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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Here's to a calm and peaceful #Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom from the #ShabbatUK team x
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Why does Pesach fall in the first month of the Jewish year? Chief Rabbi Mirvis explores the concept of renewal in his #DvarTorah for this week.

#Shabbat #VayakhelPekudei
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Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei: ‘Through innovation, we can present the freshness and relevance of Judaism in our times’. You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-vayakhel-pekudei/

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Shabbat UK added a new photo. ... See MoreSee Less

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#ShabbatShalom from the #ShabbatUK team in London...have a beautiful and restful Shabbat 🙂 ... See MoreSee Less

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To be forgiven, or not to be forgiven. Chief Rabbi Mirvis discusses why Hashem responded differently to two ancient sins...#DvarTorah #Shabbat #ShabbatUK ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Ki Tisa: Why were the Israelites forgiven for the Golden Calf and not for sending spies into Canaan? You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-ki-tisa/

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Hands up who would swap a red bus for a #ShabbatUK bus any day of the week... ... See MoreSee Less

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Wise words from Ariel Feldman of American Vogue on the unique qualities of Friday Night dinner...Happy Tuesday everyone! ... See MoreSee Less

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Does anyone think it's possible to create a Challah-Hamantaschen hybrid? How's that for a Shabbat table conversation starter... ... See MoreSee Less

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#ShabbatShalom and #PurimSameach everyone! We hope your Challot will be a little more colourful than usual, and that Kippalive כיפה-לייב's 'Mission Purimpossible' will get you in the mood for a party! ... See MoreSee Less

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As Shabbat goes out this weekend, Purim will begin! Hear what Chief Rabbi Mirvis has to say about it in his D'var Torah... ... See MoreSee Less

Purim: The holiest day of the year? You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-purim/

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BREAKING

Challah is topping the foodie charts even when it's not #Shabbat! Spread the word & share away...
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From the highest hill to the lowest plain, as long as you've got a pair of Shabbat candles, you can bring in Shabbat anywhere.

Check out what time Shabbat comes in where you are: www.myzmanim.com/search.aspx

#ShabbatShalom from the #ShabbatUK team x
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To give is to elevate our lives, teaches Chief Rabbi Mirvis in his D'var Torah for Parashat Terumah. Hot off the virtual press. ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Terumah: Giving is receiving. You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-terumah/

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Wise words from Jewish Hollywood actress Natalie Portman on the magical appeal of #Shabbat.... ... See MoreSee Less

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Slated to happen at all good Friday Night Dinners. We hear the odds are good.

Check out what time Shabbat comes in where you are: www.myzmanim.com/search.aspx. Shabbat Shalom!
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We're still filled with nostalgia for ShabbatUK past and full of excitement for ShabbatUK 2017! Check out how Brondesbury Park Synagogue marked their big weekend... ... See MoreSee Less

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As well as taking care of our own, we must also look outwards, says Chief Rabbi Mirvis in his D'var Torah for Mishpatim. ... See MoreSee Less

Parashat Mishpatim: Sometimes it’s important to send a strong message. You can access the full transcript here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-mishpatim-3/

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Here's to hoping your tablecloth is nicer than ours, and that you have more success laying the #Shabbat table.

#ShabbatShalom from #ShabbatUK
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There is no 'first' and 'second' when it comes to family, says Chief Rabbi Mirvis in his D'var Torah for Parashat Yitro... ... See MoreSee Less

A lesson from Moses to every parent. Watch the Chief Rabbi’s insight from Parashat Yitro. A full transcript is available here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-yitro/

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On Shabbat, hopefully this is always a silly question... #chickensoup #shabbat #SharingShabbat ... See MoreSee Less

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Shabbat UK shared United Synagogue's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

An appropriate message as we approach Tu Bishvat this Shabbat 🌳

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Shabbat is advancing towards the UK, bringing with it the festival of Tu Bishvat to make it an even greater occasion.

#ShabbatShalom and #ChagSameach from the #ShabbatUK team!
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15 ways to liven up dessert over #TuBishvat this #Shabbat. Thanks for brightening up our newsfeed United Synagogue! ... See MoreSee Less

Struggling to find 15 fruits for Tu Bishvat this Shabbat? Here's are a few exotic ones to give you some ideas 🌳🍒

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Hear what Chief Rabbi Mirvis has to say about Tu Bishvat, which coincides with #Shabbat this week. ... See MoreSee Less

Tu Bishvat reminds us that the Torah is both timeless and timely. You can view the full transcript for the Chief Rabbi's D'var Torah here: chiefrabbi.org/article/dvar-torah-parashat-beshalach-tu-bishvat/

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