The observance of Shabbat with all of its details was given to us at Mount Sinai. Last week we celebrated the Shavuot holiday commemorating the giving of the Ten Commandments. Commandment number four speaks of the observance of Shabbat and " to keep it holy". Today, people observe Shabbat in many different ways but it seems that it still remains essential to observe Shabbat in accordance with our tradition with all of its intricate details.

There is a well-known quote of the rabbis that says, "More than the Jews kept the Sabbath, but the Sabbath kept the Jews."  During our long and bitter exile, it was Shabbat that was the binding force that kept Jews united and even today, it has the same effect.

The rabbis also mention that the observance of Shabbat is equal to all of the Mitzvot. It is truly one of the pillars of Judaism. When Shabbat is compromised, it leads to other compromises that lead Jews astray.

Shabbat is a beautiful holy day that invigorates and gives us renewal of spirit. Families are brought together and there is nothing like experiencing Shabbat in the holy city of Jerusalem.

Machon Meir is a Center for Jewish Studies located in the heart of Jerusalem, in the neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe. It was established by Rabbi Dov Bigon shortly after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. For the last 35 years, the center has been a place for all of Am Yisrael to come and learn more about their Jewish roots. It has expanded into a facility with over 500 students and classes in Hebrew, English, Russian, French and Spanish.

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