I would like to introduce you to a new campaign I am excited to be embarking on. Don't worry, it's not political! Nor am I running for any office! I think we are all tired of "campaigns" in that sense. No, it is a campaign to repair and revive the American Family Unit! It is commonly known among believers that over the last 7 decades the American Family has been under assault from all kinds of attacks to erode morality, family-values, the Bible, God, faith, creationism, and everything that promotes pro-American values and citizenship, and the Constitution of the U.S.
The attack has been a strategy of loosening moral norms in our society with "revolutions" of open sexual relationships without any boundaries (immorality and whatever feels good is engaged and celebrated). Since the '60s we've introduced the summer of free love, removed prayer and the Bible from ever being mentioned in our schools, (taught our children they evolved from monkeys), changed our laws to encourage an increase of divorce rates, (in the past adultery was ILLEGAL), not anymore most all States in the Union are all "no-fault" States. Even sodomy was illegal at one time and still is, but those laws are all ignored. We've murdered our own children in the millions, destroyed the value of fatherhood, removed our mothers from the home by making it economically impossible to survive without them working full time and either having 2 incomes or at least collecting child support, we've increased dependence of the government just to eat... (we've seen since COVID, the effects of this when schools were shut down, millions of American children were going hungry without school-supplied breakfast and lunch). Speaking of schools, American Civics hasn't been taught in our educational system for at least a generation! American children and high school, and even college graduates do not even know the basics of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence anymore!
So is it any surprise that our cities are now burning down by "peaceful protesters"?
As a Messianic Jewish believer, and a rabbi, I see it as my job to encourage the family any way I can, not only for Messianic Jews in my own community - but as an American, a spiritual leader, and one who speaks to the Christian Gentile Church - we have a strategy to restore our families first! Once the American family is restored, then I believe we will begin to see a restoration of our nation.
How can this happen? Messianic Jews have a little secret that we can share with our Gentile Christian brothers. We have something hidden, that most believers do not know or understand. It is a spiritual tool and a strategy that is quite practical, and it is so simple that if a family devotes itself to it, and also making it fun and a new family tradition, it can and it will transform our families from being a group of people who just roommate with each other under the same roof; ignoring each other while our faces are buried in tiny little screens of light from devices that we pull out of our pockets; into a real family that actually interacts deeply with each other, and wants to spend time together. What is this tool, you ask? It is called a "Shulcan" - or in English... a Table.
Yes, a Table. Now don't roll your eyes at this post just yet. Hear me out. Don't think I'm meshugganah just quite yet!!!
You see the Table was something all families had at one time. We all still have the physical table, but we are rarely using it the way a Table should be used. Therein lies the key to understanding this little secret we have. You see, around the early '50s, with the advent of the TV, and the frozen TV dinners, (and fast-food joints) American families began to change the way they spent time together and the way they ate their meals and the way they interacted with each other through communication and strengthening family relationships and bonds. Children learned to love and respect their parents, at the Table. At the Table, families shared with each other about their day, they laughed with each other and they interacted with each other in deep and meaningful ways. Each family developed their own traditions, (similar to the concept of Thanksgiving), everyone tries to sit down at the table for turkey and "the fixins"; but even that is no longer sacred with the advent of "BLACK FRIDAY".... now many American families just order "take out" for Thanksgiving! Oy!
The sacredness of The Table, and how it is used has been virtually, totally lost and we've paid a heavy price for that!!!
So, this brings me to the campaign. I have had a ministry since 2011, called Light to the Nations. It wasn't much, just a little ministry where I would reach out to Christians and share the Bible with them from a Messianic Jewish perspective. Now, however, there has been such a shift in the American culture, our society is so divided over our values and our norms and our Biblical way of life, that I feel now very strongly that I need to take what I know, to be the secret strategy to keep the family strong and share it with EVERYONE!
So, I have decided to call it, "THE SHABBOS TABLE PROJECT". American Jews, who are at least the tiniest bit observant all have this special table. Even if they never use their tables all week long, there is at least one night out of the week, where the entire family gathers around that table for dinner, and it is special. Like Thanksgiving, its a holiday every Friday evening. No distractions, no cell phones, no interruptions. The family starts by mom lighting candles, (yes candlelight dinner!), it improves the ambiance and sets the mood for the specialness of this family tradition. Songs are then sung with joy, even families can clap their hands. Some special prayers are recited for thanking God for our family and for this special time. After that, the special meal is shared and there's no rushing away, nowhere to go, and no time limits, the family can enjoy their meals together and making this a new family tradition.
My campaign is to go online, on Shabbat (Friday evenings) for about 30 minutes, and teaching families the "How To's" of starting this little Shabbos Table Project together so that they can begin to do it on their own. I want to give them the knowledge and the tools to use their Shabbos Table properly, and to maximize its effects on your family. Imagine all your kids getting excited all week long for Friday night at home with their own family! Imagine what it would feel like to have Thanksgiving every Friday night, with the whole family actually "WANTING" to be together! Can you imagine the kind of impact on the way your family starts to relate to each other?
Now, I'm not going to lie to you. It may sound simple, have dinner on Friday night, right? Not so. There are always distractions and "other things" that pull your family apart. The teenagers want to go out with their friends. Dad would rather watch the game on TV! Your wife may not want to do any cooking on Friday due to just being tired from working all day, Dad too! There is always some kind of opposition to this - be prepared for that.
It is NOT easy to start new family traditions. Mom and Dad have to be dedicated and in agreement that this is an effort to use their Table to strengthen their family. It can be done. You start out with "baby-steps". Perhaps, you can't do it every week? That's ok, once a month is better than nothing! But just starting is the step in the right direction.
The Shabbos Table Project also has a dual benefit. Not only are you investing in your family and strengthing it...but you are leaning to do something that really pleases God, and that you are commanded to do! What is it?
It is learning how to sanctify the Sabbath! Yes, how to initiate, sanctify, and start the Sabbath by separating it from the rest of the week! This is actually commanded in the Bible. But most Christians have lost all connection to what a Sabbath really is! I will teach you "HOW TO" do the Sabbath with your family, I will encourage you with a short word to spiritually prepare you for the special time together over your meal. I will teach you some prayers and songs. Your whole family can learn together...and eventually, you won't need me anymore at your Shabbos Table, eventually, your family with grow in the tradition hopefully, feel the benefits, and do it all on your own one day. Even if you're single, you can get your friends together to do this as well! Anyone, couples without children are also encouraged - better to start now creating your family tradition BEFORE you bring the kids into the picture!
That's it. The Shabbos Table Project. So, how do we get in on this?
Go to my website www.L2N.org and scroll down to the banner that says Shabbos Table Project, click it and learn more, and how to register and start participating with me.
This campaign begins Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, @ 6:46 PM. EST (18 minutes before sundown), you can log in and I'll be there with you at your Shabbos Table!
There are instructions and even some guides on how to prepare on the website. Please, check it out! Please also pray for this effort. Pray that it is effective and that many families will be strengthened and restored, the benefits are infinite for generations to come.
Thank you so very much,