Shabbat is special because G‑d has sanctified the day and made it unique, and Shabbat is special because we tap into that uniqueness by doing things we don't ordinarily do, by performing rituals that make the shabbat experience singular for us. These rituals give Shabbat an aura that sets it apart from our workweek, and bring the holiness of shabbat into our lives.

It begins with the way in which we usher in shabbat—we work Friday to prepare ourselves, home, and family, and then eighteen minutes before sunset, all becomes still as we light the candles, cover our eyes and recite the blessing. This shabbat tranquility that has descended upon us carries through to the Friday night services welcoming of shabbat, "Came my Beloved to meet the Bride; let us welcome the Shabbat," the greetings we extend to our attendant angels upon arrival from the synagogue, the kiddush and meals we hold in honor of Shabbat, and ultimately, to Shabbat's final moments and our bittersweet escort.

It is with these rituals—the candles, the prayers, the kiddush, the festive meals, and havdalah--that we fulfill the mitzvah of "zechor et haShabbat" to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. And indeed, these rituals enable us to bring the sanctity of shabbat into our lives.