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Shabbat. © Karen Devine 2008. What is Shabbat?. There are many Jewish religious festivals and holy days which are filled with spiritual significance, including Passover. The Sabbath or Shabbat is the commandment given by God that the 7th day is for rest and worship.

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Shabbat

© Karen Devine 2008


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What is Shabbat?

  • There are many Jewish religious festivals and holy days which are filled with spiritual significance, including Passover.

  • The Sabbath or Shabbat is the commandment given by God that the 7th day is for rest and worship.

  • One wears their best clothes on Shabbat.

  • One eats off their best dishes and table wear at Shabbat.


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What is Shabbat?

  • Orthodox Jews apply this commandment very strictly by not:

    a) Cooking

    b) Writing

    c) Driving

    d) Turning lights on and off

    e) Handling money

    f) Doing business

    g) Other weekday activities

  • Orthodox observation of these practices increases the significance of Shabbat for them.

  • Lights and appliances must be set for the turning on and off of lights.


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The Shabbat Ritual

  • Shabbat begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday evening.

  • The table is set with two candles which represent the two commandments:

    a) Zachor (Remember)

    b) Shamor (Observe)

  • Bread (challah) is baked in advance for the meal.


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The Shabbat Ritual

  • At 18 minutes before sunset the lighting of the 2 candles occurs by the woman of the household.

  • She waves her hands over the candles, places her hands over her eyes and prays.


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Kabbalat Shabbat

  • The family begins Shabbat by attending the Synagogue for the evening service.

  • They are engaging in Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming of the Sabbath).

  • When arriving home, the husband then blesses his wife and children by reciting Kiddush (prayer) for them over a cup of wine.


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The Shabbat Meal

  • The Challot (special bread) is uncovered, blessed and distributed.

  • The Shabbat meal is then eaten. It is usually Cholet, a form of stew.


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Shabbat Worship

  • At the conclusion of the meal, a special prayer is said- the birkat-ha-mazon.

  • On Saturdays, there is more worship at the synagogue, more meals and visiting of friends and family.

  • There is also an afternoon synagogue service and the final Shabbat meal.


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The Havdalah

  • The havdalah or Shabbat prayer is the recited which ends Shabbat.

  • Havdalah is a separation or division.


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What is havdalah?

  • Havdalah involves:

    a) A blessing over wine

    b) A blessing over spices (reminding us of the sweetness of Shabbat)

    c) A blessing over 2 twisted candles.

  • The Shabbat has ended.

  • It is distinguished from the rest of the week. There is some sadness at it ending.

  • Jews then pray to Elijah who will announce the coming of the Messiah.

  • Shabbat is a time when Jews appreciate the gifts they have been given from God.


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Question Time

  • Explain the significance of the following items which are used at Shabbat.


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