TOOLKIT

Welcome

Dear Friends,
We are all keeping it together, around the globe, in unprecedented numbers and unbridled unity. Wherever you are in the world, this toolkit is here to accompany you on your Shabbat journey, enriching your understanding, and adding layers of meaning to your experience. There is a definite rhythm and framework to Shabbat. From the candle lighting that so serenely ushers it in, and the special Kiddush sanctifying the day, to the hearty companionship of the three meals, and the final, moving moments of Havdallah, Shabbat involves a number of carefully choreographed practices that enable us to immerse ourselves in its deep spiritual and emotional energy. This Shabbos toolkit is aimed at guiding you through the details of that framework. In it, you will find practical halachic guidelines and simple “how to” steps to guide you through the various Shabbat observances. You will also find inspiring stories and deep Torah ideas to share around your tables. Use it. Peruse it. Enjoy it at your leisure. And have a wonderful Shabbat. Let’s keep it together!

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein

 

Wherever you are in the world, this toolkit is here to accompany you on your Shabbat journey, enriching your understanding, and adding layers of meaning to your experience.

Overview

Adapted from the writings
of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

The Shabbos mood begins with its preparation. The Commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Our Sages teach us that in order to truly keep it holy, we must remember it all week long and prepare for it. If you see something you will enjoy on Shabbos, by all means set it aside for its use on the Sabbath.

The preparations for Shabbos reach their peak on Friday afternoon. You then direct most of your activities toward Shabbos. Recall the lesson of our Sages, “He who prepares on Friday, will eat on Shabbos.” Anticipate it as you would an important visitor. After all, Shabbos is the Queen of all creation.

Eat lightly on Friday afternoon. Work up an appetite for the Shabbos meal.

Make sure that you will have the tastiest possible food for Shabbos. If possible, do something to help prepare the meal. Make sure that everything will be just right for the Shabbos Queen.

Clean up your room and tidy your belongings. Put away all weekday things. Prepare your surroundings to reflect the Shabbos mood.

Take a relaxing bath or shower. Cleanse your mind and soul along with your body.

Put on your best clothes. Dress as if for an important occasion. If possible, have special clothing set aside.

Many of our Tzadikim (pious people) have the custom of reading the Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) just before Shabbos. It is the most beautiful love song ever written, telling of the love between G-d and His people. Read it if you have time, and try to feel this love.

Prepare the table for the Shabbos meal. Cover it with a fine white tablecloth. Set it with your best china and silver in honour of the Queen.

Set aside two challahs and cover them with a clean napkin or special challah cover. Prepare the wine for Kiddush along with a special goblet set aside as a Kiddush cup. If possible, try to have a silver one.

Make sure that candles will be lit in the room where you will eat. Light them 18 minutes before sunset and gaze at their light for a few moments. Feel them radiate the light of Shabbos.

As the Shabbos arrives, treat it as an honoured guest. Wrap yourself in a hush of serenity. Try to raise the plane of your life. Direct your conversation, and even your thoughts, towards a higher level.

Now is the time to gather and pray. If you have a synagogue within walking distance, join with their Shabbat service. If there is no convenient synagogue, find a quiet corner and pray by yourself.

If you can read Hebrew, go through the service in our ancient, sacred language. Even when you do not understand the words, listen to their sound and feel them on your tongue. Imagine these same sounds spoken by our forefathers. Let your mind relax and allow the words to become part of you. Let the Holy Language and the Holy Day bind themselves together and surround you with light on all sides. A Siddur (prayer book) with an accurate and modern translation will help you make the words even more meaningful.

If you cannot read Hebrew, say the prayers in English. Ponder their meaning and let them penetrate your being. When you say, “Blessed are You,” you are not just saying words. Think for a moment about this “You.” Don’t just say the prayers – address them to G-d.

Walk quietly home from synagogue. You might gaze at the stars and recall the Psalmist’s words ,
“When I see Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and stars which You have established…What is man, that You think of him, or the son of man, that You remember him?” (Ps. 8:4) Do not forget the answer…G-d does indeed remember.

 

 

Enter the house with a Shabbos greeting “Shabbat Shalom,” or “Good Shabbos.”

Sing Shalom Aleichem and the Kiddush. As you say the words, let the Shabbos enter into you.

Drink the Kiddush wine and let it lull you into a state of Shabbos serenity.

Wash your hands with a blessing, and remain silent until the blessing over the challahs is said. Dip it in salt, and chew the portion slowly, relishing every morsel.

Take a moment and enjoy the Shabbos meal. Perhaps you too will taste the “special seasoning” that Shabbos adds to the food.

Let your mood be both happy and reflective. Hum a tune. 
If you can, sing the Zemiros 
(table hymns) from a prayer book, or any Jewish song.

Close the meal with the Birkas HaMazon (Grace After Meals). Thank G-d for giving you food and for the special blessing that comes with this day.

After the meal, it is a time to relax. Use this time to learn about G-d and His teachings. Read the portion that will be read from the Torah that particular week. Take a quiet stroll.

Now is a time to be alone with G-d for a while. Take a calm walk alone, or sit in your room. Ask G-d to help you feel the holiness of Shabbos.

Reflect a moment on your life. Ask yourself: What am I doing and where am I going? What does life mean to me? Ask G-d to help you find answers.

Be happy that you’re alive.

Shabbos is a time to get together. If you know others who keep Shabbos, gather together with them. Use the long winter Friday night and summer Saturday afternoon as a time of companionship. Sing songs and tell stories. Use it as a time to learn together. Strengthen your bond of friendship.

As the evening draws to a close, let the serenity of Shabbos overwhelm you. “Sabbath sleep is a delight.” As you prepare yourself for the night, say the Shema and place yourself in G-d’s hands. Fall asleep in Shabbos rest.

Begin the Sabbath day in the same mood.

Spring out of bed, and make prayer your first order of the day. Let the morning service awaken you, both physically and spiritually. 
Make the second Sabbath meal at noon as much of a banquet as the first the night before. Spend the day in deep awareness of Shabbos. Let study and friendship help you keep the mood.

As the sun begins to set, you should feel a change. The Queen is preparing to leave. The third Sabbath meal is a time of sweet longing for a day that is about to close.

When the skies are dark and the stars appear, Shabbos is over. It is time for Havdallah, the prayer that ushers in a new week, and which distinguishes between “the holy and the secular”. Inhale the spices and enjoy a last taste of Paradise. Gaze at the twisted candle, and meditate about how this day will brighten the coming week.

Do all this, and you will begin to feel the spirit of Shabbos. You might not feel it all the first time, but do not be discouraged. If you truly seek, it will eventually be yours. The task is not difficult, but you must persevere. You are on the quest of Eternity. Eventually you will find it.

We have a promise.

01 Candle Lighting

This evening, as you light candles, you will be ushering in the light of Shabbos alongside millions of Jewish women all across the world, and just as Jewish women have done throughout the ages. This evening, you will be joining sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, cousins and friends from diverse communities and cities who will be reciting the prayer at their respective candle-lighting times. Take a moment to think about the connection among women throughout time, and across continents and communities; take a moment to reflect back on your week, to be present now and to welcome the quiet warmth brought into the world by your unique light of Shabbos.

To bring in Shabbos, the woman of the household lights two candles (NB: candles must be lit before Shabbos comes in). If there is no woman in a household, the candles must be lit by the male head of the household, or else, by any member of the house who is over bar/batmitzvah. It’s a beautiful custom for a mother to light the candles with her daughters.

First, light the two candles, then, circle your arms three times to “wave in the light”. Cover your eyes with both hands and say the bracha:

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav V’tzivanu, L’hadlik Ner Shel Shabbat.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, 
Who has made us holy through His commandments, and has commanded us to light the Sabbath light.

NB: From this moment on, until stars out Saturday night, Shabbos has begun for the woman who lit the candles.

There is a beautiful and inspiring prayer said by Jewish women across the world, and of every era, at this special and powerful moment.

Y’hi Ratzon Milfanechah, Adonai Elohai Vei-lohei Avotai, Sheh-t’chonein Oti 
(V’et Ishi | V’et Banai | V’et 
B’notai | V’et Avi V’et Imi) 
V’et Kol K’rovai, V’titein Lanu Ul’chol Yisrael Chayim Tovim V’aruchim; V’tizk’reinu B’zichron Tova Uvracha; V’tifk’deinu Bifkudat Y’shua V’rachamim; Ut’varecheinu B’rachot G’dolot; V’tashlim Bateinu; V’tashkein Sh’chinatcha Beineinu. V’zakeini L’gadel Banim Uvnei Vanim Chachamim Un’vonim, Ohavei Adonai, Yirei Elohim, Anshei Emet, Zerah Kodesh, BaDonai D’veikim, Um’irim Et Ha-olam BaTorah Uv’ma-asim Tovim, Uv’chol M’lechet Avodat Haborei. Anah Sh’ma Et T’chinati Ba-eit Hazot, Bizchut Sarah V’Rivka V’Rachel V’Leah Imoteinu, V’ha-er Neireinu Shelo Yichbeh L’olam Va-ed, V’ha-er Panechah V’nivashei-ah. Amen”.

May it be Your will Lord, my G-d and G-d of my forefathers, that You show favour to me (my husband | my sons | my daughters | my father | my mother) and all of my relatives; and that You grant us and all Israel a good long life; that You remember us with beneficent memory and blessing; that You consider us with a consideration of salvation and compassion; that You bless us with great blessings; that You make our households complete; that You cause Your Presence to dwell among us. Privilege me to raise children and grandchildren who are wise and understanding, who will love Hashem and fear G-d, people of truth, holy offspring attached to G-d, who will illuminate the world with Torah and good deeds and with every labour in the service of the Creator. Please, hear my supplication at this time, in the merit of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, our Mothers, and cause our light to illuminate that it be not extinguished forever, and let Your countenance shine so that we are saved. Amen.

 

Matches_Section1_LetThereBeLight

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Shabbos does not just begin – we usher it in. Obviously there is the unarguable reality of a setting sun, dipping below the horizon, which heralds the beginning of Shabbos. But after a hard week, we also actively welcome in – with a sense of relief and heightened anticipation – this G-d-given gift. We welcome in Shabbos with candles, and with the beautiful words of the famous Lecha Dodi prayer we sing in honour of the arrival of 
the “Shabbos bride”.

