Are you interested in hosting a National Shabbat? The following bullet points are intended to guide future National Shabbat leaders and participants in the right direction. Please note, this is not a “Do-It-Yourself” guide, as we are not intending to build many separate nations, but one nation.
1. Be in contact with current B’ney Yosef leadership.
Open communication is a vital part of maintaining a community while we are in such a dispersed state of being. Making sure that we are in contact with one other allows us to hold each other accountable, to move forward as a unified people, and to make sure we are all appraised of what is going on under the banner of B’ney Yosef.
2. Select a neutral site for your gathering.
Why? Because we want to promote National unity of our nation B’ney Yosef. It is not about any of us and we want to communicate and make sure that our citizenry knows this. When seeking a venue, look for creative sites like camps, community centers, and cowboy churches.
3. Spend an extended time in praise and worship.
If you do have a speaker, keep the theme to B’ney Yosef’s national restoration. The Ruach HaKodesh will move on people’s hearts to share Scripture organically. Make sure that this does not look like a service; we are trying to build trust among each other in the nation. The moment it morphs into this you will arouse suspicion from others in attendance. They may think that you are trying to recruit others to a new synagogue or fellowship. This must be avoided.
4. Avoid theological discussions like the plague.
Incorporating information from the National Shabbat website will assist you in this endeavor. (See National Shabbat: What it Is, and What it Isn’t) You can encourage others who have attended a National Shabbat experience to get this message out to new participants. Steps 1 & 2 will help you to avoid a denominational mindset. Let the Shabbat resonate as a celebration of who we are as a people, the people of B’ney Yosef.
5. When possible, try to build a planning committee that includes multiple
Sometimes this is possible, and sometimes it isn’t. There are many congregations and fellowships that are 100% on board with the message of national unity, and there are many that are not. Because the goal of the National Shabbat is to grow the nation through unity and not division, we accept and respect others where they are at. But where it is possible, attempt to reach out to local fellowships and congregations, so that they know we are not trying to cause division and/or “steal” their members.