By Rabbi Rick Sherwin
My friend Davi and I saw four phenomenal rock concerts together this year: Save Ferris, New Found Glory, Greenday, and Santana, each offering a very loud, enjoyable respite from our world that seems to be increasingly spinning out of control. Carlos Santana offered the best spiritual advice: “Don’t be afraid to pick up the remote and turn off the news.”
Concerts, theatrical performances, sporting events, even worship services, all give us a few personal hours to tune out the chaotic world. They offer us a chance to step back from the commotion of daily life and to enjoy – to find “joy within” – just being… Letting music move through our soul, letting the sanctuary and the theater inspire our spirits, pulling together in a stadium to cheer those teams representing our school, community, state, and country.
We all recognize our responsibility to invest personal time and energy in the ongoing effort to transform the world from the way it is to the way it needs to be. To keep our energy level high, we need to make time for our own souls and breathe.
In the Book of Exodus (31:17), we are told that on the Seventh Day God stopped [the process of creation] and took a breath. The Hebrew word for stop is Shabbat, Sabbath, a day for taking a breath. If we want to help create a better world, we have to follow the Divine Example by making time to stop for ourselves, for our households, for our communal family.
Among other joyful pauses in the process of creating a better world, my energizing breath comes with “the sounds of the guitar, yeah, played by Carlos Santana.”
Rabbi Rick Sherwin, a graduate of UCLA, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Rabbi Rick’s passion is filling spiritual services and interfaith educational programs with creativity, relevance, dialogue, and humor.