Before Creation the universe was “chaos and void, and darkness over the abyss”. And then G-d created light, which our Sages explain was not a physical light but a spiritual one. The Chafetz Chaim learns from this that we defeat darkness in the world by increasing light; by following G-d’s example, and proclaiming, “Let there be light!” once a week over our Shabbos candles. By lighting Shabbos candles, we bring the light, warmth, heat, love and illumination of Torah values into our homes and into our lives.
On a practical level, the mitzvah of the Shabbos candles is about dispelling physical darkness in the home. It was enacted by our Sages to help avoid conflicts within the family, which can arise from the confusion and discomfort of not being able to see things, and to facilitate what our Sages refer to as 
shalom bayit, the “peace of the home”.

Book_Section1_LetThereBeLight

NEW YORK TIMES 2100

On 1 January 2000, the New York Times ran a 
Millennium edition featuring a front page, projecting future events 
of 1 January 2100.
This fictional page included items such as a welcome to the US’s fifty-first state, Cuba, as well as a discussion on whether robots should be allowed to vote. And so on. In addition to the fascinating futuristic articles, there was one other seemingly mundane item.
Down at the bottom of the front page was the candle-lighting time in New York for 1 January 2100. The production manager of the New York Times – an Irish Catholic – explained: “We don’t know what will happen in the year 2100. It is impossible to predict the future. But of one thing you can be certain, that in the year 2100 Jewish women will be lighting Shabbos candles.”

MY MOTHER’S CANDLE FOR ME

Rabbi Abraham Twerski
Our Shabbat guest asked why there were six candles burning on our table rather than the
usual two.
I told him it was traditional in many families to begin lighting two candles after marriage, and to add an additional candle for each child.
I recall how much this had meant to me as a child, when I used to watch the flames flicker and realise that the house, nay, the world, was a brighter place 
because of my existence.
The full impact of this message did not occur 
until many years later, when it became evident 
to me in my psychiatric practice that countless people have emotional problems and varying psychological symptoms because of deep-
seated feelings of inadequacy.
The weekly message to a child, delivered at 
the initiation of Shabbat, that his being has 
brought additional brightness into the home 
can be a powerful ingredient in one’s 
personality development.

BEN GURION AND THE 
CHAZON ISH

Among the members of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben- Gurion’s cabinet was Zalman Oran, a non-observant Jew who was to serve as Minister of Education. Oran’s wife, though secular like her husband, lit Shabbos candles every week. Every Friday night she would cover her eyes and pray that her children would grow up to be as great as the greatest Jew she knew – David Ben-Gurion.
Ben-Gurion later met with the venerated sage, Rav Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz, the Chazon Ish, and came away from the encounter incredibly impressed and awed by the Chazon Ish’s saintliness and sensitivity.
He relayed these feelings to his cabinet a few days later, upon which, Oran went home and related the episode to his wife. When she lit the Shabbos candles that Friday evening, Mrs Oran prayed that her children become like the Chazon Ish – a man about whom she knew nothing, other than the fact that Ben-Gurion held him in extraordinarily 
high esteem.

WHY LIGHT?

We bring in Shabbos just before sundown on a Friday afternoon through the mitzvah of lighting candles. We learn that one is able to see the world “in a different light” through the simple act of illumination. When we walk into a dark room and switch on the light, we have not changed anything in the room except our own capacity to see what was already present. Similarly, when we light Shabbos candles, we illuminate the world around us enabling us to focus on what was there all along: Hashem’s masterful creations; the world in all its natural beauty, harmony, spirituality and intricacy.
The very first woman to light Shabbos candles was our matriarch Sarah. Sarah would light Shabbos candles every Friday evening in the tent she shared with our forefather Avraham. Miraculously, Sarah’s Shabbos candles would burn from one Friday to the next.
This candle light welcomed many of the guests that Avraham 
and Sarah hosted in 
their home.

02 Shalom Aleichem

As we return from the synagogue and 
gather around the dinner table, we sing 
Shalom Aleichem. We welcome the 
“Angels of Peace” who have followed us 
and brought us home in peace.

Sing each of the following four verses three times:

02_ShalomAleichem

 

Shalom Aleichem, Mal-achei Hashareit, Mal-achei Elyon, Mi-melech Malchei Ham’lachim, Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
Bo-achem L’shalom, Mal-achei Hashalom, Mal-achei Elyon, Mi-melech Malchei Ham’lachim, Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
Bar’chuni L’shalom, Mal-achei Hashalom, Mal-achei Elyon, Mi-melech Malchei Ham’lachim, Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
Tzeit’chem L’shalom, Mal-achei Hashalom, Mal-achei Elyon, Mi-melech Malchei Ham’lachim, Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

Welcome, ministering angels, angels of the Most High, from the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He.
Enter in peace, angels of peace, angels of the Most High, from the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He.
Bless me with peace, angels of peace, angels of the Most High, from the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He.
Go in peace, angels of peace, angels of the Most High, from the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He.

 

We greet the angels, welcome them and ask for their blessing. Finally, we wish them farewell, “Tzeit’chem L’shalom!” by telling them to 
“Go in Peace!”


Why don’t we invite them to stay with us?

Rav Simcha Bunim Alter, the Gerrer Rebbe known as Lev Simcha, provides an explanation for this. Every day of the week, the angels are privileged to worship G-d with songs of praise except on Shabbos. On Shabbos, the angels do not sing to Hashem. On Shabbos, the privilege is conferred to us. Therefore we bid the angels farewell, because it might pain them to hear us singing G-d’s praises while their lips are sealed.
Rav Tzadok famously answers that Shabbat is a time of intimate connection  of marriage  between G-d and the Jewish people. At the start of Shabbos the angels come to join the wedding festivities. However, when we eat, it is our time of yichud, of intimate seclusion, with G-d. When the bride and groom go to the yichud room after standing under their wedding canopy, the guests leave them to be alone. Similarly, at this point in time, when we reach an elevated level of holiness and an ultimate closeness with G-d ushered in by Shabbat, the angels simply cannot be in our midst.

Rav Chaisda said in the name of Mar Ukva: “Whoever prays on the eve of Sabbath and says Vayechulu, the two ministering angels that escort a person (home on Sabbath eve) place their hands on his head and say to him:
“And your wrong doing will depart and your sin will be atoned.”
Talmud Shabbos
119B

03 Eishet Chayil

Eishet Chayil, “A Woman of Valour”, 
an extract from the book of Proverbs is 
a hymn customarily recited on Friday 
evenings, after returning from synagogue 
and singing Shalom Aleichem, and before sitting down to the Shabbat evening meal.

Recite together while standing.

 

Ruby_Section4_EishetChayil

 

 

 

 

Eishet Chayil Mi Yimtza, 
V’rachok Mip’ninim 
Michrah.
Batach Bah Leiv Balah, 
V’shalal Lo Yechsar. 
G’malat-hu Tov V’lo
Rah, Kol Y’mei Chaye-ha. 
Dar’shah Tzemer Ufishtim, 
Vata-as B’cheifetz Kappeh-ha. 
Hay’ta Ka-oniyot Socheir, 
Mimerchak Tavi Lachmah.
Vatakam Be-od Laila, Vati-tein 
Teref L’veitah V’chok L’na-aroteha.
Zam’ma Sadeh Vatikacheihu, 
Mip’ri Chapeh-ha Nat’ah Karem.Chag’ra Be’oz Motneh-ha, 
Vat’ameitz Z’ro-oteha.
Ta-ama Ki Tov Sachrah, 
Lo Yichbeh Ba-laylah Neirah. 
Yadeh-ha Shilchah Vakishor, 
V’chapeh-ha Tamchu Falech.
Kapah Par’sah Leh-ani, 
V’yadeha Shilchah La-evyon.
Lo Tira L’veita Mishaleg, Ki Chol 
Beita Lavush Shanim. 
Marvadim A-s’ta 
La, Sheish 
V’argaman L’vusha.
Noda Bash’arim Bala, 
B’shivto Im Ziknei Aretz.
Sadin A-s’ta Vatimkor, 
Vachagor Nat’na 
Lak’na-ani. 
Oz V’hadar L’vusha, 
Vatis-chak L’yom Acharon.
Piha Patchah V’chachma, 
V’torat Chesed Al L’shona. 
Tzofiyah Halichot Beita, 
V’lechem Atzlut Lo Tocheil. 
Kamu Va-ne-hah 
Vaye’asheruha, 
Bala Vay’halelah. 
Rabot Banot Asu 
Chayil, V’at Alit Al Kulana.
Sheker Hachein V’hevel 
Hayofi, Ishah Yirat Adonai 
Hi Tit-halal.
T’nu Lah Mip’ri Yadeha, 
Vihal’luha Bash’arim Ma-aseha.

A woman of strength, who can find? Her worth is far beyond pearls. 
Her husband’s heart trusts in her, and he has no lack of gain. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and linen, and works with willing hands. She is like a ship, laden with merchandise, bringing her food from afar. She rises while it is still night, providing food for her household, portions for her maids. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and braces her arms for her tasks. She sees that her business goes well; her lamp does not go out at night. She holds the distaff in her hand, and grasps the spindle with her palms. She reaches out her palm to the poor, and extends her hand to the needy. She has no fear for her family when it snows, for all her household is clothed in crimson wool. She makes elegant coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple wool. Her husband is well known in the gates, where he sits with the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue. She watches over the ways of her household, and never eats the bread of idleness. Her children rise and call her happy; her husband also praises her: “Many women have excelled, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive and beauty vain: It is the G-d-fearing woman who deserves praise. Give her the reward she has earned; let her deeds bring her praise in the gates.

