This weekend (27-18 October) is the fourth year of the Shabbat Project. This is a yearly global event with a single mission: bring every Jew around the world together to keep Shabbat for one very special weekend.
Dreamed up by South African Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein in 2013, the original Shabbos Project was an instant success as Jews across the globe clamored to bring the project to their communities. Now, it brings Jews from every walk of life together for one incredible weekend. The things that normally divide us – language, race, denomination – are put aside as the Sabbath unites us.
There’s an old Jewish proverb: more than the Jews keep Shabbat, Shabbat keeps the Jews. The Shabbat Project has proven this to be true – when the sun sinks deep below the horizon this Friday night, over one million Jews from every age group, nationality, and walk of life will come together to celebrate the Sabbath.
It’s especially fitting that this weekend is held on the same week as we read Parshat Lech Lecha in the synagogue. One of this Torah portion’s main themes is the concept of monotheism. Shabbat is the greatest gift God has given to His people, so what better time to bring hundreds of thousands of Jews together to celebrate?
There are hundreds of Shabbat Project events taking place around the world this weekend – Judaica WebStore staff will be joining in at different events across Jerusalem! Even if you don’t want to commit to keeping Shabbat but like the idea of joining your community for part of the day, there are plenty of local communal events to choose from like Challah Bakes, Havdallah concerts, and Friday night dinners.
Rabbi Goldstein’s original goal was for every Jew to keep one Shabbat… but Jewish observance isn’t normally a 0-80 kind of thing. If a whole Shabbat is too much for you, pick one thing to take on this weekend. We suggest lighting Shabbat candles, going to a Friday night service, or sitting down to Kiddush and a traditional dinner with your family – little things that won’t bulldoze your weekend but might make you feel a little prouder to be Jewish.
Shabbat Project Shalom!