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Shabbat Meals

Shabbat Meals

Uplifting Food


"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 Preliminaries:

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.

The Food:

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.
Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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Cheryl London July 17, 2017

Is there a law subscribed to three meals? Reply

Rivka Melbourne April 21, 2015

How about some more vegetarian recipes apart from kugel to make Shabbat enjoyable,ethical and healthy? Reply Staff via January 23, 2015

To Lois We do indeed eat warm food on Shabbat (provided it's been put on the warming source before Shabbat starts), we are also allowed to eat cold foods so eating the suggested foods for breakfast is fine.

We are happy to answer your questions. Feel free to contact us anytime at Reply

Lois R Jones January 8, 2015

thanks about breakfast but I did think we were not supposed to eat cold foods on Shabbat. I have so many questions and Chabad being my only source of information. Reply Staff via January 8, 2015

Re Breakfast Hi, there are many possibilities which don't require cooking. Cereal and milk, fruit, vegetables, previously cooked hard boiled eggs, rice cakes, previously baked cake and cookies. A hot water urn can be prepared before Shabbat and used on Shabbat. Reply

Lois R Jones January 8, 2015

Shabbat meal questions what is done with breakfast on saturday Reply

alice jena richmond hill November 3, 2014

Thank you Gavriela! May you and yours be blessed with good health and continued mitzvah by you and your entire family..
Blessed Hashem who created the delicious and healthy Fruits, Vegetables and grains. No need to harm His creatures Reply

Britni Weiss Oregon October 31, 2014

Chollent Every chollent I have ever had has been stew- or chili- like, not casserole-like at all. Casserole-like is how I describe kugels. Reply

Losalini Suva, Fiji May 6, 2012

Sabbath I look forward to every Sabbath especially after a week of hard work. This is our only day of rest - rest from everything, a special day of commitment with G-d alone. Reply

Gavriela Las Vegas, NV August 6, 2010

Shabbat Meals Amen to the comment posted by Alice, New York, N.Y.! Yes, yes, yes, Vegetarian Kosher is truly an act of mitzvah! Reply

alice New York, N.Y. August 6, 2010

Shabbat Meals so wonderful to be Jewish - BUT - let us now be aware of the act of eating any meat or fish as a cruel act.

We no longer raise any animals with compassion - only on factory "farms."

Vegetarian Kosher is truly an act of mitzvah. Reply

Dee Lee February 4, 2010

Shabbat joy Shabbat is such a joy. A holiday every week, week after week. No telly, no phone, no computer. Family, friends, schul, prayer, songs, wine, bread, food, thankfulness. Maybe a walk. From the night before until Havdalah. What a gift from G-d is Shabbat. Reply

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