 

A WOMAN OF VALOUR
From Angels at the Table

by Dr Yvette Alt Miller

After Shalom Aleichem, we recite 
“ Eishet Chayil”, or 
“ A Woman of Valour”. 
This text comes from the last 21 verses of the biblical Book of Proverbs. (Prov.31.10-31). ”Chayil” (it rhymes with “smile” and the first “ch” sounds like gargling at the back of the throat) is the same word for “soldier” in Hebrew. It connotes toughness and strength. This beautiful text describes the qualities of an ideal woman. She is a businesswoman. She takes care of her husband & children. She works tirelessly to build wealth. She is charitable. She is G-d fearing. She is loved.
Now, I’d always learned that reciting “Eishet Chayil” had nothing to do with singing the praises of the lady of the house. In fact, I remember one teacher in my seminary in Jerusalem thundering, “Eishet Chayil isn’t meant to be recited by the husband to his wife, as she sits looking all demure and blushing down at her end of the table…” No, my teacher asserted: the ideal woman being sung about is not the particular lady of a particular house. It is the very people of Israel! And the husband of this “woman”, who is really the people of Israel, is none other then G-d Himself!Thus, everyone sings “Eishet Chayil”, whether they are man or woman, married or not. This is not a song about an earthly woman or an earthly family.

 

 

 

It is a song about all of us, about the entire Jewish people and our relationship with G-d, which is as close as that of a husband and wife!

Many commentators have shared this view. Indeed, “Eishet Chayil” is a standard part of Shabbat dinner, and people of all ages, both men and women, and in all states of life, sing it.
However, to my great surprise, when I married my husband, I found that he very firmly sees “Eishet Chayil” as an ode sung by a husband to his wife. At first I tried to reason with him, to convince him otherwise, to make it about the wider Jewish people. But over the years, I gradually gave in. 
I mention this because my husband instituted a very personal tradition in our house that I’ve come to adore. This is completely his invention, but some families might want to adopt it or try it sometime. After blessing the children, before reciting 
“Eishet Chayil”, my 
husband asks each of our children to “name three nice things mommy did for you this week”.
The answers are often rote, and the younger children usually copy what the older kids have said, but every now and then they throw out something original and touching.

04 Blessing The Children

There is a beautiful family custom to bless one’s children and family on Friday night. 
After singing Eishet Chayil, parents place their hands on their children’s heads and recite the following blessing…

 

For a boy

04_BlessingChildrenBoy

 

Y’sim’cha Elohim K’Efrayim 
V’chi-M’nashe.
Y’varech’cha Adonai 
V’yishm’recha
Ya-er Adonai 
Panav Eilecha 
Vichuneka.
Yisa Adonai Panav 
Eilecha V’yaseim L’cha Shalom.

May G-d make you like Ephraim and Menashe.
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord turn His face toward you and grant you peace.

 

 

 

 

For a girl 

03_BlessingChildrenGirl

 

Y’si-meich Elohim K’Sara 
Rivka Rachel V’Leah.
Y’varech’cha Adonai 
V’yishm’recha.
Ya-er 
Adonai Panav Eilecha Vichuneka.
Yisa Adonai Panav Eilecha 
V’yaseim L’cha Shalom.

May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord turn His face toward you and grant you peace.

 

 

 

 

 

As we know, no matter our age, we do not outgrow the need for love. And no matter how old we become, even once we are parents ourselves, we are always our parents’ children. As humans, we have an internal need to feel loved; we crave touch, whether this be a handshake, a hug, a kiss on the head or a pat on the shoulder; these interactions fill our hearts with warmth.
When a parent blesses a child, the parent places their hands on the child’s head. After blessing the child, the parent kisses the child. This form of physical contact creates a bond, and lets both parent and child feel connected in an emotional, physical, and spiritual way.

After reciting the specific bracha for either a daughter or a son, the parent can add their own personal bracha for their child.
These days, we never have time for blessings. Hence the great privilege of having a set time each week to stop what we are doing, gaze lovingly at our children, and put our hands on their heads and bless them. What could be more beautiful? What could be more important? What greater gift could we give those we have brought into the world? These are the moments that build families.

From The Gift of Rest

by Senator Joe Lieberman

Of all the things that observant Jews do on the Sabbath, which anyone of any faith could and should do, I would put blessing your family high on the list. It is a priceless moment of connection and love between parent and child. It’s a statement that no matter what has happened during the week, the parent feels blessed to have that child and asks for G-d’s blessing on that son or daughter.

Rabbi Nachman, a great Chassidic Rabbi, once said, “Every child has a unique melody, a unique spark, and the job of parents and of teachers is to elicit that unique melody and make a beautiful symphony.”
When you bless your children on Friday night, try to capture their uniqueness; try to cue into their essence, not who you are, but who they are, what their dreams are and how you’re going to fan the flames of their aspirations.
Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz said the following, 
”When the Torah tells us about Jacob blessing his sons, each one got a different blessing; each one was blessed according to his unique characteristic. If when you bless your children, it’s as if you’re pouring into them your hopes and your aspirations and your dreams based on your own hopes, aspirations, and dreams, it’s like taking a watering can and watering a pot of earth that has no seeds in, which is barren. It’s literally an exercise in futility. The only way for a Friday night bracha, for our wishes and aspirations for our children to take hold, is for the blessing to be tied to their uniqueness, to their essence. It can’t be about our dreams; it has to be about them. 
That’s when our blessings take hold; that’s when our children blossom.”
•••

As a parent, you know that weeks can go by when you think of your children less as blessings and more as problems to be solved. Any parent knows what I’m talking about, no matter the age of the child. Stopping to bless our children once a week makes us pause to appreciate how blessed we are to have them in the first place and reminds them of the love we feel for them. Our children are truly precious gifts from the Holy One.

05 Night Kiddush

The Gemara explains that when we keep Shabbos, we proclaim some of the most 
important principles of our faith. The words of Isaiah, “You are my witnesses, says 
Hashem”, call on every single Jew to bear witness – with pride and conviction – to the historical foundations and moral principles of Judaism, and to their Divine origin.

We fulfil this sacred duty every Friday night as we gather around our Shabbos tables and recite the ancient words of the Kiddush prayer, in which we declare that G-d created the world and freed us from Egypt.

These basic truths guide us. When we keep Shabbos, we proclaim that G-d created the world in all of its beauty and sheer engineering brilliance, and bear witness to the fact that He is involved in, and cares about, our day-to-day lives…

Make sure the two challahs are covered. Pour a full cup of wine/grape juice, and hold aloft in your right hand (or your left if you are left-handed), while reciting the Kiddush (see below). If you are reciting Kiddush on behalf of people at the table (as is usually the case), make sure you “have them in mind” – ie, be mindful of the fact that each person at the table is fulfilling their mitzvah of Kiddush through your recital. They in turn should also have in mind that they are fulfilling their mitzvah through you.

As soon as everyone has responded “Amen” to the final bracha, 
pour from your cup into everybody else’s and then take a good sip. 
If your cup starts to run low before everyone has received theirs, make sure to replenish from the bottle while there is still a 
remnant left in your cup so that that wine of blessing can be 
shared by everyone.

SIT OR STAND?

Some have the custom to stand for the whole of Kiddush, while others stand for the first half and sit for the rest. 
There are also those who sit throughout. Follow your family custom or if you are not sure, ask your Rabbi. According to all customs, one should sit to drink the wine.

Whoever prays on the eve of Shabbos and says Vayechulu, the Torah regards him as if he is a partner to the Holy One, Blessed is He, in the act 
of Creation.
Talmud Shabbos
119B

COVER THE CHALLAH
The simple reason we cover the challahs while we say Kiddush is to spare the challah the ‘embarrassment’ of being exposed while the initial focus is on blessing the wine. We know, of course, that the challah cannot actually feel embarrassment, as it is an inanimate object! The idea though is to train ourselves to be sensitive towards other people in all situations.
•••

05_NightKiddush

 

 

Va-y’hi Erev Va-y’hi Voker Yom Hashishi. Va-y’chulu Hashamayim 
V ’ha-aretz V’chol Tzva-am. 
Va-y’chal Elohim Bayom Hash’vi-i M’lachto Asher Asah, Vayishbot Bayom Hash’vi-i Mikol M’lachto Asher Asah. Vay’vareich Elohim Et Yom Hash’vi-i Va-y’kadeish 
Oto, Ki Vo Shavat Mikol M’lachto, Asher Barah Elohim La-asot. 
Savri Maranan V’rabanan V’rabotai 
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Borei Pri Hagafen. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Asher 
Ki-d’shanu B’mitzvotav 
V’ratzah Vanu, V’Shabbat Kodshoh, B’ahavah Uvratzon Hinchilanu Zikaron L’ma-asei V’reishit. Ki Hu Yom T’chillah L’mikra-ei Kodesh, Zeicher 
L’tzi-at Mitzrayim. Ki Vanu Vacharta V’otanu Kidashta 
Mikol Ha-amim, V’Shabbat Kodsh’cha B’ahavah Uvratzon Hinchaltanu. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, 
M’kadeish HaShabbat.

And it was evening, and it was morning. The sixth day. Then the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their array. With the seventh day, G-d completed the work He had done. He ceased on the seventh day from the work He had done. G-d blessed the seventh day and called it holy, because on it He ceased from all His work He had created to do. Please pay attention, my masters. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has made us holy through His commandments, Who has favoured us, and in love and favour gave us His holy Sabbath as a heritage, a remembrance of the work of Creation. It is the first among the Holy Days of assembly, a remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt. For You chose us and sanctified us from all the people, and in love and favour gave us Your Holy Sabbath as a heritage. Blessed are You, Lord, who sanctifies the Sabbath.

PARTNERS WITH G-D

Kiddush is about partnership with G-d. He created Shabbos, but through our words, and over a cup of wine, we sanctify it. The word “Kiddush” means “holiness”, which, in turn, connotes distinctiveness. Without Shabbos there is nothing to distinguish one day from another. Through Kiddush, we declare the holiness of the day. We also express gratitude to Hashem, Who, as you’ll notice in the Kiddush text, gave us Shabbos with “ahava” – love, and with “ratzon”– willingness.
As the commentaries explain, Shabbos was a mitzvah which the Jewish people immediately embraced – willingly and enthusiastically. It was reciprocal – G-d gave it out of love, and we accepted it out of love. Indeed, we don’t keep Shabbos out of a sense of duty that this is something we have to do; rather we feel that this is a mitzvah we want
– perhaps need – to do. And when we gather round the
table with family and friends to fulfil the mitzvah of Kiddush, we express gratitude for this most precious gift.

 

 

CREATION OF LOVE

Rabbi David Aaron

When we recite the Kiddush on the eve of Shabbos, we remind ourselves that G-d did not need to create us. Life is not a means to an end. Life is G-d’s creation of love. And love is an end unto itself. The purpose of love is love. With Kiddush we proclaim every moment to be a sacred time for love between G-d and us.

