שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) is the most special day of the week. Each Friday night we welcome the שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) bride and enjoy a day of rest and rejuvenation.
שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) is as much about the "do's" as the "don'ts."
On שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) we eat three meals, spend time with family and friends, pray, sing and learn. We avoid work that we do during the week and take time to appreciate the work that God did in creating our world.
The first שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) is found in the beginning of the תּוֹרָה (Torah) in the book of בְּרֵאשִׁית (B'reisheet). After six days of creating the world, God makes שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) - a day of rest. The תּוֹרָה (Torah) says:
And the heaven and earth were finished and everything in them. And on the seventh day, God finished God's work that God had made. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because God rested from all God's work. (בראשית ב:א-ג)
שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) is the seventh day of each week and begins on Friday night, eighteen minutes before sunset and ends about an hour after sunset on Saturday night.
שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) is the only holiday that isn't tied to the cycle of the moon or the earth's rotation around the sun. It happens each week regardless of what time of month or year it is.
remember - זָכוֹר
observe - שָׁמוֹר
Welcoming Shabbat - קַבָּלַת שַׁבָּת
A peaceful Shabbat - שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם
candles - נֵרוֹת
challah - חָלָה
wine - יַיִן
rest - מְנוּחָה
work - מְלָאכָה
We begin שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) by lighting the candles with a special בְּרָכָה (blessing).
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת.
Baruch Ata ADONAI Eloheinu Melech ha'olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav,
v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Shabbat.
Blessed are You, ADONAI, our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy through the commandments and commands us to kindle the Sabbath lights.
At synagogue, we welcome שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) with a special service called קַבָּלַת שַׁבָּת (Kabbalat Shabbat). Then we daven מַעֲרִיב (Ma'ariv), the evening service. You can learn תְפִילוֹת (t'fillot) from both services here.
At שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) dinner we say additional blessings for the wine and challah:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּֽפֶן.
Baruch Ata ADONAI Eloheinu Melech ha'olam, borei p'ri hagafen.
Blessed are You, ADONAI, our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ.
Baruch Ata ADONAI Eloheinu Melech ha'olam, hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz.
Blessed are You, ADONAI, our God, Ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) dinner is also a special time to bless our children. We use the same בְּרָכָה (b'racha -blessing) that Aaron, the High Priest, used when he was blessing all of the children of Israel.
יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה, וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם.
Y'varechecha ADONAI, v'yishmerecha
Ya'eir ADONAI panav eilecha, vichuneka
Yisa ADONAI panav eilecha, v'yaseim l'cha shalom.
May ADONAI bless you and keep you. May ADONAI shine God's face upon you and be gracious to you. May ADONAI lift God's face toward you and give you peace.
We say goodbye to Shabbat with a beautiful ritual called הַבְדָּלָה (Havdalah.) Using wine, spices and a braided candle we thank God for the gift of שַׁבָּת and the strength to begin a new week.
There are four blessings in הַבְדָּלָה (Havdalah) and you can see them here. You can listen to all of the blessings with explanation below.
Its traditional on שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) to eat three full meals: Dinner on Friday and lunch and dinner on Saturday. Dinner on Saturday is called סְעוּדַת שְׁלִישִׁית (Seudat Sh'lisheet) - the third meal.
שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) meals aren't just about the food - they're about family and friends. Meals are usually followed by learning, singing and celebrating.
According to the Talmud there are 39 categories of מְלָאכָה (melacha - work) that should be avoided on Shabbat. You can find a full list of these 39 מְלָכוֹת (melachot - categories of work) here.
Since we don't do a lot of the things that we would do on a weekday, שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) is also a great time to catch an afternoon shluf (nap).