Jesus in the Jewish Shabbat
by Susan G Mathis
Have you ever experienced a Jewish Shabbat? I have, and it’s amazing, especially when you overlay the Christian symbolism. In my latest Christmas novella, Reagan, a Gentile, experiences it with a Jewish family. Here’s an excerpt:
“I’d like to understand Shabbat better. The prayers. The symbolism. It’s so beautiful.”
Jacob started. “The candles show us when God created light. The wine gives us joy.”
“And we wash our hands before we lift them up to God,” Joseph added.
Daniel interjected. “Very good. And what of the bread?”
“The Challah? It’s braided like this.” Joseph folded his arms. “When your arms are folded, you can’t work, and the Shabbat is a day for resting.”
“And there are two loaves ’cuz God gave a double portion of manna on Fridays, and the lacy covers are the dew that the Israelites saw before the manna appeared.” Jacob grinned.
“Really? That’s so amazing.” Reagan smiled. “Such beautiful ways to remember God. Thank you, boys. I shall forever remember that you were the ones who enlightened me.”
She turned to Daniel. “I can’t help but see Jesus in all of it. He said He was the light of the world and the Bread of Life. He took the cup of wine and said, ‘this is My blood of the covenant’. Can you not see how Jesus fulfills all this?”
Daniel gazed at the sparkling river. “We Jews have been waiting for the Messiah for so long.”
“But He’s already come. Jesus came and fulfilled it all.” Reagan touched his forearm giving it a soft pat.
In my sixth Gilded Age story, Reagan’s Reward, it’s the summer of 1912. Reagan Kennedy assumes the position of governess to the Bernheim family’s twin nephews, and her life at Cherry Island’s Casa Blanca becomes frustratingly complicated. Service to a Jewish family when she is a Gentile and tending to eight-year-old, mischievous boys yields challenges galore.
Daniel Lovitz serves as the island’s caretaker and boatman. He tries to help the alluring Reagan make sense of her new world, but she calls into question his own faith background and forces him to face the hurts of his past. Then there’s the jealous lady’s maid who seems intent on wedging herself between them. Can he and Reagan ever find common ground on such a small island?
Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Susan’s books have won numerous awards, including the Illumination Book Award, the American Fiction Award and the Indie Excellence Book Award. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.