06 Hamotzi

Prior to reciting “Hamotzi” over the challahs, everyone should wash their hands.

Remove any barriers between your hands and the water, such as rings, then fill a vessel with water and pour at least twice over the right hand, and then at least twice over the left hand…

Recite the following blessing before drying your hands:

 

 

 

06_NetilatYadayim

Baruch Atah Adonai,
Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam,
Asher Ki-d’shanu
B’mitzvotav V’tzivanu,
Al N’tilat Yadayim.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, 
Who has made us holy through His commandments, 
and has commanded us about washing hands.

 

 

 

 

From the moment we have said the blessing on washing our hands, we do not speak until we have eaten a piece of challah.
 Once everybody has washed their hands, the person reciting Hamotzi should make a small cut in the challah that is to be eaten first, and he should lift both challahs. The person reciting Hamotzi should have in mind to include everyone present in his blessing, and they in turn should be mindful of this.

 

06_Hamotzi

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu 
Melech Ha-olam, Hamotzi 
Lechem Min Ha-aretz.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

After saying the blessing, cut a piece of challah, sprinkle some salt on it, and eat it. Then cut up the rest of the challah, sprinkle salt over those pieces and distribute so that everyone gets a piece.

 

 

 

WHY WASH?
Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff

As your mother correctly taught you as a child, wash 
your hands before eating your food. And she was absolutely right. But that is not why you wash your 
hands before eating bread or challah. Washing your hands with a cup is ceremonial, not hygienic.

When animals eat, they jump on their prey without too much thought. Our relationship to food should
not be animalistic. Before you eat, you make blessings and spend a few moments contemplating the gift of food and its source. This practice helps you build a feeling of gratitude to G-d for what you are about to eat. Since bread is a very important food, and a 
staple, we spend a little more time thinking and preparing for it, hence the washing of hands.
The blessing we make over the hand-washing concludes with al netilat yadaim (“over the lifting of the hands”). We don’t mention cleaning but “lifting” the hands, as if to say we are raising our hands up for a higher purpose before eating this food.

The Jewish People first hear about Shabbos in the desert, even before they reach Mount Sinai. They are told that a portion of manna would fall each day for them to collect. They are told further that on Friday, a double portion would fall – one portion for that day, and another portion to be reserved for Shabbos, a holy day on which they would be prohibited from collecting manna. Hence the two challahs at each Shabbos meal – to remind us of the double portion of manna which fell on Friday in honour of Shabbos.
One of the reasons we cover the challahs is as a reminder of the layer of dew which covered the manna.
•••

 

Ever thought hard and deep about the origin of those glorious golden brown challahs sitting invitingly in front of you…

About how wheat seeds are planted at just the right time of the year, ensuring just the right climatic conditions are in place, and that the seeds receive just the right amount of water and are positioned at just the right soil depth… how this gives rise to beautiful wheat stalks bursting with ripe grain, which are then crushed to a fine dust to create flour… how the flour is mixed with water to form a paste or dough… how yeast is then applied – a fungus which ferments carbohydrates in the flour to produce carbon dioxide – adding gas to the dough, and puffing it up into that light fluffy substance we know as bread after roughly 30 minutes in a heated oven…It’s an astonishing process. It’s ingenious. Who first conceived of such a thing? Just thinking about it, we may marvel at ourselves. Like the bread we may puff with pride, singing for joy at our own brilliance –“How great are your works, oh mankind!”
It is at this stage that we humbly say the blessing, “Blessed be You, G-d, King of the universe, Who has brought forth bread from the earth.”
We acknowledge and show appreciation for all the myriad variables that had to be in place; for the wondrous biological and chemical processes, for the perfectly balanced laws of nature, for our own G-d-given intelligence. In doing so, we recognise that we are not self-actualised, and humbly, gratefully, receive the works of our hands as no less a gift from G-d as the Manna from the heavens.
Bread – that simplest, most staple of foods – is an extraordinary illustration of man’s partnership with his Creator in perfecting and refining the physical world. And saying “Hamotzi” is an opportune time to reflect on exactly that.

07 Friday Night Meal

Eat!
Food is part of Shabbat joyfulness and 
celebration. Meals are a highlight of the whole Shabbat experience. They are 
especially enjoyable being free from interruption and distraction. Shabbat meals are pure quality time: singing, talking, eating and sharing words of Torah.

Caesar once said to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya: ”Why is it that the food cooked for the Sabbath has such a penetrating aroma?” [R’ Yehoshua] answered him: 
“We have this one spice, it is called Sabbath, which we put into [the food], 
and its aroma is very penetrating.”
[Caesar] said to him: ”Give us some of it”. 
[R’ Yehoshua] said to him: 
“ Whoever observes the Sabbath, for him [the spice] is effective, but for one who does not observe the Sabbath it is not effective.”
Talmud Shabbos
119A

Table_Section7_FridayNightMeal

LIVING WITH A CONSCIOUSNESS OF ONGOING CREATION

Shabbat is a day dedicated to reaffirming our belief that G-d created the world.
In contrast to the festivals, which are celebrated once a year, Shabbat is celebrated every week, which reflects the value of the newness of the world.
Every festival celebrates an event in history: Shavuot celebrates the anniversary of G-d giving us the Torah; Succot commemorates how G-d looked after us in the desert and surrounded us with the Clouds of Glory; and on Pesach we remember the exodus from Egypt.
Shabbat, which commemorates Creation, is celebrated once a week. Hashem established the structure of our time to function as a weekly cycle following the cycle of Creation, which instils in us an appreciation for the newness and freshness of creation as something we live with constantly and not as a distant event. For us, belief that G-d created the world is not just a theoretical, philosophical concept, but something we live with every day, as we appreciate the freshness of the world in which we live.

There is very important symbolism in the manna, and in their latter day embodiment – the two challahs on our Shabbos table. The manna represents trust and faith in G-d; that we rely on G-d for everything, particularly in the area of parnassah, “making a living”. The Jews in the desert lived hand-to-mouth; their daily portion was enough for that day only, and they had only their faith to assure them that the following day, G-d would again help provide for their needs. This test of faith was especially pronounced on Shabbos – the manna fell as in previous days, and people were no doubt tempted to “stock up” for an uncertain tomorrow.
Today, too, the opportunity to “collect” on Shabbos is available to us. On Shabbos, the world around us continues as is. Economies continue to churn, businesses continue to trade, people continue to shop. And so the choice is ours to make.

Do we recognise that, while we have to go out and do our best to earn a living, the outcome of those efforts is in G-d’s hands? Do we acknowledge that, day by day, we rely on the “manna” coming from heaven? On Shabbos, do we withdraw ourselves from the frantic world of making a buck, and simply enjoy what we have, rejoicing in the fruits of our previous week’s labour, and with perfect faith that Hashem will continue to bless our endeavours in the week that follows?
Yes, Shabbos is a test of faith – but it is one we Jews have withstood, and drawn strength from, for millennia.
•••

08 Words of Torah

There is a Jewish idea that learning Torah brings holiness into the world. The Torah is like a telephone, through which we can access G-d and bring His presence into our lives, our homes, our communities.
Jewish tradition teaches us that the world stands on three things: prayer, acts of kindness and Torah. Learning Torah creates a foundation for the continued existence of the entire world; it benefits not only the one doing the learning, but, in a profoundly 
mystical way, also the world as a whole.
The second-century CE Israeli Rabbi 
Yochanan ben Bag Bag famously said of the Torah: “Delve into it and continue to delve into it, for everything is in it. Look deeply into it; grow old and grey over it, and do not stir from it, for you can have no better 
portion than it.”
No matter what your interest or inclination, there will be something within the Torah that you will enjoy learning and discussing.
While Torah learning is ideally done every day, it has a particular sweetness on Shabbat. Learning and speaking words of Torah are a powerful way to transform the day into one of holiness and elevation.Thus, by speaking words of 
Torah at the dinner table, we are able to 
literally bring G-d’s presence into our midst.

Adapted from Angels at the Table
by Dr Yvette Alt Miller

THE WORLD REFRESHED

“Six days G-d created heaven and earth” 
(Shmot 37:17). Grammatically, it should say b’sheshet yamim, “in six days He created heaven and earth,” and not ki sheshet yamim, “six days 
He created heaven and earth.”
What is the meaning of “six days He created heaven and earth”?
The Ohr HaChaim explains that G-d created the world to last only six days, and every six days the world “expires.” The world was created to last not for millions of years, but only six days, after which the world should disintegrate.
However, Shabbat refreshes and actually revives the world, vayinafash. Every Shabbat new energy and new life is breathed into the world. Every six days the world comes to an end and then Shabbat revives it.
The word vayinafash captures the essence of 
what Shabbat is. It means to be refreshed, to be given new life and energy. This occurs on many 
different levels, spiritually and practically.
After six weekdays, Shabbat refreshes us spiritually, giving us new energy and new direction. 
On a practical level as well, we get a chance to breathe. Breathing means a person is alive. In the creation of man it says vayipach b’apav nishmat chayim, “and G-d blew into his nostrils the breath 
of life.” In breathing into his nostrils, G-d made 
him come alive.

Glasses_Section7_

LOOKING AT LIFE WITH 
NEW EYES

On 9 December 1958, a man by the name of Sidney Bradford entered the Wolverhampton Eye Hospital in the Midlands of England. At the time, Bradford was 52 years old, and had been effectively blind since infancy.

He had come to the hospital to receive a corneal transplant, which surgeons hoped would provide him with vision for the 
first time in his life.
Within days of the procedure, the doctor entered his room to remove 
the bandages.
Bradford described the experience: 
“I heard a voice coming from in front of me and to one side. I turned to the source of the sound, and saw a blur. 
I realised that this must be a face.”
Imagine for a moment seeing a face for the first time.
Or perhaps the rich maroon of a glass of wine or the exquisite palette of a butterfly’s wings. How moved would you be by the experience?

Now fast-forward a few years; you’ve seen that face hundreds of times, and you barely notice the butterfly as it flits past you on your morning walk. What has changed? Why does the sight not leave you reeling in delight at the sheer extravaganza of visual pleasure?

