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Shabbat Is...

Shabbat Is...

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Shabbat is Rest: Shabbat is an island of tranquility in the maelstrom of work, anxiety, struggle and tribulation that characterizes our daily lives for the other six days of the week. For approximately 25 hours each week, the world literally comes to a halt: the business is closed, the car stays in the driveway, the phone stops ringing, the radio, TV and computer remain on "off," and the pressures and worries of material life recede behind a curtain of oblivion. As we cease all creative involvement with the physical world, our focus turns inward -- to family and friends, to our inner self, to our soul.

For approximately 25 hours each week, the world literally comes to a halt

Shabbat is Awareness: On Shabbat we remember that the world is not ours to do with as we please, but G‑d's creation. On Shabbat we also remember that G‑d took us out of Egypt and decreed that never again shall we be slaves to any alien master -- our jobs, financial commitments and material involvements are the tools with which we fulfill our divine purpose, not the masters of our lives.

Shabbat is Jewish Identity: Shabbat is the bride of Israel, the soul-mate of the Jewish people. It is one of the most powerful ways to actualize our Jewishness and pass it along to our children. We have remained true to the Shabbat in every place, culture and circumstance of our 4,000-year history has visited -- from the glorious days to the blackest of night. In the words of a famous Jewish writer, "Even more than the Jews have kept the Shabbat, the Shabbat has kept the Jews."

Shabbat is Pleasure: Shabbat is delicious food, a richly-set table, the glow of candlelight, sweet singing, luxuriant sleep. Throughout the week, our enjoyment of life's blessings  poses a certain challenge: we are physical beings in a physical world, and must be ever watchful that pleasure should not sink to decadence. But on Shabbat, both body and soul are elevated to a higher, more spiritual plane, and to pleasure the Shabbat with food, drink and comfort is a mitzvah, a G‑dly deed.

Shabbat is Spirituality: Shabbat is the soul of the week -- the vision that vitalizes it and the vision towards which it strives. The Kabbalists teach: On Shabbat all the accomplishments of the previous week achieve fulfillment and elevation, and from the Shabbat all endeavors of the upcoming week are blessed. Keeping the Shabbat secures G‑d's blessing for success for our entire week, and infuses purpose and meaning into our week-long existence.

Shabbat is a Taste of the World to Come: "In that time there will be no hunger or war, no jealousy or rivalry. For the good will be plentiful, and all delicacies available as dust. The entire occupation of the world will be only to know G‑d." So do the prophets and sages of Israel describe the Age of Redemption -- the "seventh millennium" that will constitute the realization and fulfillment of six millennia of human history and endeavor to make this world a "home for G‑d."

Shabbat is our weekly taste of this future world.

And much like the taste of any delicious food, one cannot truly understand what Shabbat is until one has experience it oneself. In the final analysis, the only answer to "What is Shabbat?" is: Try it!

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Talia September 13, 2014

sabbath to be fruitful and multiply, if this considered as a commandment, why G-d not counted it into 10 commandments ?? Reply

jam September 12, 2014

thanks really helpful Reply

Sam Leon July 31, 2014

I thought the first commandment given by G-d to us was to be fruitful and multiply? Reply

talia January 13, 2014

Shabbat is the first commandment that God given to human. Shabbat day is a holy day, ya, holiday that we rest from all our works, and workship God, study God's words, praise God together with our family and friends. Its so warm, and improve our family relationship and social relationship. Even the foods we eat may not so fresh and delicious, it's cold, taste less and prepared one day before, but we experience a simple life and not to be luxury. Reply

Sandra NY November 8, 2013

Shabbat is Unique Shabbat was NOT named after the planet Saturn. God named it. Shabbat is special: Uniquely named, holy, set aside, a time to commune with our Creator and remembrance to God's creation. Reply

Adam Boston October 24, 2013

Can Shabbat evolve with the World? I like many live outside of walking distance to any Synagogues. I do my best to observe Shabbos to the best of my abilities, however, I use my computer to help guide my family's observance. On it we find great stories, prayers, etc on websites such as this one. Above it says to turn off TV's and computers, but if we use our computers in our attempt to observe the Sabbath, is it still wrong? Reply

Anonymous Pretoria April 27, 2013

nice the shabbat is very nice Reply

l quintana maricopa, az July 31, 2012

sabbath remember keep holy the sabbath day for G-d made the heavens and earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th Reply

Gary Bauer Lower Burrell, PA February 8, 2008

Ah, Shabbat There is nothing to be compared to the peace of the Shabbat! Reply

Rhea Vancouver, BC, Canada October 27, 2007

Not being close to a synagogue or other Jewish people, I find I look forward to Chabad.org's weekly Parashah commentaries much as I would imagine those in close communities would each week. Saturday afternoons are my weekly Torah study times.

Thank you. Reply

Angela February 27, 2006

Your discription and defination of Shabbat is beautiful. I am not of the Jewish faith but I have been drawn to it since I was a young child. I have several friends of Jewish faith and decent. Your words are like a beautiful song; sweet, loving, kind and comforting. Reply

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