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61http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2011/08/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---08_19_2011
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 08_19_2011
08/18/2011 12:54 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
August 19, 2011

 

There’s a reason this blog comes to you at the end of the week. It’s meant to be thoughtful and inspirational for Shabbat. It isn’t difficult to write because Torah lends itself to every thought and insight. But, I admit that some weeks are better than others. You can’t do better than the great stories in Genesis and Exodus; even Hollywood made them into motion pictures. But, you also can’t do much worse than a portion on leprosy. This week is special.

                I was reading the news on the internet and came across a story with Senator Joseph Lieberman. Senator Leiberman is the Jewish senator we’ve learned to love or hate, depending on the season and the election year. Either way, he’s a Jewish man and a Jewish role model. Click on this link and watch Senator Lieberman at home with his wife, Hadassah, and tell me he isn’t a mensch: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/17/my-faith-sen-joe-lieberman-embraces-the-gift-of-the-sabbath/?&hpt=hp_c2.

                Did you watch the video? Senator Lieberman becomes Joe at home on Shabbat. He puts away his senator’s pin, he sets aside his authority unless there is an emergency, and he enters his role as a man at home in the company of his wife and his God. As they set the table with flowers for Shabbat, and light the candles, the sun sets and Shabbat enters their home and their hearts. Without Shabbat, Senator Lieberman and his wife would know no peace.

                You don’t have to be a senator to know how demanding and complex six days of the week can be. But, you might have to be a senator to discover the contrast between six days of work and one day of rest. Biblically commanded, it’s a wonder constitutionalists and tea-partiers aren’t choosing Judaism for themselves to keep the 4th commandment with greater regularity and importance. Leave it to an independent senator to lead the way through the muck of a week’s work in Congress, to find real peace at home with his wife.

                I don’t know anybody who would trade places with a congressman today, but I know plenty of people who work as hard. They are working harder for less and still feeling insecure about the future. Shabbat is for all of us who seek perspective that comes with rest, quiet and peace. No Blackberry or iPad for a few hours turns our attention to larger matters like our spouse, children, and friends. And, time to feel grateful for what we have and what we can do lends perspective to our outlook even when we feel unsettled at the moment.

                Recently, I’ve been trying to identify a statesman worth his salt. Today, I am relieved to know that Senator Lieberman (a Jew!) shot a video that, if it goes viral, is something we can all be proud of and don’t have to hide from view. Thank you, Senator Lieberman, for welcoming us into your home with your wife’s permission; for inviting us to your table which you helped set; and, for speaking and singing the words that remind us every Shabbat that family is a blessing, and that God’s presence can be a source of security and peace, not revolution and strife.

                Ahad Ha’am taught us, “More than the people Israel has kept the Sabbath; the Sabbath has kept the people Israel.” Senator Lieberman brought it to video.

                May God bless you and keep you; May God’s countenance shine upon you; May God grant you and your family peace.

                From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

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