 

 

 

The answer is that we are jaded; we are deadened to the things that we see too often. The world is no less beautiful, it is our eyes that no longer see. Shabbos has the power to instil in us an appreciation for the newness and freshness of creation. Each week we stop and contemplate the fact that the world came from nothingness; that a timeless, infinite Being created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh.

For hundreds of years the prevailing opinion among scientists was that the world had existed indefinitely, it always was here and would always continue to be here. Only in the last century has the scientific community embraced the notion that the universe had a beginning; a knowledge that the Jewish people have treasured for millennia, transmitted to our youngest kindergarten children in the very first word of the Torah, “Bereishit” – “In the beginning”. There was a beginning! And if there was a beginning, there was a “Beginner” a non-physical Being that willed the universe into creation. Each Shabbos we pause for a moment, long enough to look over our shoulders and recognise that the universe came from somewhere.
But newness does not simply 
mean that the universe was once-upon-a-time created from absolute nothingness Shabbos in fact carries a far deeper message.

THE “FLICKER-RATE” 
OF THE UNIVERSE
We say in our daily prayers, “G-d in His goodness renews the world every single day.” We live in a world which is constantly being re-created. On a sub-atomic level, the universe is not solid, but is in fact made up of trillions of swirling electrons all in constant motion, moving so fast that they give the impression of a stable and static physical reality. In much the same way that the image on a computer screen looks solid due to the very high “flicker-rate”, our universe looks solid and unmoving because it has its own “flicker-rate”, the astounding constant motion of the tiny particles which make up every ounce of matter.
It is only because of the will of the Infinite Sustainor that these electrons keep spinning, preventing our world from collapsing into a sub-atomic soup. The fact that the universe existed one second ago is no guarantee that it will continue to exist in one second’s time.
Not only is the world constantly renewed on an elemental level, but every living thing is renewed on a cellular level too: your body is constantly replacing old cells with new ones at the rate of millions per second. By the time you finish reading this sentence, 50 million of your cells will have died and been replaced by others.
Shabbos is not the day G-d stopped creating; it is the day on which He stopped producing new forms of reality, and began a period of constant re-creation.
Each week on the anniversary of that day, we stop our mundane lives, step off the treadmill of life for long enough to imitate the Creator, to stop expanding outwards, to expand inward and renew and refresh our inner selves.


Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the Alter of Salboka, one of the great Torah ethicists, explains that we can learn from this a crucial insight. 
G-d is teaching us by example: 
He re-creates the world constantly, to teach us to live our lives with a newness and freshness and not to be stuck in the status quo.

SpeechBubble_Section7_

 

 

FOR TABLE DISCUSSION

> If you could see one thing in the world for the first time, with completely fresh eyes, what would 
it be?
> What strategies can you come up with to help you look at life with 
new eyes?
> How do you stay inspired?
> As a family: share the things that you appreciate about one another that we sometimes take for granted.

09 Night Songs

Letting our spirits soar.

The meal is in full swing. Good food and drink has warmed our hearts and put us in uncommonly good humour, the table is filled with conversation and laughter, and we sink into our seats with a smile of contentment. As spirits soar, many feel moved to give voice to this wonderful repose and elevated spiritual state by singing zemirot – the sweet songs of Shabbos.
Singing at the Shabbos meal certainly isn’t obligatory (many of us simply aren’t, and never will be, inclined to sing!). Nevertheless, the zemirot do indeed invoke the full Shabbat experience in all of its colour and variety;
from the loftiest kabbalistic sentiments, to a celebration of the earthly pleasures of rest and culinary delights, to the wordless “niggunim” – the spontaneous, free-flowing chants that allow us to express so much. 
The melodies are uplifting, the words, if they are understood, still more so. Put simply, the zemirot are a celebration of being alive; of feeling connected to our Creator, to His – 
our – world, and to the people around us.
Zemirot are ideal to be sung in between courses. Watch for that break in the 
conversation – however brief – and start up a song. Guaranteed, you will take your meal 
to new heights.

BoysSinging_Section8_NightSongs

ANCIENT ECHOES 

Yonatan Razel

“As a Levite – a descendant of the tribe that played music in the Temple – I’m always in search for that long-lost music. Sometimes, if we are lucky, the mystical melodies that were hidden away thousands of years ago and shattered into small fragments “blink” at us from far, far away – evoking in us a longing for the pure music that today only reaches us as an echo
One of these “echoes”, in my opinion, can be heard in the songs we sing during Shabbat meals. Suddenly, in the midst of these feasts, when normally we would chat or exchange small-talk, something else takes place… we start to sing together. If we pour our heart and soul into it, we sense our voices reaching the highest heavens, and even the angels join in. No instruments, no electricity, no rock-n-roll stage to hide behind, no distraction –just pure music that comes from the soul; or rather, from our “collective” soul. It’s the closest I’ve come to creating music; closer than listening to it or even playing it.
And – like everything that is truly spiritual – you have to work for it, create it, choose it. You have to devote yourself to it. Don’t be passive; don’t lie back and listen to the music. Sing it! Invest your soul in it! Some of these melodies are ancient… many are multi-cultural… these moments belong to the next world… because you cannot record them…They are engraved on your soul.”

09_NightSongs

 

M’nuchah V’simchah, Ohr La-y’hudim, Yom Shabbaton Yom Machamadim. Shomrav V’zochrav Heima M’i-dim Ki L’shisha Kol B’ru-im V’om’dim.
Sh’mei Shamayim, Eretz V’yamim, Kol Tz’vah Marom G’vohim V’ramim, Tanin V’adam V’chayat R’eimim, Ki B’kah Hashem Tzur Olamim.
Hu Asher Diber L’am S’gulato, Shamor L’kad’sho Mibo-o V’ad Tzeito. Shabbat Kodesh, Yom Chemdato, Ki Vo Shavat Kel Mikol M’lachto.
B’mitzvat Shabbat Kel Yachalitzach. Kum Kra Eilav Yachish L’am’tzach. Nishmat Kol Chai V’gam Na-aritzach, Echol B’simcha Ki Ch’var Ratzach.
B’mishneh Lechem V’kiddush 
Rabah, B’rov Mat-amim V’ru-ach N’diva, Yizku L’rav Tuv Hamit-an’gim Bah B’viyat Go-eil L’ chayei 
Ha’olam Habah.

Rest and joy, light for all Jews, is the Sabbath day, day of delights; those who keep and recall it bear witness that in six days all Creation was made.

The highest heavens, land and seas, the hosts of heaven, high and sublime; sea monsters, humans and all wild beasts, were created by the Lord, G-d, He who formed worlds.

It was He who spoke to His treasured people: “Keep it to make it holy from beginning to end.” The holy Sabbath, His day of delight, for on it G-d rested from all His work.

Through the Sabbath commandment G-d will give you strength. Rise, pray to Him, and He will invigorate you. Recite the Nishmat prayer, and the Kedusha, then eat with joy, for He is pleased with you.

With twin loaves, and wine for the Kiddush, with many delicacies and a willing spirit; those who delight in it shall merit great reward: the coming of the redeemer, and life in the World to Come.

10 Grace After Meals

The meal concludes by reciting 
Birkat HaMazon – “Grace After Meals”, 
or in Yiddish “bensching”. This is the multi-faceted after-blessing we say to thank Hashem for our bread, and for our food 
in general.

 

10_ShirHamaalot

 

 

 

 

Shir Hama-alot, B’shuv Adonai Et Shivat Tziyon Hayinu K’chol’mim. Az Yimalei S’chok Pinu Ulshoneinu Rinah, Az Yomru Vagoyim, Higdil Adonai La-asot Im Eileh. Higdil Adonai La-asot Imanu, Hayinu S’meichim. Shuva Adonai Et Sh’viteinu Ka-afikim BaNegev. Hazor’im B’dimah B’rinah Yiktzoru. Haloch Yeileich Uvacho, Nosei Meshech Hazarah. Bo Yavo V’rinah Nosei Alumotav.
T’hilat Adonai Y’daber Pi, Vivareich Kol Basar Sheim Kadsho L’olam Va-ed. Va-anachnu N’vareich Yah, Mei-atah V’ad Olam Halleluyah. Hodu LaDonai Ki Tov, Ki L’olam Chasdo. Mi Y’maleil G’vurot Adonai, Yashmi-ah Kol T’hilato.

A song of ascents. When the Lord will bring back the exiles of Zion we will be like people who dream. Then our mouths will be filled with laughter, and our tongues with songs of joy. Then it will be said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord did do great things for us and we rejoiced. Bring back our exiles, Lord, like streams in a dry land. May those who sowed in tears, reap in joy. May one who goes out weeping, carrying a bag of seed, come back with songs of joy, carrying his sheaves. My mouth shall speak the praise of G-d, and all creatures shall bless His Holy Name for ever and all time. We will bless G-d now and for ever. Halleluyah! Thank the Lord for He is good: His loving-kindness is forever. Who can tell of the Lord’s mighty acts and make all His praise be heard?

If there is a m’zimun – three or more over-barmitzvah males – present at the table, Birkat Hamazon begins with the “rabotai n’vareich…” prelude. These are the responsive words of praise traditionally led by the host, 
a Cohen or a distinguished guest.
(If 10 or more men are present, add in the words in brackets.)

 

10_RabotaiNevareich

 

 

 

 

10_HazanEtHaolam

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEADER

Rabotai N’vareich.

OTHERS

Y’hi Sheim Adonai M’vorach Mei-atah V’ad Olam.

LEADER

Y’hi Sheim Adonai M’vorach
Mei-atah V’ad Olam.

Birshut Maranan V’rabbanan V’rabotai N’vareich (Eloheinu) She-achalnu Mishelo.

OTHERS

Baruch (Eloheinu) She-achalnu Mishelo Uvtuvo Chayinu.

LEADER

Baruch (Eloheinu) She-achalnu Mishelo Uvtuvo Chayinu. Baruch Hu U-varuch Sh’mo.

