• Created by: Toni.J
  • Created on: 02-01-16 14:44

Shabbat begins every Friday evening at sunset. 

In a traditional Jewish home, two pure white candles in special silver candles sticks are lit to remember God and to keep the candles and the day holy. During Kiddush, the woman will move her hands over the candles towards her face, representing her welcoming God into their home. There are two loaves of Challah which represent the double portion of manna that God gave the Jews in the desert. A berachah is said before wine and challah is shared around the table. The children are blessed by their parents, and the family will sing the Eshet Chayil to praise the Jewish women of the world. 

To prepare for Shabbat, before sunset on a Friday evening, all shopping will be done for the weekend and the meals will be prepared or cooking will be done in advance. Everyone in the house will wear their best clothes and children will first complete their homework. The challah bread is either made the woman in the family or is bought from a kosher bakery. Timers will also be set for lights as light cannot be created during Shabbat. Some families will place tape over the switch in the fridge or keep the light off to prevent lights from being turned on.

Shabbat is first celebrated with the Kiddush ceremony - the welcoming of Shabbat and God into the home. The candles are lit, challah and wine are shared, after saying a berachahThe family will enjoy a traditional, leisurely family mean with songs, stories, and recollections of the week. Shabbat must be prepared for because it is a rest day and so work must not be done. In the Torah, there are 39 melachot - things classified as work Jews are prohibited from doing - which Jews must obey. They will spend their time resting and socialising both with friends and family. Havdallah is the ceremony that separates the end of Shabbat from the rest of the week; a special havdallah candle is lit, with several wicks, wine is blessed, and Jews will smell sweet spices.

On the Saturday of Shabbat, an Orthodox Jewish family would walk to the synagogue. There will be a service consisting of prayers, blessings, and a Sefer Torah reading by the rabbi. After this, Jews will eat a cholent lunch back at home or with friends and family. This will have been prepared before sunset on Friday. Jews will then enjoy their afternoon with leisure activities as a community, or they can choose to study the Torah. No work must be done. Before sunset on Saturday, Havdallah will take place.

Jews make Shabbat a holy day by setting it apart from the rest of the week. The day is devoted to God and his people keeping their covenant relationship healthy. They honour God by resting like he did once he'd created the world. It is separated from the other days of the week by Kiddush and Havdallah. This day was set apart…


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