Celebrating shabbat at home with family and friends creates a warm and wonderful end to your week. Saying or singing blessings over family, candles, wine and challah helps make it sacred. Enjoy this guide from Larchmont Temple, NY. Shabbat Shalom!
1. Invite friends.
2. Ask guests to prepare a Shabbat blessing, song, or story
3. Set a special table for Shabbat dinner.
4. Use a special tablecloth.
5. Arrange fresh flowers in your home.
6. Polish the silver.
7. Pour a nice wine.
8. Bake or buy a challah.
9. Give thanks for the blessings of the week.
10. Light special candles.
11. Read a Shabbat prayer…then read it again.
12. Say blessings over the wine and challah.
13. Sing some nice songs.
14. Listen to the quiet peace of a dinner at home…without phone, TV, or radio.
15. Take a Shabbat walk.
16. Be open to moments of wonder, of soulful encounter.
17. Pause for a moment as Shabbat ends on Saturday night. Sing havdalah!
A Shabbat Reader: Universe of Cosmic Joy
Edited by Dov Peretz Elkins
Share the rich Sabbath experiences of a diverse group of prominent Jewish thinkers. Noted author and anthologist Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins has mined every vein of Jewish experience to produce a collection of spiritual essays, poetry, and meditations on the transcendent meaning of the seventh day. He culls from a wealth of sources ranging from the traditional to the radical, including among his forty selections works by Sue Levi Elwell, Blu Greenberg, Lawrence Kushner, Michael Lerner, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, W. Gunther Plaut, Gershom G. Scholem, and Elie Wiesel. Sections of the collection explore Shabbat in Classical Texts, Shabbat as the Ultimate Mitzvah, Jews Celebrate Shabbat, and Shabbat in Modern Thought.
“Dov Peretz Elkins is one of the most spiritual people I know. His work continues to be chicken soup for my soul.”
— Jack Canfield, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Do It Yourself Shabbat
URJ Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning
Prepared by the Family Education Committee of the URJ-CCAR Commission on Jewish Education This guide explains each of the four prayers recited on erev Shabbat and suggests alternate ways to incorporate them into various family settings. The blessings are presented in English, in Hebrew, and in transliteration.
The Shabbat Angels
Maxine Segal Handelman, Illustrated by Joani Keller Rothenberg
Something is not right in the home of Chaim Yonkel and his wife, Esther. Usually their home is filled with the smells of delicious foods, the sounds of laughing children, and happy smiles on everyone’s faces. But this Shabbat finds the family fighting, Shabbat dinner unprepared, and the house a mess.
The Talmud tells the story of two angels, Tov and Rah. According to this legend, these angels follow each person home from synagogue on Shabbat and deliver a blessing. If Shabbat is being honored and the home is filled with Shabbat peace, the angel of good, Tov, gets to deliver the blessing that every Shabbat should be like this one. However, if Shabbat is not being honored, the angel of evil, Rah, gets to deliver the blessing, turning the same words into a curse.
This contemporary version of the talmudic tale, illustrated with breathtaking illustrations by Joani Keller Rothenberg, updates the story for today’s families. The Shabbat Angels will delight the whole family while it teaches the importance of Shabbat shalom, Shabbat peace.
Written and illustrated by Camille Kress
This board book for toddlers encourages parents and children to share a rich spiritual and sensory Shabbat experience. Artist and author Camille Kress created this story on cardboard for her young son because heavy pages cannot be torn by little fingers. Her warm watercolors depict Shabbat symbols within the home–candlesticks, challah, and a Kiddush cup–and a family celebrating a peaceful Shabbat evening.
“Simple and engaging.”–Booklist
Written by Michelle Shapiro Abraham,Illustrated by Ann Koffsky
From the author of Good Morning, Boker Tov and Good Night, Lilah Tov, Michelle Abraham’s latest book introduces preschoolers to the joy of Shabbat.
In simple, rhyming language, Shabbat Shalom! tells the story of family celebrating Shabbat. . Filled with prayers and beautiful illustrations, Shabbat Shalom! is a wonderful way to teach toddlers about lighting Shabbat candles, reciting the Kiddush, saying the blessing over the challah and more. Abraham’s educational books for preschoolers are proven successes, making learning fun and exciting. Shabbat Shalom! is the perfect compliment to the Morning/Bedtime Rituals books, creating a strong start to leading a Jewish life.
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