 

 

 

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Hazan Et Ha-olam Kulo B’tuvo B’chein B’chesed Uv’rachamim, Hu Notein Lechem L’chol Basar, Ki L’olam Chasdo, Uvtuvo Hagadol Tamid Lo Chasar Lanu V’al Yechsar Lanu Mazon L’olam Va-ed. Ba-avur Sh’mo Hagadol, Ki Hu Eil Zan Umfarneis Lakol, U-meitiv Lakol U-meichin Mazon L’chol B’riyotav Asher Barah. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, Hazan Et Hakol.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who in His goodness feeds the whole world with grace, kindness and compassion. He gives food to all living things, for his kindness is forever. Because of His continual great goodness, we have never lacked food, nor may we ever lack it, for the sake of His Great Name. For He is G-d Who feeds and sustains all, does good to all, and prepares food for all creatures He has created. Blessed are You, Lord, who feeds all.

10_NodehLecha

 

 

 

 

10_VealHakol

Nodeh L’cha Adonai Eloheinu Al She-hinchalta La-avoteinu Eretz Chemdah Tova Urchava, V’al She-hotzeitanu Adonai Eloheinu Mei-eretz Mitzrayim Ufditanu Mibeit Avadim, V’al Brit’cha Shechatamta Biv-sareinu, V’al Torat’chaShelimad’tanu, 
V’al Chukecha She-hodatanu, V’al Chayim, Chein Vachesed Shechonantanu, V’al Achilat Mazon She-atah Zan Umfarneis Otanu Tamid, B’chol Yom Uvchol eit 
Uvchol Sha-ah.

We thank You, Lord our G-d, for having granted as a heritage to our ancestors a desirable, good and spacious land; for bringing us out, Lord our G-d, from the land of Egypt, freeing us from the house of slavery; for Your covenant which You sealed in our flesh; for Your Torah which You taught us; for Your laws which You made known to us; for the life, grace and kindness You have bestowed on us; and for the food by which You continually feed and sustain us, every day, every season, every hour.

V’al Hakol Adonai Eloheinu Anachnu Modim Lach Umvar’ chim Otach Yitbarach Shimcha B’fi Kol Chai Tamid L’olam Va-ed, Ka-katuv V’achalta V’savatah Uveirachtah Et Adonai Elohecha Al Ha’aretz Hatovah Asher Natan Lach. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, Al Ha-aretz V’al Hamazon.

For all this, Lord our G-d, we thank and bless You. May Your Name be blessed continually by the mouth of all that lives, forever and all time. For so it is written: “You will eat and be satisfied, then you shall bless the Lord your G-d for the good land He has given you.” Blessed are You, Lord, for the land and for the food.

10_Racheim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10_Retzeih

 

 

Racheim Nah Adonai Eloheinu Al Yisra-el Amechah, V’al Y’rushalayim Irecha, V’al Tziyon Mishkan K’vodecha, V’al Malchut Beit David M’shichecha, V’al Habayit Hagadol V’hakadosh Shenikra Shimchah Alav. Eloheinu Avinu, R’einu Zuneinu, Parn’seinu V’chalk’leinu V’harvicheinu, V’harvach Lanu, Adonai Eloheinu, M’heira Mikol Tzaroteinu.

V’na Al Tatzricheinu, Adonai Eloheinu, Lo Lidei Mat’nat Basar Vadam V’lo Lidei Halva-atam, Ki Im L’yad’cha Ham’lei-ah Hap’tuchah Hakdosha V’har’chavah, Shelo Neivosh V’lo Nikaleim L’olam Va’ed.

Have compassion, please, Lord our G-d, on Israel Your people, on Jerusalem Your city, on Zion the dwelling place of Your Glory, on the royal house of David, Your anointed, and on the great and Holy House that bears Your Name. Our G-d, our Father, tend us, feed us, sustain us and support us, relieve us and send us relief, Lord our G-d, swiftly from our troubles. Please, Lord our G-d, do not make us dependent on the gifts or loans of other people, but only on Your full, open, holy and generous hand so that we may suffer neither shame nor humiliation for ever and all time.

 

 

 

R’tzei V’hachalitzeinu Adonai Eloheinu B’mitzvotechah, Uv’
mitzvat Yom Hash’vi-i HaShabbat Hagadol V’hakadosh Hazeh. Ki Yom Zeh Gadol V’kadosh Hu L’fanecha, Lishbat Bo V’lanu-ach Bo B’ahavah K’mitzvat R’tzonechah. Uvirtzon’
chah Haniach Lanu Adonai Eloheinu Shelo T’hei Tzarah V’yagon Va-anacha B’yom M’nuchateinu. V’har-einu Adonai Eloheinu B’nechamat Tziyon Irecha, Uv’vinyan Y’rushalayim Ir Kadshecha, Ki Atah Hu Ba-al Hay’
shu-ot Uva-al Hanechamot.

Favour and strengthen us, Lord our G-d, through Your commandments, especially through the commandment of the Seventh Day, this great and holy Sabbath. For it is, for You, a great and holy day. On it we cease work and rest in love in accord with Your will’s commandment. May it be Your will, Lord our G-d, to grant us rest without distress, grief, or lament on our day of rest. May You show us the consolation of Zion, Your city, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem Your holy city, for You are the Master of salvation and consolation.

10_YaalehVeyavo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10_Uvenei

 

 

 

10_BoruchAtah…HaelAvinu

Eloheinu Vei-lohei Avoteinu Ya-aleh V’yavo, V’yagiya, V’yeiraheh, V’yeira-tzeh V’yi-shamah, V’yipa-keid, V’yizacher, Zichroneinu Ufikdoneinu, V’zichron Avoteinu, V’zichron Mashiach Ben David Avdechah, V’zichron Yerushalayim Ihr Kadshehchah, V’zichron Kol Amcha Beit Yisrael L’fanechah, Lif-leitah, L’tovah, L’chein, Ul’chesed, Ul’rachamim, L’chaim, U’le-shalom B’yom Rosh Ha-chodesh Hazeh, Zachreinu Adonai Eloheinu Bo L’tovah, Ufakdeinu Bo Liv-rachah, V’hoshi-einu Bo L’chaim. U’vidvar Y’shuah V’rachamim Chus V’chaneinu V’racheim Aleinu, V’hoshi-einu, Ki Eilechah Eineinu, Ki El Melech Chanun V’rachum Atah.

Our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers, may there rise up, come, reach, be noted, be favored, be heard, be considered, and be remembered – the remembrance and consideration of ourselves; the remembrance of our forefathers; the remembrance of Messiah, son of David, Your servant; the remembrance of Jerusalem, the City of Your Holiness, the remembrance of Your entire people the Family of Israel— before You, for deliverance, for goodness, for grace, for kindness, and for compassion, for life, and for peace on this day of Rosh Chodesh. Remember us on it, Our G-d, for goodness; consider us on it for blessing, and help us on it for good life. In the matter of salvation and compassion, pity, be gracious and compassionate with us and help us, for our eyes are turned on You, because You are G-d, the gracious and compassionate King.

 

Uvnei Y’rushalayim Ir Hakodesh Bimheirah V’yameinu. 
Baruch Atah Adonai, Bonei V’rachamav Y’rushalayim. Amein.

And may Jerusalem the Holy City be rebuilt soon, in our time. Blessed are 
You, Lord, Who in His compassion will rebuild Jerusalem. Amen. 

 

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Ha-Eil Avinu Malkeinu Adi-reinu Bor’einu Go-aleinu Yotz’reinu K’dosheinu K’dosh Ya-akov, Ro-einu Ro-ei Yisrael, Hamelech Hatov V’hameitiv Lakol, Sheb’chol Yom Vayom Hu Heitiv, Hu Meitiv, Hu Yeitiv Lanu. Hu G’malanu Hu Gom’leinu Hu Yigm’leinu La-ad L’chein Ul’chesed Ul’rachamim Ul’revach, Hatzalah V’hatzlachah B’racha Vishu-ah Nechamah, Parnasah V’chalkalah V’rachamim V’chayim V’shalom V’chol tov, U-mikol Tuv L’olam Al Y’chas’reinu.

He is our Shepherd, Israel’s Shepherd, the good King Who does good to all. Every day He has done, is doing, and will do good to us. He has acted, is acting, and will always act kindly toward us for ever, granting us grace, kindness and compassion, relief and rescue, prosperity, blessing, redemption and comfort, sustenance and support, compassion, life, peace and all good things, and of all good things may He never let us lack.

 

10_Harachaman01

 

Harachaman Hu Yimloch Aleinu 
L’olam Va-ed.

Harachaman Hu Yitbarach Bashamayim 
Uva-aretz.

Harachaman Hu Yishtabach L’dor Dorim, V’yitpa-ar Banu La-ad Ul’neitzach N’tzachim, V’yit-hadar Banu La-ad Ul’ol’mei Olamim

Harachaman Hu Y’farn’seinu B’chavod.

Harachaman Hu Yishbor Uleinu Mei-al Tzavareinu V’hu Yolicheinu Kom’miyut L’artzeinu.

Harachaman Hu Yishlach Lanu B’racha M’ruba Babayit Hazeh, V’al Shulchan Zeh 
She-achalnu Alav.

Harachaman Hu Yishlach Lanu Et Eliyahu Hanavi Zachur Latov, Vivaser Lanu B’sorot Tovot Y’shu-ot V’nechamot.

May the Compassionate One reign over us for ever and all time. 
May the Compassionate One be blessed in heaven and on earth. 
May the Compassionate One be praised from generation to generation, be glorified by us to all eternity, and honoured among us forever and all time. 
May the Compassionate One grant us an honourable livelihood. 
May the Compassionate One break the yoke from our neck and lead us upright to our land. May the Compassionate One send us many blessings to this house and this table at which we have eaten. 
May the Compassionate One send us Elijah the Prophet – may he be remembered for good – to bring us good tidings of salvation and consolation.

A guest at someone else’s table says (children at their parents table include 
the words in brackets):

 

10_Harachaman02

When eating at one’s own table, say (include the words in brackets that apply):

 

10_Harachaman03

 

 

 

 

Harachaman, Hu Y’vareich Et (Avi Mori) 
Ba-al Habayit Hazeh, V’et (Imi Morati) 
Ba-alat Habayit Hazeh, Otam V’et Beitam 
V’et Zaram V’et Kol Asher Lahem.

May the Compassionate One bless (my father, my teacher) the master of this house, and (my mother, my teacher) the lady of this house, and their children and
all that is theirs.

