Shabbat Shuvah ("Sabbath [of] Return" שבת שובה) or Shabbat Teshuvah ("Sabbath [of] Repentance" שבת תשובה) refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. --from Wikipedia
Today's Shabbat is Shabbat Shuvah. I made another round challah. I don't know if it is said to make round challah on this day, but as it is still this period of the Ten Days of Awe and repentance, it seemed fitting. Plus I love the way the round challah braids are made, and how the two crossing over two become a circle as all the strands are woven together in a particular way. It felt like the Crown, a reminder from our King that He is listening.
Since I started observing the Shabbat this year, the weeks have taken on a new rhythm. One Shabbat begins Friday evening and ends the next day's sunset and then the week begins and then again we prepare to enter into the Shabbat on the next Friday sunset. God created the world in six days and rested on the 7th. The circle seems to come alive in His Love.
This year I began to enter into Shabbat through the making of challah. Today is I suppose also the first Shabbat of the New Year, 5777. But more than that it is seen as the special Shabbat, the sabbath of Return, in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as if to say the cycle of Shabbatot doesn't really begin and end but continues in a beautiful eternal cycle, culminating every year in the Fall Feasts in the seventh month of Tishrei in this time of repentance and return.
Isn't that so beautiful and even exquisite. Each Shabbat has a special Torah portion to study, called the Parshiot, regardless of where we are on the round earth!. Again I see the round challah and how unified we are in our King when we study His Torah and live on His eternal cycle of time, as he measures everything just perfect.
Just like on each Shabbat we ask to draw closer to God, in this time of repentance we draw closer to Him and to seek forgiveness. Forgiveness and repentance are life-giving. Without seeking forgiveness we pile up sin in our heart, and that becomes a sure way into darkness, but with constant and true seeking of forgiveness, we are given life as we return to our Creator and to Yeshua.
He is Light of the World. When we smell the challah, and see it and taste it, may we understand the words in the Psalms 34
"Taste and see how good ADONAI is.
Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him". ---Psalm 34:9 TLV
I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
for My anger will turn away from him.
I will be like dew for Israel.
He will blossom like a lily,
and thrust out his roots like Lebanon.
His tender shoots will spread out.
His beauty will be like an olive tree
and his fragrance will be like Lebanon.
Those dwelling in his shadow will return.
They will grow grain and bud like a vine.
His renown will be like
the wine of Lebanon.
---Hosea 14: 5〜8