#25 Observing Shabbat – The Sabbath Day

#25 Observing Shabbat – The Sabbath Day

Shabbat is a day of celebration and begins with the ritual of lighting shabbat candles and ends 25 hours later with the ceremony of Havdalah. During Shabbat, it is customary to eat three festive meals: Dinner on Shabbat eve (Friday night), lunch on Shabbat day (Saturday), and a third meal (a Seudah Shlishit) in the late afternoon (Saturday). It is also customary to wear nice clothing (different from during the week) on Shabbat to honor the day.

Some Jews attend synagogue services on Shabbat even if they do not do so during the week. Services are held on Shabbat eve (Friday night), Shabbat morning (Saturday morning), and late Shabbat afternoon (Saturday afternoon).

#1 WATCH: Welcoming the Sabbath Day

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#2 STUDY: The importance of rest and reflection

“It is as much that the Jews kept Shabbat as Shabbat kept the Jews.”

-Ahad Ha’am

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#3 WATCH: The Shabbat Table: candles, wine, challah

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#4 STUDY: The beginning of Shabbat

According to Jewish law, Shabbat starts a few minutes before sunset. Candles are lit at this time. It is customary in many communities to light the candles 18 minutes before sundown.  Before Friday night dinner, it is customary to sing a song of welcome (“Shalom Aleichem”) and then to offer blessings for the wine and challah, prior to a festive meal being served. Singing is traditional at Sabbath meals. 

Click to hear the blessings for the shabbat table (1-3)
Download the blessings for the shabbat table.

After a day of rest, relaxation, and time with family and friends, the day ends with the ceremony of Havdalah (separation).

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#5 WATCH: Havdalah – Saying Farewell to Shabbat

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#6: Text Study: Havdalah, separation

Havdalah (Hebrew: הַבְדָּלָה, “separation”) is the ceremony that marks the symbolic end of Shabbat and ushers in the new week. At the conclusion of Shabbat at nightfall, after the appearance of three stars in the sky, the havdalah blessings are recited over a cup of wine, and with the use of fragrant spices and a candle, usually braided.

Click to listen to the melody and blessings of Havdalah

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# 7 Review and Response

1. What are the three symbols of the Shabbat table?
2. What did Ahad Ha’am say about Shabbat?
3. What are three things you like to do to rest and relax?
4. What is the ceremony of “separation” called in Hebrew?
5. What are the three symbols of Havdalah?

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Need some help? We’re here for you. At any time, if you have any questions, please contact one of our teachers so we can help you. Also, at the end of the session, remember to review your responses in your Tamid Workbook so you can get credit for this lesson. Behatzlacha (Hebrew for good luck)! You can reach Sarah at (646)360-0689 or connect@tamidnyc.org