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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Gearing up for #YomYerushalayim with a heartfelt tune from The Portnoy Brothers!

#shabbatuk
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Having moved to Jerusalem from Manchester, (UK) almost a decade ago, we felt a deep connection to this incredible city and on her 50th year celebration of her unification, we decided it was about time to release a special dedication (in hebrew for a change). What does Jerusalem mean to you? (Don't be shy, leave us a word or two in the comments below 🙂 Video by Basti Hansen UPDATE: Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims as well as our families and friends after yesterday's attack back home in Manchester.

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IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION

People of Facebook, we would like to inform you that you have almost made it to Shabbat. It is now within touching distance.

Shabbat Shalom from the #ShabbatUK team
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This week Chief Rabbi Mirvis delves into the parasha to explain how we can remember the victims of the Holocaust... ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Behar-Bechukotai: Remembering the unknown victims of the Shoah. You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-behar-bechukotai/

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Shabbat UK shared Chief Rabbi Mirvis's Register to Vote - UK General Election. ... See MoreSee Less

The Talmud teaches us that 'silence is akin to consent' (Yevamot, 87b). Whatever your thoughts about what is best for the future of our country, everyone has a responsibility to use their vote. If you haven’t done so already, please remember to register here: bit.ly/2r8OXtY #GE2017

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Shabbat UK shared The Shabbos Project's Lag Ba'omer 2017. ... See MoreSee Less

On Lag Ba'omer we celebrate our unity and ignite the flame of the Jewish people all over the world!

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As the best time of the week fast approaches, we are leafing through the virtual archives from #ShabbatUK 2016...

Remember when Muswell Hill Synagogue teamed up with Kisharon for a full #Shabbat experience?

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To find the 'treasure' that the Torah provides, we must search for it continuously, says Chief Rabbi Mirvis in his D'var Torah for this week....

Thought-provoking stuff for the #ShabbatTable!
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The Omer: Our personal treasure hunt. You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-emor/

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#ShabbatUK is feeling all political at the moment. No seat is safe at the Friday Night table.

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We shouldn't be quick to judge other people, advises the Chief Rabbi Mirvis in his D'var Torah for #Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim #shabbatshalom ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim: Have you ever terribly misjudged a person? You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-acharei-mot-kedoshim/

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We're joining with people around the world today in celebrating Israel's 69th birthday. Happy #YomHaatzmaut! ... See MoreSee Less

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Triple excitement for this weekend, as we look forward not only to #Shabbat and a bank holiday, but also to Yom Haatzmaut!

#ShabbatShalom from the #ShabbatUK team x
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As we approach Israel's Independence Day, Chief Rabbi Mirvis asks what 'Yom Haatzmaut' actually means... ... See MoreSee Less

What is the meaning of the term "Yom Ha'atzmaut"? You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parshat-tazriah-metzorah-yom-haatzmaut/

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We're getting ever closer to ShabbatUK 2017, so make sure you Like our page to keep up to date!

Check out our website to see if your community has been featured in our 'Community Hubs' section: www.shabbatuk.org/community-hub/ Freda Kaplan
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This week Tanya Garber, Rebbetzen of Shenley US, has baked a challah in the shape of a key and another with a key on top...

WHY?

This is SCHLISSEL CHALLAH (Key Challah). It is an Ashkenazi custom to make it in the first week after Pesach. Find out more here: bit.ly/2pM1d2W

#ShabbatShalom!
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Shabbat UK shared their photo. ... See MoreSee Less

What's a bit of cloud when you've got #Shabbat? A big and bready #ShabbatShalom from the #ShabbatUK team! *cloud cover depicted not accurate.Way more expected.

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Shabbat UK shared Chief Rabbi Mirvis's The Chief Rabbi's D'var Torah for Parashat Shemini. ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Shemini: The power of positive thinking. You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-shemini-2/#

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What's a bit of cloud when you've got #Shabbat? A big and bready #ShabbatShalom from the #ShabbatUK team!

*cloud cover depicted not accurate.Way more expected.
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#ShabbatShalom and Chag Sameach to everyone! Get in the mood for #Pesach with The Maccabeats new song! #ShabbatUK ... See MoreSee Less

Music video for “Mah Nishtanah," performed with the human voice and objects from the Seder table. Tag the person who'll be singing this at your Seder, and don't forget to like and share! Lyrics and translation here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Nishtana Video by Uri Westrich [email protected] Download this track for FREE here: www.cdbaby.com/cd/maccabeats21 Website: www.maccabeats.com Bookings: [email protected] Tour dates: www.maccabeats.com/events/tour Facebook: www.facebook.com/maccabeats Twitter: www.twitter.com/maccabeats Instagram: www.instagram.com/maccabeats Grab our (all a cappella) music here: iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/artist/maccabeats/id367163195 CDBaby: www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Maccabeats ----------------------------------------­­---------------------------------------­-­-- Arranged by Julian Horowitz Recorded at Maccabeats Studios Additional recording by Mordy Weinstein for MaxMord Studios Edited and mixed by Alex Green for Plaid Productions Special thanks to the Westrich family Happy Passover and Chag Kasher V'Sameach!

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The #Shabbat before Pesach is called 'Shabbat HaGadol' or literally 'The Great Sabbath'. Chief Rabbi Mirvis discusses one of the reasons given for this in his #DvarTorah for this week... ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Tzav: Why this will be a great Shabbat. You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-tzav-shabbat-hagadol/

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Midweek #Shabbat inspiration if anyone's got a spare beetroot lying around....#ShabbatUK ... See MoreSee Less

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