New Year, New Newsletter

Hey Reader!

Thank you for sticking with me this far as I rebuild my systems as we move away from Substack. Onwards and upwards!

With Torah and Love as a newsletter and a writing philosophy are sticking around, and I have high hopes for 2024. I don’t have everything all figured out yet, but I will! There is still Torah to be shared.

First, I want to share that next week begins a six-week series I am teaching over Zoom with B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in Cleveland, OH entitled:

Talmud of the Heart

Catchy, right?

In this series, we’ll explore core human emotions through the wisdom of the Talmud.

Thursday nights at 7:30 pm
Jan 11, Jan 18, Feb 1, Feb 8, Feb 15, Feb 22

If you want to get the Zoom information and password, you can fill out the form at the button below:

Next, just because I don’t want you to go away without a bit of Talmud to enter Shabbat with, I want to share one of my favorite Shabbat moments in the Talmud.

Rabbi Ḥanina would wrap himself in his garment and stand at nightfall on Shabbat eve, and say: Come and we will go out to greet Shabbat the queen. Rabbi Yannai put on his garment on Shabbat eve and said: Enter, O bride. Enter, O bride. (Shabbat 119b)

On this page of Talmud, we learn about a number of different traditions various rabbis had in their preparations for Shabbat. Rabbi Hanina would wrap himself in a garment, using the same verb as when we wrap ourselves in a tallit.
He would then go out, and I imagine on a hill overlooking a valley, and watch as the sun sets and Shabbat begins, greeting the Shabbat queen. I don’t know if it was a hill or a valley, it’s just how I picture it in my mind.
His colleague, Rabbi Yannai, would do the same and recite “enter O bride, enter O bride.” This is the same language that we conclude Lecha Dodi with, perhaps marking the beginning of that tradition entirely.
The page continues with rabbis purchasing food for Shabbat, fanning fires, putting on special preparation-for-Shabbat clothes, roasting animal heads, or salting fish. All sorts of preparations.

This is a reminder, an encouragement to:

Prepare for Shabbat in some personal way.

Some folks like to recite liturgy. Others like to clean or cook. Honestly, it doesn’t matter too much. (Unless you believe in the two angels thing, 😉.)

Making the time to separate out the labor we put in for the week to sustain ourselves and provide for our families with the kind of labor that enables spiritual moments and experiences has value.

What kind of preparation do you like to do?

Thank you for reading! In my With Torah and Love newsletter, I write about Torah, Talmud, self-awareness, and becoming our best selves as students of life and Judaism.

About the Author

Rabbi Jeremy Markiz is a teacher and consultant. He teaches the Torah rooted in personal growth, kindness, intentionality, and bettering the world. He writes the With Torah and Love newsletter.

He helps clergy, congregations, and Jewish organizations grow and communicate clearly in the digital world, develop effective strategies, and solve problems with his consulting firm, Next Level Rabbinics.