Emet Couples Connect At Far Rockaway Shabbaton

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“We didn’t want Shabbos to end!” was the sentiment shared by six couples, who were guests at a recent Emet Shabbaton in Far Rockaway. While a Shabbos away with strangers can be awkward, this one was actually the beginning of new friendships. The couples represented all stages of marriage, from newly married to those married for a decade, but they all shared having grown in Judaism through Emet. Hosted by Rabbi Nissim Musheyev, Emet’s Community Development Director, and his wife Mazal, the Shabbaton exemplified not only the beauty of Shabbos but also the importance of being in a warm community as an observant Jew.

“My husband and I have loved hosting Shabbos guests since we got married. We believe in ‘Mitzvah g’dolah lihyos b’simchah,” and it’s important for us to share the joy of Shabbos,” Rebbetzin Musheyev explains. “We’ve lived in Far Rockaway for over 20 years, and our friends and neighbors play a big role in our Shabbatons for Emet students. They not only graciously open their homes, but they are also welcoming as a community.” Rabbi Musheyev adds, “Our students are able to connect with frum families, and it’s incredible to see members of the community gain a renewed appreciation for Shabbos and mitzvos through the excitement of students who are growing.”

On Erev Shabbos, after settling in with their host families, the women met at the Musheyev home for candle lighting, and the men davened Kabbalas Shabbos at the Sefardi Minyan at the White Shul. This was followed by a wonderful dinner and words of inspiration by Rabbi Musheyev. The evening didn’t end until after midnight, since couples were eager to get to know each other. Shacharis on Shabbos morning was held at the White Shul, and lunch was enjoyed at the homes of other families in the community. The group reunited in the afternoon at the Schreiber home for a fun oneg. Everyone gathered at the Ribowsky home for the s’udah sh’lishis meal. A highlight of the Shabbaton was Rabbi Levi Katlowitz giving an impactful d’var Torah about the example of Avraham and Sarah and the importance of continually working on shalom bayis in the home. The Shabbos experience culminated with a musical Havdalah and plans for the couples to keep in touch.

“It was really a wonderful Shabbos,” Rabbi Musheyev said. “All the couples were eager to learn, and we shared so many inspirational and interactive discussions. Most importantly, great connections were made.”

Shabbos in Far Rockaway made a lasting impression on the couples. “We thoroughly enjoyed spending Shabbos in Far Rockaway with Emet this past weekend,” Rebecca and Sam Sabzanov said. “The Musheyev family was so warm and inspiring, and our hosts welcomed us with open arms. We loved getting to know other growth-oriented couples and talking about deep spiritual and personal topics together. The food was amazing, the vibe was awesome, and it was beautiful to see how a different Jewish community operates.”

Shirin and Rafael Avezbakiyev also appreciated being welcomed and sharing a meaningful Shabbos before chodesh Elul. “We can’t thank you enough for choosing us to be here. We really appreciated the support and smiling faces. It always gives us energy to continue on. We really needed to recharge, especially before Elul starts. The divrei Torah were amazing. Our hosts were so welcoming. We couldn’t have asked for more!”