Tonight begins Shabbat Shuva, my favorite Shabbat of the year. Situated between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, Shabbat Shuva offers a respite from the high liturgy and ritual of Rosh HaShanah in the beautiful soft landing and familiarity of shabbat. But it’s not just any shabbat, as its name suggests it is a shabbat of turning. We translate “teshuvah,” as “repentance,” but it comes from the Hebrew verb “to turn.” Repentance, in the Jewish tradition, is about returning to our intentions, returning to ourselves, to God, and ultimately to each other.
This Shabbat, more than any other, invites us to set down our distractions and really turn towards one another. Our children want to be seen, to be delighted in, to be doted upon. Take some time this Shabbat Shuva to turn away from that which depletes and detracts and towards your little ones, and then, when they go to bed, turn toward yourself and look for delight therein as well.