Recurring Observances


Shabbat/Sabbath (שַׁבָּת‎‎ in Hebrew)

Shabbat is the seventh day of the Hebrew week, commemorating the seventh and final day of Creation when God “rested” from creating, as it says in the Hebrew Bible:

“On the seventh day Hashem finished the work that He had been doing, and He ceased on the seventh day from all the work that He had done. And Hashem blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it Hashem ceased from all the work of creation that He had done.” (Genesis 2:1-2)

Shabbat is also a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt, and “a taste of the World to Come.” These three aspects bind the Creation of the world, the creation of the People of Israel, and the ultimate perfected state of the world into a weekly experience.

The word ‘Shabbat’ means ‘rest,’ and is known as ‘Saturday’ or ‘the Sabbath’ by the rest of the world.

This weekly holiday begins slightly before sunset on Friday night, and ends upon the emergence of three medium-sized stars in the sky on Saturday night.

Shabbat is celebrated with special community prayers, festive family meals, Torah study, and refraining from 39 categories of creative labor. Stepping away from the responsibilities of the world allows us to focus on our relationship with Hashem, our families, and community.

The unbreakable connection between the People of Israel and Shabbat through the millennia can be summed up by the famous saying, “More than the Jewish people have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jewish people.”


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