Shabbat/Sabbat (Goddess in the Grove)

Last week, the summer solstice fell on the same day as Shabbat. It was the Shabbat Sabbat.

Shabbat, in layman’s terms, is The Sabbath. It’s the Hebrew word for Friday sunset through Saturday sunset. Etymologists even speculate that the pagan term sabbat comes from the same root. To have both fall on the same day was inspiring.

Normally on Shabbat, we light two candles. I tell my kids that we light one for the god and one for the goddess. Last week, we made sun catchers, or god’s eyes (and enjoyed an 8:30pm sunset!).

This week, as Shabbat approaches, I have the image of the triangle and the tree, a Hebrew goddess symbol, lingering in my thoughts. We enjoy all the fruits of the earth now, whether at farmer’s market or from our own back yard. And I can’t help but think of the Hebrew goddess, Asherah, who was worshipped in the groves. (Asherot were branches or poles in honor of her, often referred to in religious texts as being burned, probably to erase any memory of the goddess.)

As I enjoy tree fruits and walk through forest preserves, the image haunts me. Asherah whispers to us, calls us back to the grove. With our white peaches and pomegranates, we remember an ancient goddess who is always welcome at our sabbat and our Shabbat.

photo  © primitivehebrews.org

photo © primitivehebrews.org

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