"Call the Shabbat a delight"—Isaiah 58:13.
On the weekly Shabbat (Sabbath), we rise above the workweek’s distractions and frustrations, and focus on higher goals, such as G-d and family. We delight in the Shabbat by partaking of three meals, when families can bond and be inspired. The first two – Friday night and Shabbat lunch – are lavishly prepared, with sumptuous foods and special dishes. The third, taken towards Shabbat's end, is usually a lighter repast.
The table is bedecked with an elegant tablecloth, Shabbat candles, the "special" dishes, and two covered challahs. The first two meals open with the kiddush, recited over a cup of wine.
After the kiddush, ritually wash your hands for bread. The head of the household takes the challahs, scores one of them with a knife, says the Hamotzie blessing, and slices a loaf. Everyone eats a piece of challah dipped in salt.
Splurging on the Shabbat meals is a virtue. It's a mitzvah to indulge in fine wine and tender meatSplurging on the Shabbat meals is a virtue. It's a mitzvah to indulge in fine wine and tender meat.
The traditional Shabbat meal is multi-coursed, and includes fish, soup, meat or poultry, and side dishes. (Serve fish and meat/poultry as separate courses, on separate cutlery and dishes.) For the lunch meal, it is customary to eat "cholent," a casserole-like dish prepared before Shabbat and kept warm overnight on the stove.
Song and Inspiration:
Enjoy quality family time. Get caught up in singing spirited Jewish songs. The special, holy feeling they imbue is indescribable. Share words of Torah. Prepare a thought for discussion, perhaps something on the week's Torah reading. Capture your children's imagination with a Jewish story.
Conclude with Grace After Meals.
- Want an invite to a Shabbat meal? Your local Chabad rabbi will be happy to accommodate you!
- Conclude all cooking and baking before Shabbat, and certain types of food preparation are regulated on Shabbat, too.