A LOVE FEAST, WANT TO JOIN? No, I am not talking about a lust love feast but a feast of thanksgiving for all we have been given.Such a  love feast is best described by the  Greek word  agape.  Originally meaning open wide and usually referring to a sense of amazement and awe, agape has also come to mean  love of and from God.  I believe love is the essence of the Creator by whatever name he or she or it is known.   As the poet Edwin Arlington Robinson noted “If God be God, God be love.”

My  favorite love feasts are expressions of joy  and wonder,  celebrating  the gift of life  and love which I believe to be  the foundation of all creation.  We celebrate the Jewish Shabbat every Friday night and I best love when we have family or friends joining us.  One of the core commandments of Judaism is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).  This commandment stands at the center of the central book in the Torah.  The Talmudic sages Hillel and Rabbi Akiva indicated that this is the central commandment of the Torah and it became central to the teachings of  Christianity.  The commandment specifically states one must  love  “the stranger that dwelleth with you . . ..” Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for not offering hospitality to strangers, not for the lust sins many now believed caused its destruction.

One of the Shabbat traditions is that the Shabbat meal must be the best meal of the week.  So I do put forth extra effort.  The meat varies and might be chicken, brisket, pot roast, lamb chops or steak.  The vegetables includes mashed potatoes except when corn on the cob is fresh, my special candied carrots–cooked in a maple syrup sauce, and cole slaw as my mother taught me to make.  Sometimes we have a sweet  noodle pudding, and always Challah  (Braided Bread).  I don’t make the Challah, keep saying I will, but have always found a bakery that  seemed to eproduce home made withoutme doing  the work–even here in Colorado.

Knowing that when I am lighting the Shabbat candles, thousands of others are lighting theirs with me  part of theawe.  The feeling grows when I remember women have been lighting Shabbat candles for over three thousand years while their husbands say the blessing over the children.

Topic #186: Describe a perfect meal. What will you eat? Who is there? Are you outside, or inside with a view? A view of what? It can be an imagined place and meal, or a real experience you want to have someday.


    • Thank you, traditions strengthen and they don’t have to be religious. My mother made getting going to the local ice cream store once a week and of checking to see if the there was a sunset each night after dinner. These still fill my heart and help do away with the not so good memories and we all have them. Stay strong, make some traditions and enjoy them.

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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