Kabbalat shabbat receiving the sabbath

Shabbat – Jewish Sabbath

Shabbat, or Shabbat  is the seventh day of creation, it is also the seventh day of the week, the Jewish Sabbath.

In Judaism, Shabbat is a holy day that is commanded to honor and observe as a sign that Gd created this world for seven days, and rested on the seventh.

The word “Shabbat” itself comes from the Hebrew root verb “lisboah” and means “rested”, “stopped activities”, which has a common root with “sheva” – “seven” (hence, for example, “shviit” – the commandment observance of the seventh, “Sabbath” year).

Traditionally, Shabbat is a day of rest, a day of Sabbath rest: on Shabbat, it is forbidden to perform 39 types of activities (the so-called 39 types of work).

Jews celebrate Shabbat as a holiday: they celebrate Shabbat by lighting candles, arrange meals with Shabbat songs, dedicate Shabbat to spiritual growth, Torah study.

Spend time with family and close friends, without fail wishing each other “Shabbat shalom!” (a traditional Shabbat greeting, a wish for peace on Shabbat) or “gut Shabes!” (in Yiddish – “have a good Saturday!”).

Sabbath observance is considered one of the basic commandments of Judaism: by observing Shabbat and stepping back from work on this day, a Jew proclaims the belief that Gd is the Creator of the world, who controls all processes in it.

Saturday Shabbat, the seventh day of the week

Saturday, the seventh day of the week, the day of rest… In Hebrew, all days are named according to the number of their separation from Saturday – the first, second, etc., but only one day has its own name – Saturday.

According to the Torah, the commandment to observe the Sabbath was established by the Almighty, Who, having completed the Creation of the world in six days, blessed and sanctified the seventh day.

We read in the book of Shemot, in the chapter about the Jews receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai: “Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Work for six days and do whatever you do.

But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Almighty: do no work, neither your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is in your gates.

For six days the Most High created the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Almighty blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.

The Torah calls Saturday a holiday on which it is forbidden to do work – even in the midst of a field harvest; in addition, it is forbidden to light a fire on the Sabbath.

Anyone who violates these prohibitions is severely punished by the court. In those places in the Torah where holidays are listed, Saturday is mentioned first.

Prophet Yeshayahu foresaw that the Jewish people would be exalted if they considered the Sabbath their joy, God’s holy day.

Deprived of everyday worries, the Sabbath is reserved for spiritual pursuits. The Sabbath Prayer proclaims: “Let all who keep the Sabbath, the people who sanctify the seventh day, rejoice in your kingdom…

You called this day the adornment of days.”

Jews at all times were so zealous about the fulfillment of the Sabbath commandment that in the eyes of foreigners, the observance of the Sabbath became the most characteristic sign of Jewry.

The Romans called the Jews “Sabatorii”, subbotniks.

Seneca, Tacitus, Ovid openly mocked the Jews for their attachment to this day. Interestingly, the hatred of foreign rulers towards the Jews was always accompanied by prohibitions on the Sabbath.

However, all these persecutions in ancient times ended with the fact that all the peoples of the Mediterranean accepted the seven-day week with the final day of rest.Week, but not Saturday.

Sabbath observance remained a purely Jewish commandment.

What can and should be done on Saturday?

You need to turn to God. And in general, to think about everything important, beautiful, deep – about what we usually have no time to think about on weekdays.

By the way, Shabbat begins on Friday evening – as soon as the sun sets. The holiday comes to the family, to every home. Mom lights Shabbat candles and reads a prayer.

Then, when everyone sits down at the table, dad or grandfather says kiddush – a blessing – over a glass of grape wine or juice. But no one starts eating yet: you still need to say a blessing over the bread.

Bread on this day on the table is not ordinary, but festive – wicker golden challah. When the wine and bread are blessed, you can dine.

During the Sabbath meal, they usually talk not about who got what grades at school, and not about what is happening with dad at work, and not about who grandmother quarreled with in the yard.

If this is a religious family, dad can tell something interesting about the holy book – the Torah. But even if you and your family do not follow Jewish customs very strictly, nothing prevents you from singing.

Yes, right at the table! There are special Shabbat drinking songs, very simple and cheerful. With them peace and joy come to the house and soul.

On Friday night and Saturday morning and afternoon, men come to the synagogue. The prayers that sound there during Shabbat are special. Not the same as weekdays.


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