GatherDC Shabbat Cards

by Rabbi Ilana Zietman / June 30, 2020

For months now, time has felt pretty endless with fewer activities, routines, and a social life to break up our days and our weeks. On top of this, there are all the added stresses of everything going on in our community, our country, our world, and with ourselves. 

While there are various ways we’re all looking to find solace, rejuvenation, and connection in this crazy time in history, we at GatherDC are turning to Judaism for some of that good ole’ wisdom. We know that Judaism has long understood the need to differentiate time and to use it well. Shabbat is a great example. Taking one day a week to change our mindset and our actions so that we can replenish our bodies and spirits is huge. But how do we do that? 

To help you enter into Shabbat mindfully, we created some Shabbat Ritual Cards. These cards offer rituals, discussion questions, insightful poems and quotes, and even DIY blessings and activities to elevate your experience of Shabbat. They are intended both for those who celebrate Shabbat every week, and those who are brand new to the practice; those who pray and practice Jewish ritual regularly, and those who are not sure they even believe in prayer at all.

We hope you’ll use them with roommates, friends, partners, and family either online or in a safe, socially-distant setting. I encourage you to go through all the cards or mix and match them to create a meaningful Shabbat experience that works for you. 

We can’t wait until things change for the better in the near future, but in the meantime – we will strive to live and work as presently and intentionally as we can. We hope these cards help you do that!

GatherDC Shabbat Cards

A note on how to use these cards…

Judaism is not, and has never been, a one-size-fits-all experience. Jewish ritual should therefore reflect our diversity as Jews and Jew-curious people. These cards are intended to guide you in welcoming Shabbat and gathering meaningfully with your friends and family. 

The ritual cards follow the order of a Friday evening Shabat experience, including the traditional meal. You can choose to do them step-by-step or in a sequence and format that work for you, using the traditional Hebrew songs and blessings or not. With descriptions, translations, intentions, DIY activities and more, you have several options for how you want to engage with the rituals. 

We hope you’ll not only learn more about Shabbat by using these cards, but that you’ll be inspired to craft a personally authentic and rejuvenating Shabbat experience for you and those in your life.