A group of NFTY teens gathered virtually on Friday afternoon to make challah together. They started by introducing themselves and what Shabbat means to them. Here are some of their responses.
Evan: I really like the separation of the weekend because to me it’s such a peaceful time and it’s where I find time to check in with myself.
Bettina: Shabbat is a moment to take a break from the busiest moments of life and reflect in a moment of peace.
Jake: Shabbat is a perfect time to sit together as a family, either chosen or biological, and share what we are grateful for.
Noa: Shabbat is about surrounding yourself with the ones you love to celebrate the end and beginning of the weekly cycle.
Gabby: Shabbat is the one time of the week where I feel closest to the larger Jewish community and can feel the spirituality of being Jewish
Megan: Shabbat, to me, has grown more and more significant as I have aged and matured. When I was younger, I attended Chabad, an Orthodox synagogue. Until I joined the Reform Jewish Movement, I strongly disliked being Jewish. We tried our best to celebrate Shabbat every Friday night, but because I was a female at Chabad, I was not taught everything that the boys were taught. Hence, Shabbat didn’t make as much sense to me. Shabbat, to a 5-11-year-old Megan, was a time where we had to wait to eat and struggle to recite Hebrew. The Reform Movement has shown me the true beauty and significance of Shabbat and the joy it brings. Especially at summer camp, Shabbat is a time to reflect on yourself and enjoy the union of your community. Over the past 5 years, I have been exposed to the true beauty of Shabbat and will continue to cherish it forever.
Lyn: To me, Shabbat means the gathering of community based on camp and NFTY. I used to celebrate Shabbat all the time with my grandma but now I just have a chill Shabbat.
Annabelle: For me Shabbat means being around my community. As I lead services some nights at my temple it’s nice to see older and younger community members joining together and getting to show our temple what it is like to be a Jewish teen at services.
Ryan: Shabbat is gathering with my family for dinner on Friday nights and is all about family. Sometimes we even will play a game.