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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shabbos: an Insider's View

Over the years, I've gotten lots of questions about "Shabbos," aka the Jewish Sabbath. What exactly do we do? Isn't it restrictive? And most critically, how do we live for 24 hours with no internet??  So I figured I'd give you all an insider's view as to what actually happens on Shabbos every week.

[don't mind the photos. We don't use cameras on the Sabbath so the set up table is all you're going to get!]

To explain a Jewish Shabbos I first have to explain a Jewish Friday. Friday, for us, is crazytown.  It's also, according to Jewish Murphy's Law, the day that your car will break down, oven/fridge/stove/garage will malfunction, and power will cut out. It's just the way it goes.

After running around like a crazy person all Friday, Shabbos officially begins when I light the candles.

Once I've lit candles, I don't do any more work. What's done is done, and what hasn't been accomplished either isn't all that important, or my neighbor can lend it to me:) At this point, the hubby goes to the synagogue for services (in some communities, women go too, but since it's past my baby's bedtime, I hang out at home). I usually pray the Friday night service to myself since it has beautiful songs, and sometimes a friend or neighbor will come by to talk. It's a magical time, the first moment all week I truly exhale.  It's a time to just  be, and drink in the beautiful home, beautiful baby, and wonderful guy I've been so blessed with.

About an hour later, the hubby returns home, sometimes with guests. We enjoy a nice dinner--we often go with themes when it's just the two of us, like an Italian night with Caesar salad, meatballs and pasta, garlic bread, red wine, and a yummy dessert. When we have guests we go more traditional, with soup, chicken, 3 or 4 side dishes, a salad, and a few desserts. I try to tell myself there are no calories on Shabbos:)   I usually end Friday night on the couch, talking to my hubby, and/or eating dessert or reading a book. I'm trying to find the words to describe what it's really like, but it might be the sort of thing you have to be there for.

And then Friday night really concludes snuggled in my bed, with that delicious the-weekend-just-started knowledge that the next day, you can take your time, not set the alarm clock, and just breathe.

So that's a little sneak peek into Friday night for you---I'll be back with more on Shabbos, as well as some fun scrappy and home decor stuff soon!

And tell me, what is the best moment of YOUR weekend?


  1. Sounds lovely Keshet! What a great weekly ritual to slow down, breathe and enjoy each other with no distractions. :)

  2. that does sound like a great tradition. thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Thanks for sharing! You may have answered this before, but do you also rush like crazy to clean your house on Friday? I know you said you do quite a lot of cleaning before passover. Also, do you keep several sets of dishes? I hope you don't mind me asking. I find it so interesting, since your faith is the basis for mine. I am Roman Catholic, and I'd be happy to answer any questions if you have them.

  4. Oops! The best moment of my weekend is on Sunday afternoon, or Saturday evening, when our family has returned from church, and we have a relaxed meal together. We usually eat together, but during the week, it is always rushed, so the weekend meal is just more fun, and everyone gets involved in the menu and the preparation, since my kids are 12 and 13.

  5. I love Shabbat i think its so beautifull. And when I was in Israel I loved the moment when Shabbat startede and the moment It stopped and the town like.. "woke up" again. I think Its a beautifull thing. We could use it in our familly, but there are som things that makes it a kind of difficult in our home. But sunday morning is a kind of holy in our family. Than w are having the true family moment! And my children offen says in the week that they are looking forward to the morning meel we are having. It´s inporant to have those moments. Maybe its not about having Shabbat or the breakfastmornings like we have in our home. Maybe it just the thing about being toghter as a family and to enjoy the moment. Any way.. thank you for a lovely blog. I really enjoy to read your blog.
    Love all away from Denmark!

  6. So interesting & I'm glad you are sharing about this. It sounds like such a busy, crazy day and to think you do this every week! But it also sounds totally worth it when the evening comes and you can just enjoy your family &/or friends! I should try to start a tradition like this on my own just to make sure I have enough time to slow down and enjoy things.

  7. this post makes me go ahhhh, a true day of rest and reflection on all of the blessings in our lives. thanks so much for sharing, keshet! can't wait to read more!
    my favorite part of my weekend is saturday afternoon when i go to pray over our sanctuary and then to the prayer room to pray for the weekend services.


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