Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
While serving as Israel's ambassador to Italy, Dr. Dror Eydar took the opportunity to introduce Shabbat to guests he invited for the Friday night meal. He spoke of his experience at a recent "Women's Renewal" workshop as follows:
"As an ambassador, I saw Shabbat as a way of promoting what makes the nation of Israel special. I would invite diplomats, politicians, and journalists for the Friday night Shabbat meal. They were astonished at the idea of a meal that combined the physical and the spiritual, food for the body along with food for the soul.
Before making Kiddush, I would explain its significance: For two thousand years, every Friday night, the Jewish people -- even when under extreme duress -- would stand for this ceremony that sanctifies time. Even the poorest Jew in the most dire circumstances would stand opposite our greatest enemy -- the enemy of time -- and tell it: You are holy! And then, at the close of Shabbat, with the beginning of the six-day secular week, he would stand opposite time and declare: You are not holy!
What does it signify when a human being and a nation stand opposite time and determine whether it is holy or not? It signifies that time does not rule over us, but that we rule over it and determine its meaning. Throughout our long history until today, in meeting every challenge, we have shown that we belong to eternity."
Thank you Dr. Dror Eydar. You have certainly given us something to think about tonight during Kiddush. Shabbat shalom.