Shabbat Pleasantness




The tora says: “Zachor et Yom HaShabbat le’kadsho. Sheshess yamim ta’avod ve’osita kol melachtecha. Ve’yom hashevi’i Shabbat l’Ado-nai Elo-hecha, lo ta’aseh kol melacha ata u’vincha u’vitecha”− 

"Remember the Shabbos to sanctify it. You shall work for six says [during which] you shall do all your labor. The seventh day [is for] the L-rd your G-d [and on it] neither you nor your son and daughter shall do any work.”

The Rambam writes: 
“Whoever observes the Shabbos according to the halacha [Jewish law] and honors and delights it, receives reward in this world, in addition to the great reward which lies hidden for him in Olam Haba [the Future World].”




It is a mitzvah to recall the Shabbat during the weekdays too. Therefore, when Jews count the days of the week, such as Yom Rishon, Yom Sheini [Sunday, the first day, Monday, the second day etc.] they attribute the days to the previous Shabbbos, and say: “Yom Rishon le’Shabbat, Yom Sheini le’Shabbat,” meaning that Yom Rishon is the first day after Shabbat, Yom Sheini, the second day after Shabbat and so on, and in that manner they recall the Shabbat the entire week. 

It is a mitzvah to purchase challos and finer food items before Shabbat (in accordance with one’s financial means) in order to eat them on Shabbat It is desirable to say “lechvod Shabbat” (“in honor of Shabbat”), regarding every such purchase. It is a mitzvah to bathe in honor of Shabbat on Thursday or Friday. However, on Shabbat it is forbidden to bathe in warm water, even if that water has been warmed before Shabbat.

Preparations for Shabbat


Preparations for Shabbat 

Fridays involve making many preparations in honor of Shabbat, and in order to complete them before candle-lighting time, one must begin them early.  Children should be included in these preparations, so that they will have a part in the mitzvah. When a calm mood prevails in the family, all are happy to participate in the preparations for the honored guest who arrives on Friday when candles are lit, and remains until the following evening. This guest is Shabbat our Queen, the sacred Shabbat. 

These preparations include three aspects: 1) preparing the lighting, 2) preparing the kitchen, 3) preparing the electrical hotplate.

1) preparing the lighting: Before Shabbat we turn on the lights we need during the Shabbat, since on Shabbat we are forbidden to turn on or off any electic tool.

2) Preparing the kitchen: On friday we cook and prepare all the food for shabbat, since on shabbat we are not allowed to cook. 

When Shabbat, "the rest day", appears, everything is ready, and we are invited to by happy in the rest and holiness of the Shabbat day.

3) Preparing the electrical hotplate: On Shabat we are forbidden to turn on or turn off gas, oven, and any electric tool, etc. In order to keep the food warm for Shabbat, we may use "Shabbat Plata".

After the cooking on friday, we trun the oven off, we trun the "Shabbat Plata" on, and we put our cooking pots on the plata before the time of candle lighting.

The Shabbat Urn: It is forbidden to warm water on Shabbat, even by means of an electric urn or a similar appliance.

If one wants warm water on Shabbat for tea, coffee, or other purposes, one may fill a thermos before Shabbat with warm or hot water, or buy a Shabbat urn, in which he boils a certain amount of water on Friday. Before Shabbat he turns on the switch to the Shabbat mode, since on Shabbat it is forbidden to do so.


The Candle Lighting Procedure


 The Candle Lighting Procedure

One must light candles at the time cited on the Jewish calendar. One must not do so afterwards, because it is forbidden to kindle any fire on Shabbat. After the lighting, one recites the blessing: 
“Baruch Ata Ado-nai Elo-henu Melech ha'olam asher kidshanu be’mitzvosav ve’tzivanu le’hadlik ner shel Shabbat.” 
Some women practice the custom of blessing after the kindling.


Performing a mitzvah as great as lighting candles on time, is a favorable occasion for praying, especially for meriting good children.
• One should rejoice at the arrival of Shabbat, as if he is going out to greet a king” (Shulchan Aruch, "Orech Chayim," stanza 252).

• “Wise people hasten to usher in Shabbat and to receive its blessings. They also delay parting from it at its end.  One who understands that a person who hastens to receive Shabbat and delays parting from it in order to receive G-d’s blessing which anyway befalls those who observe Shabbat, is fortunate” (Chofetz Chayim on the Torah, parshas Beraishis 2:3).

The Shabbat Prayers

The Shabbat Prayers

The Shabbat prayers appear in the regular siddur (prayer book).
On Shabbos it is especially important for men, boys and children
to recite the following prayers in the synagogue:
1.The mincha and maariv prayers on Shabbos night
2.The shachrit and mussaf prayers on Shabbos morning
3.The mincha prayer on Shabbos afternoon

Shabbat First Meals


Shabbat First Meals

Accompanying the meal with the singing of  Zemiros Shabbat (special Shabbat songs) and Torah thoughts and discussions is a highly enriching event. 

Comment: The recitation of the zemiros word for word and in a leisurely and pleasant manner, is a genuine spiritual experience. The essence of the words which have been chanted over the generations by hundreds of thousands of Jews the world over bind us to the sanctity of the Shabbos and to the sacred aspect of the concept of “love of the Jewish Nation.” 

