Shabbat is the holiday that is central to Jewish Life, occurring every Friday at sunset to Saturday night.
When most people think of holidays, they think of annual celebrations, but in Judaism there is one holiday that occurs every week -- the Sabbath. Known in Hebrew as Shabbat and in Yiddish as Shabbos, it begins at sundown on Friday and ends on Saturday evening with Havdalah, a short ceremony that separates Shabbat from the rest of the week.
Inspired by the Torah’s story of God resting after creating the world (Genesis 2:1-3), Shabbat celebrates creation and offers a respite from the hectic pace of the rest of the week. Shabbat is a day of rest, and also a day of pleasure and delight. Shabbat is a time that is set aside to take notice of the wonders around us.
Shabbat is central to Jewish life. As the great Jewish writer Ahad Ha-Am has observed: "More than the Jewish people has kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jewish people." The Sabbath truly has been a unifying force for Jews the world over.
Many Reform congregations Livestream Friday night and Saturday morning services, as well as holiday services. Find a congregation in these listings and check their website for more information.
All Things Challah: 14 Recipes to Sweeten Shabbat
Havdalah: Transition, Separation, and Memory
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