Shabbat Infusion: Opening Our Eyes

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
EyesIf you read the novel or saw the show or movie, you might recognize Victor Hugo’s famous words from Les Miserables. These words ring true in our Torah reading Vayishlach, as the rivalry cools off between brothers Jacob and Esau. Jacob, who 20 years earlier received the birthright that was reserved for his older brother, showers him with lavish gifts as the two prepare to meet. Jacob is terrified. After his servants present Esau with rams, cows, bulls and other animals, the two brothers stand face-to-face. All they have left is their vulnerability and strength to look one another in the eye as brothers.
No more gifts. Nothing else to keep them apart. Both of them weeping, Jacob says to Esau, “… to see your face is like seeing the face of God, and you have received my favorably.”
The peace of Shabbat invites us to love, to care for others. While the rest of the week opens our eyes to the material world, Shabbat opens our eyes to what is priceless.
Being in community, loving and caring for others, opens our eyes to see the face of God (however we understand that). I see God’s face in the joy of young adults creating space, eating, praying, talking, and learning at Makom.
We say it often and strive to live it always– whether you have never experienced Shabbat before or been addicted to challah since you were a kid, Shabbat is a magical time with Makom (and our challah is homemade).
We believe Shabbat contains the secrets to feeling refreshed, recharged, and renewed. Like Jacob, we can imagine a new reality. On Shabbat we can discover what’s possible— and priceless– when we love and care for those around us.  Join us this Friday night, and check out Makom at
Rabbi Aaron Weininger is an assistant rabbi at Adath Jeshurun Congregation. Aaron founded Makom, a young vibrant community for down-to-earth Judaism in the Twin Cities. He is passionate about connecting the spark of each person to the warmth of community. Continue the conversation this week at Third Fridays.
(Photo: neuroticcamel)