 

Harachaman, Hu Y’vareich Oti

 

(V’et Ishti) (My Wife)

 

(V’et Ba-ali ) (My Husband)

 

( V’et Zari ) 
V’et Kol Asher Li. (My Children)

May the Compassionate One bless me, (my wife | my husband | my children) 
and all that is mine.

10_Otanu

 

 

10_Bamarom

 

Otanu V’et Kol Asher Lanu, K’mo Shenitbar’chu Avoteinu Avraham, Yitzchak, V’Ya-akov, 
Bakol Mikol Kol, Kein Y’vareich Otanu Kulanu 
Yachad Bivrachah Sh’leima, 
V’nomar: Amein.

Together with us and all that is ours. Just as our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were blessed in all, from all, with all, so may He bless all of us together with a complete blessing, and let us say: Amen.

Bamarom Y’lam’du Aleihem V’aleinu Z’chut, Shet’hei L’mishmeret Shalom.
V’nisah V’rachah Mei-eit Adonai, Utzdaka Mei-Elohei Yish-einu. V’nimtza Chein V’seichel Tov B’ei-nei Elohim V’adam.

On high, may grace be invoked for them and for us, as a safeguard of peace. May we receive a blessing from the Lord and a just reward from the G-d of our salvation, and may we find grace and good favour in the eyes of G-d and man.

10_HarachamanShabbos

10_HarachamanRoshChodesh

10_HarachamanHuYezakeinu

Harachaman Hu Yanchilaynu Yom SheKuloh Shabbat U-Menucha L’Chayeh Ha’Olamim.

Harachaman Hu Y’chadeish Aleinu Et 
Ha-chodesh Hazeh L’tovah V’livrachah

Harachaman Hu Y’zakeinu Limot Hamashiach 
Ul-chayei Ha-olam Habah.
Migdol Y’shu-ot Malko V’oseh Chesed Limshicho, L’David Ul-zaro Ad Olam. Oseh Shalom Bimromav, Hu Ya-aseh Shalom Aleinu V’al Kol Yisrael, 
V’imru Amen.

May the Compassionate One let us inherit the time, that will be entirely a 
Sabbath and rest for eternal life. May the Compassionate One make us worthy of the Messianic Age and life in the World to Come. He is a tower of salvation to His king, showing kindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever. He Who makes peace in His high places, may He make peace for us and all Israel, and let us say: Amen.

10_Yeru

Y’ru Et Adonai K’doshav Ki Ein Machsor Lirei-av. K’firim Rashu V’ra-eivu V’dor’shei Adonai Lo Yachs’ru Chol Tov. Hodu La-
Donai Ki Tov, Ki L’olam Chasdo. Potei-ach Et Yadecha U-masbia L’chol Chai Ratzon. Baruch Hagever Asher Yivtach Ba-Donai, V’haya Adonai Mivtacho. Na-ar Hayiti Gam Zakanti, V’lo Ra-iti Tzadik Ne-ezav V’zaro M’vakesh Lachem. Adonai Oz L’amo Yitein Adonai Y’vareich Et Amo Vashalom.

Fear the Lord, you, His holy ones; those who fear Him lack nothing. Young lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Thank the Lord for He is good: His loving-kindness is for ever. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord alone. Once I was young, and now I am old, yet I have never watched a righteous man forsaken or his children begging for bread. The Lord will give His people strength. The Lord will bless His people with peace.

11 Shabbat Day

DAY KIDDUSH

The daytime Kiddush should be recited 
before eating anything.

Most synagogues host a “Kiddush Bracha” after the service, where Kiddush is said and snacks are served. Kiddush is then repeated at home before lunch for the benefit of those who were not at the synagogue (if everyone at the table has heard Kiddush, proceed straight to washing hands and “Hamotzi”).

Pour a full cup of wine or grape juice, and hold aloft in your right hand (or your left if you are left-handed), while reciting the Kiddush (see below). If you are reciting Kiddush on behalf of people at the table (as is usually the case), make sure you “have them in mind” – 
ie, be mindful of the fact that each person at the table is fulfilling their mitzvah of Kiddush through your recital.

They in turn should also have in mind that they are fulfilling their mitzvah through you.

 

 

As soon as everyone has responded Amen to the final bracha, take a good sip (should ideally be more than half of the cup), then pour from your cup into everybody else’s. If your cup starts to run low before everyone has received theirs, make sure to replenish from 
the bottle while there is still a remnant left in your cup so that 
that wine of blessing can be shared by everyone. 
This Kiddush is recited while seated.

NOTE
Kiddush must be followed by eating either a grain-based food like cake, crackers or biscuits or your main meal.

Cupcake_Section10_Kiddush

The daytime Kiddush differs from the Friday night Kiddush, 
and is as follows:

 

11_DayKiddush

 

V’sham’ru V’nei Yisrael Et 
HaShabbat, La-asot Et HaShabbat L’dorotam Brit Olam. Bei-ni Uvein B’nei Yisrael Ot Hi L’olam, Ki Sheishet Yamim Asah Adonai Et Hashamayim V’et Ha-aretz Uvayom Hash’vi-i Shavat Vayinafash. Zachor Et Yom HaShabbat L’kad’sho. Sheishet Yamim Ta-avod V’asita Kol M’lachtecha. V’yom Hash’vi’i Shabbat Ladonai Elohecha, Lo Ta-aseh Chol M’lachah Atah Uvinchah Uviteh-chah Avd’chah Va-amat’chah Uv-hemtechah V’geir’chah Asher Bish-arechah. Ki Sheishet Yamim Asah Adonai Et Hashamayim V’et Ha-aretz Et Ha-yam V’et Kol Asher Bam, Vayanach Bayom Hash’vi-i. Al Kein Beirach Adonai Et Yom HaShabbat Vay’kad’sheihu. 
Savri Maranan V’rabanan V’rabotai Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Borei Pri Hagafen.

The children of Israel must keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath in every generation as an everlasting covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, but on the Seventh Day He ceased work and refreshed Himself. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the Seventh Day is a Sabbath of the Lord, your G-d; on it you shall not do any work – you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, or your cattle, or the stranger within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them, and rested on the Seventh Day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day and declared it holy. Please pay attention, my masters. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, 
King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine

THE GREAT KIDDUSH

Why is the daytime Kiddush called “Kiddusha Rabbah” – “The Great Kiddush” – if it is shorter than the night time kiddush?
The Gerrer Rebbe, the Imrei Emes, offers an explanation: The Jewish people received the Torah on Shabbat morning. It was Shabbat morning when G-d proclaimed from Mount Sinai, “Remember the 
Shabbat day to sanctify it.” From that moment on, 
the Jews sanctified Shabbat with Kiddush. Shabbat morning honours the very first Kiddush ever made, at the giving of the Torah. This is the reason why the daytime Kiddush is called “The Great Kiddush”. it is actually a love filled gift from G-d.

12 Shabbat Day Meal

Before eating, everyone should wash 
their hands for challah just as we did on 
Friday night.

 

Remove any barriers between your hands and the water, such as rings, then fill a vessel with water and pour at least twice over the right hand, and then at least twice over the left hand. 

Recite the following blessing before drying your hands:

06_NetilatYadayim

 

Baruch Atah Adonai,
Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam,
Asher Ki-d’shanu
B’mitzvotav V’tzivanu,
Al N’tilat Yadayim.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, 
Who has made us holy through His commandments, 
and has commanded us about washing hands.

From the moment we have said the blessing on washing our hands, we do not speak until we have eaten a piece of challah.

Once everybody has washed their hands, the person reciting Hamotzi should make a small cut in the challah that is to be eaten first, and he should lift both challahs. 

The person reciting Hamotzi should have in mind to include everyone present in his blessing, and they in turn should be mindful of this.

 

06_Hamotzi

 

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu 
Melech Ha-olam, Hamotzi 
Lechem Min Ha-aretz.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

After saying the blessing, cut a piece of challah, sprinkle some salt on it, and eat it. Then cut up the rest of the challah, sprinkle salt over those pieces and distribute so that everyone gets a piece.

Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: “Whoever delights in Shabbos is granted his heart’s wishes.”
Talmud Shabbos
118B

Just as we do on Friday night, we enrich the meal with words of Torah. In this way, we elevate the physical act of eating, and infuse the meal with spirituality and meaning. Divrei Torah are also great at spurring lively discussion.

We then have the option of singing 
Shabbat songs.

We conclude the meal just as we did on Friday Night with Grace After Meals.

THERE IS AN IDEA THAT THE WHOLE WEEK IS STRUCTURED AROUND SHABBOS.
Rav Gedalia Schorr brings as a proof the Gemara in Tractate Shabbat, page 69b, which discusses the case of a person who gets lost in the desert and loses track of time. He does not know what day of the week it is, and so he does not know when to keep Shabbos. Theoretically, given that each day might really be Shabbos, he should have to keep it every day. However, says the Gemara, one day a week he has to keep Shabbos entirely and do no melacha, as if it is properly Shabbos. The question is, which day does he count as Shabbos?

There are two opinions in the Gemara: one opinion is that he waits until the sun goes down and keeps Shabbos straight away, counts six days after that, and then observes the seventh day as Shabbos once again, and so on.

The other opinion is that he first counts six full days from the day he realises he is lost, and keeps Shabbos on the seventh, and so on.

The Gemara relates that this debate is premised on the very first Shabbos of history. Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day of Creation – Friday; they went straight into Shabbos and then had six days of work following that.

13 Words Of Torah

It is a wonderful custom to discuss ideas from the week’s Torah portion. This week’s portion is Noah or “Noach”.

THE MEANING OF A RAINBOW

In this week’s Torah portion, Noach, we read about the 
flood that came upon the world, and how G-d saved Noach and his family along with the animals; that even amidst destruction, the seeds were sown for the continuation and regeneration of the world. At the end of the flood, we read about the rainbow.

What does a rainbow mean to us and to humanity as a whole? We know that it occupies a very important place in the context of halacha (Jewish law). On seeing a rainbow there is an obligation to recite a special blessing. Blessed are you, G-d, King of the Universe, who remembers the Covenant and who is trustworthy in His Covenant and fulfils His word.

The rainbow reminds the world of the covenant that Hashem made with humanity, including what our Sages call “the seven mitzvot of the children of Noach”, which apply to every human being and form the bedrock upon which all of human civilisation is based. This covenant is central to the world’s connection to G-d Himself. But why was the rainbow, of all things, chosen to symbolise this relationship?

