Kavanot when Washing One’s Body Before Shabbes by Eyal Raviv

This is pre-Shabbos reflection that can be done in a shower or bath. Shabbat is a time when I am less focused on my selfish desires and instead my thoughts drift to my place in the larger community and world. I find myself doing some version of this before Shabbos most weeks and am welcome for the time to reflect on truly what it is to cease from lay work and consider the work that needs to be done to make the world a better place.


Disturb us, Adonai, ruffle us from our complacency; Make us dissatisfied. Dissatisfied with the pace of ignorance, the quietude which arises from a shunning of the horror, the defeat, the bitterness and the poverty, physical and spiritual, of humans…Disturb us, O god, and vex us; let not your Shabbat be a day of torpor and slumber; let it a time to be stirred and spurred to action. Baruch atah, Adonai, m’kadeish HaShabat.[1]Mishkan Tefilah, pg. 173

Source (English)

Washing from head down, as you wash each part in the manner you wish, think about what the parts of your body may physically or spiritually represent.

head

Let me think of others without judgment, of situations with thoughts of kindness for all involved and not of problems, but possibilities…

face: ears, eyes, mouth

Let me not hear and see only what I want or wish, but to consider all sides of a situation; let me not speak words of slander, malice or carelessness but utter those that bring clarity, comfort or joy…

chest

Let me act with the intent of my soul, to be aware of the possibilities in every heartbeat within me and to remember to feel the emotions of the actions I take…

arms/hands

Let my hands create and work to bring about the change for good that is in my heart. Let them hug more than hit and create more than destroy…

stomach and genital areas

Let me not be driven solely by inner desires and selfish needs; let me consider goals that are more meaningful to me than temporary satisfactions…

legs and feet

Let me move and act for the change I wish to see in this world for as long as my legs will carry me…

Let the words of your heart and your true intentions of a perfect you continue through the space under the water and carry you into Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Mishkan Tefilah, pg. 173

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