Shabbath has an in-depth connotation, which signifies about rest or cessation that ideally marks the seventh day of the week. When observes Shabbat, one totally refrains from the daily work schedules and spend the whole day by engaging in relaxing activities.
Considered as a sacred institution, for Jewish, following the norms and rituals of Shabbat holds a lot of significance, which they ensure to practice wholeheartedly.
As per the Jewish religious law, halakha, Shabbat commences at the difference of a few minutes before the sunset on Friday evening and continues till Saturday night, unless the three stars come to their full form.
Shabbat is a long-drawn process, and we bring you the detailed interpretation of this amazing Jewish tradition in the best comprehensible manner. Here’s the stockpile of the seven key rituals of Shabbat, which can give you the perfect insight into it. Take a look!
The Light of Shabbat
In the Bible, light was the first thing that God created. If the sun was created after the light, what was its source? One explanation states that it was spiritual light. In the same way light initiated the creation of the world, so too is the Sabbath. A candle-lighting ritual is used to usher in the Sabbath before sunset. Traditionally, it was always women who lit the candle, though men participate in the ceremony nowadays as well.
Blessing the Children
Before the commencement of the Sabbath dinner, the parents have to take a moment and lay their hands on their children’s heads to give them a gift of their blessing. One can bless their child in whatever way they wish, including a reciting of traditional words.
Kiddush is a reciting that precedes the Sabbath meal. It describes the Sabbath as a commemoration of God’s redemption of Israel from Egypt and the creation of the world. The Sabbath commemorates the Exodus from Egypt: the Jews were liberated from servitude in Egypt, and were in turn commanded to give rest to others, including their servants.
On Shabbat, braided loaves called chalet are traditionally present at each meal. Two chalet have to be blessed at each meal to commemorate the Jews who wandered in the desert after being freed from the Egyptians. Every morning, the wanderers were provided with one portion of bread. On Friday, they were offered two so they would not have to collect a portion on Sabbath.
Blessing and Song
The Sabbath is a time of plenty of blessings. Some are recited while others are partaken. The blessing recited after the meal is a central blessing. It is not particularly for Sabbath, but for every meal.it basically gives thanks for the land and its produce, and for the Almighty’s kindness in feeding all creatures. There is the option of singing the blessing or reciting it.
There is an additional festive midday meal on the Sabbath. On this day, Kiddush has to be recited. The version done on Saturday afternoon is different from the one done on Friday evening. A luxurious and long nap is the after lunch activity of choice for most Jews. Other activities include studying, reading and going for long meditative walks.
The Sabbath ends the same way it began: with light. The event is known as Havdalah. In this case, a single braided candle is used instead of two separate ones. The braided candles are used to symbolize the two separate flames that become one through unification of the Shabbat force. The ceremony includes blessing over light, spices, and wine. These are all for the God who distinguishes between the profane and the sacred (light and darkness).