I sit here with my Melave Malka, the candle lit, the table covered and the food delicious. Ah, I must be serving Hashem right, no? And, yet, I wonder, will my sincerity ever come close to those who make do without and still attempt to honor Shabbos. Who haven’t been a part of an organized Jewish Kehilla for ages, and still hold on to old Zemiros!
I actually spent time in Russia and Ukraine, witnessing scarcity. I told myself that when I returned to the USA I’d never take things for granted, that I’d appreciate every variety of food and clothing we get to enjoy. I thought I’d never complain for lack of those. Yet, life goes on, memories get filed away in the recesses of our brain…and we forget what it is like to not have.
Then, I came across this youtube clip that somone took of a family in sub-zero lands who attempt to create Shabbos. And I sit here humbled, knowing my simple Melave Malka doesn’t have even a quarter of the beauty of this isolated family’s attempt at honoring Shabbos. Jewish education, denied to them. Jewish community, scattered and torn. Basic comforts, hard to get. And yet, they cling to the little bits of Judaism they did find or remember. A hard to forget view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BZfdLEYHqE
(and if you want to hear the song they are listening to, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdP7WPbdd5w&feature=related It is a Shabbos song written and composed by the Karlin-Pinsker Rav ZT”L)