Friday, March 15, 2013

A Quiet Evening

Dear Friends,
   Well it is finally here... the Sabbath. From Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown, we stop the daily grind and slip into a quieter state of being. I look forward to this time with relish. I prepare for it all week, each day doing something in preparation for a "down day". So that when the Friday evening arrives, the house is clean , food is already prepared, loose ends are tied up and I am mentally ready to change gears. I put down all my burdens and concerns, open a bottle of wine, light the Sabbath candles, breathe a deep sigh of relief and thank the Creator of the Universe for such a gift!. The scriptures say that the Sabbath should be considered a delight... that is a wonderful description of it... it is delightful.

Tonight my husband and I are in the sitting room in front of a toasty, crackling fire. I can hear the wind chimes on the front porch tinkling in the chilly breeze. My dog Tagg is snoozing on his bed at my feet. I have had a very busy week and I am tired. There hasn't been much time for being in the moment and enjoying  my surroundings. I have been pretty much head down, plowing through a long list of to-do's. Some weeks are like that, especially at this time of year when there is so much to do in preparation for the spring garden. But tonight, I can allow myself to be tired, to doze, to contemplate, to search my heart and find that special place where meet I with my Heavenly Father. There are not words to describe the peace.

I have been thinking about all my dear mail art and pen friends, remembering details I have learned about them through their letters, and counting each person as a blessing. I have not been writing very much recently, not because I don't want to, there just hasn't been much time for writing and by the end of the day I am so spent I don't have any words left. I am very fortunate to have some really great people to correspond with. I have not met most of the people I write face to face, I  met them through my blog, or other postal avenues, but their words encourage me, inspire me, and keep me company. I am grateful for each of them. Tomorrow I will not be so tired since I will have had some time to decompress, so I hope to spend some happy hours chatting on paper with my pen friends and making some mail art.

Well I hope this finds you well, happy and hopefully enjoying some down time of your own! Until next time, I will see you in the mail!


  1. Elle, this is one the most moving, inspirational posts. I felt you.

    I just turned my calendar to March. I've been stuck in February. :) I have one of the best calendars. It teaches. It teaches how to prepare for Passover! I am going to check out after I publish this. Being kosher is a lot of work. What do the men do in preparation?

    Be well. It's good to see you here again.

  2. It is an exciting time of year for us! A time of great joy and celebration. But there is much work to be done.In order to answer your question about what the men do in preparation for Pesach ;),I have to tell you we are Karaite Jews, so our practices are somewhat different than Talmuldic Judaism. But in the early days, before the fracturing of the tribes by the Diaspora,(and the need for Rabbis to help a scattered people maintain their religious identity), the men were responsible for raising, slaughtering, and roasting of the Pasach lamb or goat,in Jerusalem, to be where the temple is. Since the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem makes it impossible to slaughter the animals as biblically mandated, there is no way to fulfill the commandment, so in remembrance of the commandment, a seder was put in its place. In modern times the Karaite man of the house is responsible for keeping watch for the signals that it is time for Pasach, (where in Talmuldic Judaism there is a set calendar derived by the Rabbis). As the Torah mandates, we watch for the barley to be Aviv in Israel,(aviv is the mostly ripe state, suitable for use as a parched grain), and for the first sliver of the crescent "new" moon to appear, (which is also sighted in Israel. From the date of the sighting of the crescent moon, 14 days are counted...that determines when Pesach is. It is very exciting, when we hear that the barley is aviv, we anticipate the coming new moon, so we watch the evening skies starting the day after the dark moon. When the first sliver is seen the man of the house will blow the shofar,(I get chills just thinking about it :) then we celebrate with friends and food. In the modern day we live in, we know when the sliver will appear 8 hours before we see it, since Israel is 8 hours ahead of us and we can hear seconds after the sighting. For the rest of the time between the sighting of the new moon, until the 14th day at twilight, we will clean the house, check all the cupboards, fridge, freezer and secret goodie stashes for Chametz,(leaven or items made with leaven), and use it up or get rid of it before Pesach. On the 14th day at twilight, (when three stars can be seen in the evening sky), we have a dinner of remembrance or Seder, when we recall the commandment to celebrate this yearly feast, and to tell the story of the night that G_d liberated the Children of Israel from bondage. There is much delicious food, lots of wine drinking and reading of the story from the Torah. From the 14th day for 7 days, we will eat unleavened bread. I actually look forward to the unleavened bread days, it gives me a chance to come up with some fun and delicious unleavened breads. I know that this is probably more than you wanted to know but there it is! Thanks for your comment and interest in the feast! Take care and be blessed!

    1. I thought I was decently educated about Judaism, but guess what. I just learned something so totally new. Karaite Jews. Time to do some research. An hour ago I refreshed my memory and learned more about Minorcans. Heritage. Religion. Interesting topics.

      When I was growing up I wanted to be Jewish and Catholic. :) Thank YOU for taking the time to share this part of your life with me. I feel blessed.

  3. Is it spring there yet?

    We are blessed with a true spring.

    Be well.

  4. Yes! We finally have spring! I slept with the windows open in celebration and woke up dealing with my allergies, (everything outside is yellow,coated in pollen from the trees), but it was worth it to hear to have bird song wake me this morning! I hope you are enjoying your springy weather! Take care!