Sabbath (Shabbat)

The most important and distinctive of all Jewish holidays

For six days you may perform melachah, but the seventh day is a complete Sabbath, holy to the LORD ... it is an eternal sign that in six days, the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:12)

What a Typical Shabbat Day Looks Like

Sabbath always begins on a Friday until Saturday evening. On a Friday afternoon, Jews will start to begin preparation. The tables and utensils are set up and made, and a festive meal is prepared for guests or the family. Like all other Jewish days, Sabbath really begins in the evening. This is because in the story of Genesis Ch.1, it says, "And there was evening, and there was morning, one day." Jews infer that a day starts during the evening when the sun sets. Shabbat candles are lit followed by a blessing which is recited no longer than 18 minutes before sunset. (Again, this ritual is only performed by a woman). There are typically 2 candles lit, one representing zakhor(to remember) and shamor(to observe). After this, the family would go to a quick 45 minute service and go back home to begin eating the prepared meal. Before eating, a prayer is recited over 2 loaves of Challah bread. Another prayer, Kiddush, is also recited by a male figure in the house- this is done over wine. Shabbat ends during nightfall, and this day is ended off with a ritual called Havdalah.
Shalom Sesame: Shabbat Shalom, Grover! (Full Studio)