A Message from the Chief Rabbi

At the dawn of the Common Era, the Roman philosopher Seneca said ‘…there is never a time when new distraction will not show…’. This is a sentiment which rings more true than ever today, two thousand years later.

So much of our lives are lived in a perpetual state of distraction, moving from work to leisure and back again without pause for considered thought or reflection. A busy life is surely fulfilling, but only when paired with time for introspection. Shabbat is that time.

The ‘Lecha Dodi’ prayer, sung in Shul during the Kabbalat Shabbat service to welcome the Shabbat bride, is significantly different from our other Shabbat prayers. Whilst Shabbat is universally referred to as a day of rest, the message of Lecha Dodi is quite the opposite: ‘Wake up, wake up, for your light has come; rise, shine!’ The contrasting messages of rest and awakening can perhaps be understood as speaking to our material and spiritual sides respectively.

The essence of a restful Shabbat is that separation from mundane work and empty distraction is necessary to reinvigorate one’s soul; to find space for meaningful engagement with our friends and families in a noisy world of media and communications which constantly demand our attention.

The distractions we are all but obsessed with during the week are not true rest from the stresses of working life. Too often we look to rest our bodies without also looking to wake up to the truly important elements of our lives. Shabbat stands at the end of each week to remove both work and distraction: to remind us why we toil and to give us the strength to continue.

Shabbat is truly for sharing and that is precisely what ShabbatUK is all about. On a day of rest, it can be all too easy to recuperate alone, but true meaning is found in our engagement with loved ones. Use ShabbatUK to reinvest in the most important people in your life, and share what’s important with them lest you find yourself distracted by distraction.

Already looking forward to ShabbatUK 2017.

ShabbatUK Photo Gallery

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Check out Chief Rabbi Mirvis's D'var Torah for this week's Parasha Matot-Massei! ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Matot-Massei: When one person's piety caused a national disaster - a lesson for the Three Weeks. You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/all-media/dvar-torah-parashat-mattos-massei/

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Shabbat UK shared The Shabbos Project's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

We absolutely LOVE your Instagram post Ashton Kutcher! Why don't you and MilaKunis join us for The Shabbat Project, happening on 27/28 October 2017? #KeepingItTogether

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Smiles and happiness all round as we approach Shabbat! Shabbat Shalom from #ShabbatUK 🙃

PS - deadline for the ShabbatUK job opp is Monday! Info: bit.ly/2sByM9X
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The DEADLINE is looming for this wonderful job opportunity!

A fabulous team, a wealth of office experience to gain and a chance to engage with Jewish life on a national level. What is not to like... :p

More info: bit.ly/2sByM9X
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Many young people are desperately seeking respite from their phone addiction says author Donna Freitus, who spoke on BBC Radio 4's The Today Programme this morning.

What better remedy than Shabbat...listen from 2:46:00 ow.ly/3zVa30dBI2J
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Shabbat UK updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

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Why did this prophet see an almond tree in his vision?

An intriguing question is at the centre of Parashat Pinchas, says Chief Rabbi Mirvis...
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Parashat Pinchas: The connection between almonds and the Three Weeks... You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/all-media/dvar-torah-parashat-pinchas-2/

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Had your eye on this great #job for a while? If you think you're cut out to help deliver #ShabbatUK, apply now! ow.ly/YJgZ30dx6v0 ... See MoreSee Less

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#ShabbatUK now has its very own page on The Shabbos Project website, so head over there for a snapshot of what we're all about: ow.ly/SewU30dx0ip ... See MoreSee Less

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That's all from us folks! Shabbat Shalom and have a great weekend 😀😀😀 ... See MoreSee Less

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Could you be the perfect #candidate for this hugely varied and exciting role? Come and join us this Sept as a Project Officer!
#ShabbatUK
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Why didn't Parashat Balak become the fourth paragraph of the Shema? Chief Rabbi Mirvis looks into it in his D'var Torah... ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Balak: A fourth paragraph of the Shema? You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/all-media/dvar-torah-parashat-balak-2/

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#ShabbatUK was honoured to have been invited to a special CNSS SUK volunteers BBQ yesterday evening - it seems like preparations are getting off to a great start!

Thanks for having us Rabbi Daniel Epstein and Ilana Spitz Epstein! 😁
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Shabbat UK shared Ashley Blaker's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

To celebrate the release today of the new Meshuga Frum CD, we are giving away 10 copies (CD or download). All you need to do is like the page and share the post. If you can't wait to find out if you've won, you can buy the CD or download at www.ashleyblaker.com/shop or in selected meshuga frum stores in the UK.

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Last week Grazia UK ran an issue applauding the benefits of switching off, detoxing from online life and just UNPLUGGING.

Someone needs to introduce them to Shabbat 😝

#ShabbatShalom all x
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If it was Moshe who struck the rock in Parashat Chukat, then why did Aharon also come in for punishment from Hashem?

Great Shabbat table discussion material right there Chief Rabbi Mirvis.

#ShabbatUK
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Parashat Chukat: Why was Aharon punished for Moshe's actions? You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/all-media/dvar-torah-parashat-chukat/

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Not just hygienic but super stylish too. We're very jealous Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue. ... See MoreSee Less

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It's almost that time of the week again! Have a good one everyone😁

The ShabbatUK Team x
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#ShabbatUK has landed in the latest edition of the KLBD Kosher Nosh Guide!

Pick up your copy in shuls, schools, kosher shops and next Thursday in The Jewish News 😋
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Speaking on this week's parasha, Chief Rabbi Mirvis looks at why Korach made such an ill-informed decision... ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Korach: What made Korach do something so crazy? You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-korach-2/

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ShabbatUK is back on 27 / 28 October 2017.

How will you mark the big weekend this year? Ashley Blaker has a few suggestions you probably weren’t expecting…

Share away everyone!

Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue Muswell Hill Synagogue Highgate Synagogue Borehamwood Shul Cockfosters and N Southgate Synagogue Mill Hill Synagogue Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue Edgware United Synagogue Daniel Epstein Rav Marc Levene Rabbi Joseph Dweck YY Schochet The Jewish News The Jewish Chronicle The Jewish Weekly The Shabbos Project Young US Tribe United Synagogue
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In this week's parasha, Chief Rabbi Mirvis asks what blessing you can give to someone who is already blessed with everything... ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Shelach Lecha: What blessing can one give to someone who is blessed with everything? You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-shelach-lecha-2/

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