WHAT IS THE SABBATH?
The SABBATH is the Jewish holy day. Jews set aside this day each week for rest and prayer.
- The Sabbath is called SHABBAT in Hebrew
- Shabbat begins at Sunset on Friday and ends at Sunset on Saturday.
- Jews celebrate this holy time with religious services in both the home and the synagogue.
The origin of the Sabbath is found in the bible. In the story of the CREATION:
- God created the world in 6 days and rested in the 7th day.
The Jews obeyed God. They kept the Sabbath day holy for thousands of years.
- On the Sabbath Jews celebrate their special relationship with God.
- They praise God for this goodness.
- They thank God for caring for the chosen people throughout the ages.
- Today Jewish people spend most of the day relaxing at home with their families.
- The Talmud lists 39 types of work that must not be done on the Sabbath.
PREPARING FOR THE SABBATH
There are different rituals associated with the celebration of the Sabbath. This means that there are certain things that the Jews always say and do at this sacred time:
- School finishes early on a Friday in Jewish countries
- Jewish children return home and help their parents prepare for the Sabbath
- The house is cleaned and tidied.
- The shopping is done
- A meal is prepared and the table set carefully. It is covered with a white table cloth, Two candlesticks and a wine glass are put on the table.
- Two loaves of plaited bread are placed on the table and covered with a napkin. A salt dish is also put on the table.
- When everything is done the family go to their rooms to get ready. They shower and put on good clothes.
- Television and phones are switched off. Everything becomes quiet as sunset approaches
Welcoming the Sabbath
A SERVICE is held at the Synagogue on Friday Evening. When the men and boys return from the Synagogue the family gather together for the family meal.
After the Kiddush ritual the family sit down together at the table to enjoy the Sabbath meal. There is time to talk and relax. Adults and children might even sing traditional Sabbath songs between the different courses. The meal always ends with a prayer of thanksgiving.
THE SABBATH DAY
On Saturday morning Jewish families attend a service in the synagogue. Afterwards they return home to relax and enjoy the day together.
The word KOSHER just means SUITABLE or PURE. It is a very important part of Judaism and categorises which products and foods are allowed and forbidden according to Jewish law.
Certain foods found in supermarkets are forbidden for Jews to eat. These include:
In a Jewish household Dairy and Meat products must not be cooked together as this is forbidden in the Torah.
This separation is very important and Jewish households even have separate utensils and pots and pans for use with dairy and meat separately.