for committed orthodox jews, following the 613 commandments is insatiable goal, honoring the sabbath and keeping it holy is perhaps in the top ten.
in the midst of the urkraine-russian conflict, a series of planes, trains, automobiles and embassies miraculously allowed borodkin family to celebrate a timely shabbat.
the chabad sect couple worked in ukraine for beis hannah, a jewish girls’ seminary in dnipro (formerly dnipropetrovsk) in southeastern ukraine. as a result of the conflict, they needed to evacuate. they took their children as well as some of the girls and a counselor from the school and headed off to israel.
it is reported “an orthodox jewish couple from ukraine arrived as their destination in israel just minutes before the start of shabbat last week after a frenzied three-day journey to get themselves, their two small children, and nine others out of ukraine.” the wild details are document in the times of israel article.
in the end, with 18 minutes to go to shabbat, they arrived at their destination, disposed of all of their electronics which they do not use on the holiday, and were able to light the shabbat candles.
from an outsider’s perspective, one might wonder why individuals would find happiness and relief in a celebrating shabbat in a time when the world around them is filled war, suffering and uncertainty.
humans see the world in both a micro and macro fashion. the macro world is everything out there. the good and the bad. the peace and the conflict. the micro world is what we may control. this is the world were choices can be made. individuals can choose good over bad and peace over war.
thus, one could ask the question, what would happen right now if everyone acted in the micro fashion and chose to honor the sabbath, a day of rest a day of peace. perhaps, conflict can end. it is simplistic not probable and the thought of dreamers.
thousands of years ago, isaiah had a vision that the master of the universe “shall judge between the nations and reprove many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”” isaiah 2:4 this message remains relevant today. the nations’ energies must need to be transformed to productivity rather than destruction. one day of this conflict’s cessation could move this matter towards peace. likewise, each week presents itself with a sabbath for that opportunity.
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