsibility and his desire. His quest for rest is still a work in progress.


DAVID BARISH and his family have been Beth Emet members since the mid 1990's. He represents injured injured people before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. The lines between work, play, and rest have been further blurred in his life since the advent of
so-called smart phones.
Each Friday during 5775, we are featuring writings from you, our congregants, sharing reflections on Shabbat. We hope you will be inspired to share your reflections with the community. If you are interested in contributing to this project, please contact Stacey Zisook Robinson
This Shabbat at Beth Emet

Friday, March 6
6:30 p.m. (5:45 p.m. Reception) Kabbalat Shabbat in the Sanctuary. Participating during the service, and performing after the service is Staam - Washington University's Jewish a cappella group.  

Special wedding blessing for Samantha Yablon and Michael Haney.

Saturday, March 7
9:30 a.m. Kahal Worship in the Weiner Room with Torah Reader 
Nina Kavin and Torah Discussion Leader Rabbi Andrea London
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