After the meal, one recites the Birkas Hamazon (Grace After the meal] with added intent, in honor of the kedusha [sanctity) of Shabbat. In this version, we add on the prayer of “Retzai ve’hachlitzeinu be’yom haShabbos ha’gadol ve’hakadosh hazeh,” as it appears in the format of Birkas Hamazon presented at the end of this pamphlet.

The Procedure of the First Shabbat Meal


 The Procedure of the First Shabbat Meal

It is a positive Torah command to consecrate Shabbat with words praising the sanctity of the day. This is fulfilled by means of the Kiddush, at which one fills a cup with kosher wine or grape juice, and says:.
Va'yehi erev, va'yehi boker yom ha'shishi: Va'yechulu ha'shamayim ve'ha'aretz v'chol tzevo'om. Va'yechal Elo-him ba'yom ha'shevi'i mikol melachto asher asa. Va'yevarech Elo-him et yom ha'shevi'i va'yekadesh oto, ki vo shavat mikol melachto asher bara Elo-him la'asot.
"Baruch Ata Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha'Olam, borei peri ha'gafen
Baruch Ata Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha'Olam, asher kideshanu b'mitzvosav v'ratzah vanu, v'Shabbat  kodsho b'ahavah u'v'ratzon hinchilanu, zikaron leMa'aseh Bereshit. Ki hu yom techila le'mikraei kodesh, zecher li'yetziat Mitzrayim, veShabbat kodshecha be'ahava u'veratzon hinchaltanu. Baruch Ata Ado-nai mekadesh HaShabbat.

The Shabbat Meals

Shabbat meals are not mere dinners, but very sacred ones. This meal is a propitious time for a spiritual ascent which sheds blessingon the entire family. It is an opportunity to educate ones children, to discuss the parsha [weekly Torah reading] with them, to inspire them to observe the Torah and to inculcate them with good character traits. It is preferable to teach the laws of Shabbat from a halacha book.

Ritual Hand Washing (Netilas Yodoyim) Before Eating Bread

One fills a special washing cup, or a large cup, with water, which he then pours on his hands in succession, and recites; “Baruch Ata Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam asher kidshanu be’mitzvosav ve’tzivanu al netilat yadayim.” [There are special laws regarding this procedure.]

On Shabbat we take two challos, or even sliced bread if one has forgotten to buy challos, and recite the blessing: “Baruch Ata Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech ha'olam, ha'motzi lechem min ha’aretz,” and then eats a piece of challah. After that, the family partakes of the Shabbat night meal.

Shabbat Morning


Shabbat Morning

In the morning, one once again takes his children to pray in the synagogue along with the congregation. Our Sages say that prayers said in public (i.e. with a congregation] are better heard than prayers recited alone. 

In the synagogue one also hears the weekly reading (parsha) as it is read from a Torah scroll. 

Those women and children who cannot attend synagogue may pray or recite Tehillim at home at a leisurely pace. 

After the prayer service, one returns home in order to partake of the second Shabbat meal. It is a mitzvah to eat three meals on Shabbat, one at night, one during the day, after the prayer service, and one in the afternoon. 

“Rabi Shimon ben{the son of) Pazai said: ‘Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said in the name of Bar Kapra.: ‘Whoever eats three meals on Shabbos is spared from three forms a catastrophe: a)the pangs of Mashiach b)the sentence of Geihinnom c) the war of Gog u’Magog (Tractate Shabbos, 118b).

Oneg Shabbos – Joy of Shabbos

Oneg Shabbos – Joy of Shabbos

The prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah) says): “Ve’karata laShabbat oneg” – “And call the Shabbos a delight” (Chapter 58:13). Our halachic authorities interpret this to mean that it is a mitzvah to delight the Shabbbos both physically and spiritually. 
On the physical plane, one should delight it by means of special foods he has prepared on Friday.
From a spiritual plane he should delight it by engaging in Torah thoughts and reciting special Shabbos songs (zemirot) during meals and at prayer services, and by reading Tehillim (Psalms).
“Rabi Yehuda said: ‘Whoever delights the Shabbos is granted the fulfillment of all the requests of his heart, as it is written: ‘Delight in Hashem and He will give you your hearts’ requests” (Tractate Shabbos, p. 118).

The Second Shabbat Meal


The Second Shabbat Meal

Kiddush on Shabbat Day

One fills a cup with grape juice or wine and says: 

“Ve’shamru Bnei Yisrael et HaShabbat, la’aasot et HaShabbat le’dorotam brit olam. Beyni u’veyn Bnei Yisrael ot hi l’olam ki sheshet yamim asa Ado-nai et haShamayim ve’et ha’aretz u’vayom hashevi’i shavat va’yinafash. 
Al ken berach Ado-nai et Yom HaShabbat va’yikadsheihu. 
Baruch Ata Ado-nai, Elo-heionu Melech ha’olam bore peri hagafen.”

Immediately afterwards one washes his hands with a washing cup and recites: 
“Baruch Ata Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu be’mitzvosav ve’tzivanu al netilat yadayim.”

Then one takes two challos and reictes the ha’motzi blessing and eats a piece of challah. 

This meal is accompanied by the chanting of special songs (zemiros) for Shabbat day and the delivering of Torah thoughts. At the end of the meal, one recites the Birkat Hamazon (Grace over Meals) with the special addition for Shabbat. If one is accustomed to sleeping in the afternoon, he should not cancel it, because it is enjoyable for him.