Chabad to host International Jewish Sabbath

SOUTHBURY — Just about everyone's dreamed about world peace.  Everyone has an idea on how to achieve it.  Now, Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest CT the local branch of international Jewish outreach giant Chabad-Lubavitch, is doing something about it.

For an attempt at world peace, it's not what you might expect.  But it works.

"Every human being has his or her vision of Utopia," says Rabbi Joseph I. Eisenbach, Chabad's director.  "In Judaism, the Sabbath day of rest on Saturday is more than just a religious holy day on which we don't work-it's a practice run for living the spiritual life right here in this material world.  And that's a huge part of what Utopian world peace is all about."

Men, women and children alike are invited to Join the local celebration, Jan. 14,at 6 p.m. at the Heritage Resort, 522 Heritage Road in Southbury, for a gourmet Shabbat dinner, plus interactive services, lively songs, and family-style games. A community celebration that young and old will enjoy alike. RSVP at:  www.chabadNW.org/ONE or by calling 1 (800) 297-6864.

The One Shabbat, One World international initiative http://www.chabadNW.org/ONE will ask worldwide Jewish communities and individuals to mark the 25-hour Shabbat beginning Friday, January 14, 2011.  Participants will light the traditional Shabbat candles on Friday eve and/or attend prayer services.  They will also be invited to "test-drive" the time-honored Shabbat meals, complete with the customary Jewish delights.

Shabbat, the Biblically-mandated Saturday Sabbath and one of the "Ten Commandments", or essentials of Judaism, consists of not working from sunset Friday afternoon to nightfall Saturday night.

Sabbath-observing Jewish communities have always historically enjoyed the respect of their neighbors of other faiths, says Rabbi Eisenbach. "While the Sabbath may be a Jewish thing strictly for Jewish people, there's no question it positively impacts other people."

"We believe strongly in the ripple effect, a sort of spiritual chaos theory, when it comes to changing the world into the better place it can and should be," explains the rabbi.  "When the Jewish person observes the Shabbat, he or she creates a stable home-an anchor of absolute values in today's chaotic world.  A stable home creates stable neighbors, then a stable neighborhood, then a stable city, and ultimately, a stable universe.  Besides being an island in time, a retreat from the hubbub of society, Shabbat is an absolute in a world filled with uncertainty, change and confusion-a world that so desperately needs absolutes.  What's a better way to ignite world peace then to clear a peaceful time in your life once a week?"

This event is one of the many programs sponsored by Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest CT. For more information regarding this or any of Chabad's activities logon to http://www.ChabadNW.org or call the Chabad Lubavitch of NW CT Headquarters at 800.297.6864.

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