I like the idea of a day of rest. But why should I start my day of rest at a prayer service? Aren't there better ways to start my weekend?


We each have our own way of spending the weekend. Some play sports, others watch television, paint, write or just vegetate. But often we find that even though we are chilling out, somewhere in the back of our minds is that nagging feeling that we still have a pile of work waiting for us. We indeed left work, but work didn't leave us. Even while we are enjoying the weekend we are already dreading Monday morning.

There needs to be a transition. It is not enough to stop working; we must leave work behind. We can't simply collapse into the weekend; we have to welcome ourselves into it. Only by consciously stepping out of our work week and ushering in our day of rest can we truly relax and rejuvenate. Then we will be ready to face the coming week with renewed purpose.

That is the secret of the Friday night service: to take a moment to breathe out the week, and breathe in Shabbos.