The Bow


Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, known as the Ramban, one of the great Torah commentators and philosophers of the Middle Ages, explains that the rainbow is a reminder of G-d’s attribute of mercy. He observes that the rainbow resembles an inverted bow (as in a bow-and-arrow), pointing away from the earth and up towards the heavens. This is a potent symbol. It teaches us that G-d is not “at war” with us; that His relationship with us is governed by love and mercy, rather than by pain and discipline. It is the Covenant of eternal friendship between G-d and Humankind. The inverted bow also symbolises the core Jewish philosophical idea (delineated by the great 18th century Italian Kabbalist, Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzatto and many others): that the “arrows” – or actions – of human beings carry a cosmic potency. That through exercising free will when faced with moral decisions, we can literally rearrange the Heavens and change the world.

Fruits of the earth


Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch says that the rainbow is made up of colours that are broken into distinct parts from original white light that is refracted. We know that the first Man was named “Adam”. This is derived from the Hebrew word, adamah, meaning “ground” – a reference to our earthy, temporal physical make-up. There’s a discussion about why a human being should be named after our least important component.

After all, it is our eternal soul that defines us as people. The Maharal of Prague, one of our great philosophers, explains that the ground, like a human being, is pure potential. Even if the ground is fertile, everything depends on what you plant in it, and how you care for that which you plant.

So too with human beings, who represent pure potential, and like the ground, the ability to bring forth great produce. This is why we see many allusions throughout the Torah to Man’s actions as “fruits”.

White light


But there is another derivation directly connected to our rainbow. Rabbi Hirsch says the word “Adam” also echoes the Hebrew word for red, adom. Among the colours of the spectrum, red is the colour that is least refracted or least deflected from the original white light. He explains that is the nature of the human being – the human being is the closest to the original “white light”.All creatures are created by G-d but none has the unique resemblance to G-d that the human being does.

According to Rabbi Hirsch, the rainbow represents the magnificent diversity and majestic beauty of G-d’s world, and the hope that lies within it. We look at the rainbow and we admire the spectacular diversity of G-d’s creation. Yet we remember that it all comes from G-d, that it is but the refracted rays of a single ray of white light. Hashem Echad, G-d is One.

Hope amidst darkness


The rainbow symbolises hope as Rabbi Hirsch explains, “The phenomenon itself is woven from light and water. In the midst of overcast threatening clouds it announces the presence of light.” The rainbow is created by sunlight shining through the water in the atmosphere. Without light in the storm conditions there can be no rainbow. The rainbow reminds us that there is always hope for the people to find their way back to Hashem and the light of his Torah, and that therefore there is always hope for the world.

 

 

 

PARADISE REGAINED

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

“Relationships take time, and Shabbat is when we give them time – to listen to one another, praise each other, share in a meal, sing together, and sense the blessedness of one another’s company. Adam and Eve, said the rabbis, were spared one day in the Garden of Eden before they were exiled into the world of toil. That day was Shabbat. And for those who observe it Shabbat becomes a way back into Eden, paradise temporarily regained.”

14 Day Songs

Once again, we have the opportunity to add spirit to our meal with Shabbat zemirot (songs). As we sing, we should focus on all the blessings we have in our lives.

 

14_DaySongs01

 

 

 

 

Yom Shabbaton Ein Lishko-ach, Zichro K’rei-ach Hanicho-ach, 
Yonah Matz’ah Vo Mano-ach, V’sham Yanuchu Y’gi-ei Cho-ach.


Yonah Matz’ah Vo Mano-ach, V’sham Yanuchu Y’gi-ei Cho-ach.

Hayom Nichbad Livnei Emunim, Z’hirim L’shamro Avot Uvanim, Chakuk Bishnei Luchot Avanim, Meirov Onim V’amitz Ko-ach.

Yonah Matz’ah Vo Mano-ach, V’sham Yanuchu Y’gi-ei Cho-ach.


Uva-u Chulam Bivrit Yachad, Na-aseh V’nishmah Am’ru K’echad,
Ufat’chu V’anu Hashem Echad, Baruch Hanotein Laya-eif Ko-ach.

Yonah Matz’ah Vo Mano-ach, V’sham Yanuchu Y’gi-ei Cho-ach.


Diber B’kadsho B’har Hamor, Yom Hash’vi-i Zachor V’shamor, V’chol Pikudav Yachad Ligmor, Chazeik Motna-im V’amitz Ko-ach.

Yonah Matz’ah Vo Mano-ach, V’sham Yanuchu Y’gi-ei Cho-ach.


Ha-am Asher Nah Katzon Ta-ah Yizkor L’fakdo Brit Ushvu-ah, L’val Ya-avor Bam Mikrei Ra-ah Ka-asher Nishbatah Al Mei No-ach.

Yonah Matz’ah Vo Mano-ach, V’sham Yanuchu Y’gi-ei Cho-ach.

14_DaySongs02

Yom Zeh M’chubad Mikol Yamim,
Ki Vo Shavat Tzur Olamim.

Sheishet Yamim Ta-asehM’lachtechah, V’yom Ha-sh’vi-i Lei-lokechah, Shabbat Lo Ta-aseh Vo M’lachah Ki Chol Asah 
Sheishet Yamim.

Yom Zeh M’chubad Mikol Yamim,
Ki Vo Shavat Tzur Olamim.


Rishon Hu L’mikra-ei Kodesh, Yom Shabbaton Yom Shabbat Kodesh, Al Kein Kol Ish B’yeino Y’kadeish Al Shtei Lechem Yivtz’u T’mimim.

Yom Zeh M’chubad Mikol Yamim,
Ki Vo Shavat Tzur Olamim.


Echol Mashmanim Sh’tei Mamtakim Ki Kel Yiten L’chol Bo D’vekim, Beged Lilbosh, Lechem Chukim Basar V’dagim V’chol Mat-amim.

Yom Zeh M’chubad Mikol Yamim,
Ki Vo Shavat Tzur Olamim.


Lo Techsar Kol Bo V’achaltahV’savatah, U’veirachtah Et Hashem Elokechah Asher Ahavtah, Ki Veirach’cha Mikol Ha-amim.

Yom Zeh M’chubad Mikol Yamim,
Ki Vo Shavat Tzur Olamim.


Hashamayim M’saprim K’vodo,V’gam Ha-aretz Mal-ah Chasdo, R’u Ki Chol Eileh As’tah Yado Ki Hu Hatzur Pa-alo Tamim.


Yom Zeh M’chubad Mikol Yamim,
Ki Vo Shavat Tzur Olamim.

15 The Third Meal

Seudah shlishit, literally, “the third meal” 
is eaten late afternoon or early evening, 
before Shabbos ends. Once again, you should wash your hands with a bracha and then say Hamotzi over two challahs. It is customary to sing these two songs. We then conclude the meal once more with 
Grace After Meals.

15_MizmorLedavid

 

May My portion be among those who eat three meals on Shabbos
Talmud Shabbos
118B

Mizmor L’David, Hashem Ro-i Lo Echsar. Binot Desheh Yarbitzeini, Al Mei M’nuchot Y’na-haleini. Nafshi Y’shoveiv Yancheini V’mag’lei Tzedek L’ma-an Sh’mo. Gam Ki Ei-leich B’gei Tzalmavet, Lo Irah Rah Ki Atah Imadi, Shivt’cha Umishantechah Heimah Y’nachamuni. Ta-aroch L’fanai Shulchan Neged Tzor’rai, Dishanta Vashemen Roshi, Kosi R’vayah. Ach Tov Vachesed Yird’funi Kol Y’mei Cha-yai V’shavti B’veit Hashem L’orech Yamim.

A psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He refreshes my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You set a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup is filled to overflowing. May goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life, and may I live in the House of the Lord for evermore.

15_YedidNefesh

 

REFLECTIONS ON THE THIRD MEAL

Adapted from the writings of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The final Sabbath seudah is called Shalosh Seudos, which translated literally, means “three meals” rather than Seudah Shlishit – the third meal. Our Sages explain that the reason for this is that all three Sabbath seudos are embodied in this one.
This third meal presents a most auspicious 
time for prayer. And Psalm 23 is traditionally chanted at the 
Shalosh Seudos:
“The L-rd is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” The task of the shepherd is a lowly and lonely one. Day in and day out he is destined to wander from place to place, seeking pasture for his flock, and yet, David did not hesitate to refer to G-d as a Shepherd for he perceived that G-d’s love is so total, so encompassing, that when it comes to caring for His children, nothing is beneath Him. What a magnificent and fortifying thought – for no matter where life takes us, even if we have to walk in the treacherous valley overshadowed by death, we need not fear, for G-d, our Shepherd, will always be there to lead us to greener pastures, even if at first, we do not recognise that the pasture is green.

 

Y’did Nefesh Av 
Harachaman, M’shoch 
Avd’cha El R’tzonechah.
Yarutz Avd’cha K’mo Ayal, Yishtachaveh El Mul 
Hadarechah.Ye-e-rav Lo Y’didotechah, Minofet 
Tzuf V’chol Ta-am.
Hadur Na-eh Ziv Ha-olam, 
Nafshi Cholat Ahavatechah. 
Anah Kel Nah R’fah Nah Lah, 
B’har-ot Lah No’am Zivechah, 
Az Titchazeik V’titrapei, 
V’ha-y’tah Lah Simchat Olam.Vatik Ye-hemu Nah Rachamechah V’chusah Nah Al Bein Ahuvechah. 
Ki Zeh Kamah Nichsof Nichsafti, Lir-ot M’heirah B’tif-eret Uzechah, Eileh Cham’dah Libi, 
V’chusah Nah V’al Tit’alam.Higaleh Nah Ufros Chavivi Alai, 
Et Sukkat Sh’lomechah 
Ta-ir Eretz Mik’vodechah, 
Nagilah V’nism’cha Bach. 
Maheir Ehov, Ki Vah 
Mo-ed, V’chaneinu 
Kimei Olam.

Beloved of the soul, Father of compassion, draw Your servant close to Your will. Like a deer will Your servant run and fall prostrate before Your beauty. To him, Your love is sweeter than honey from the comb, than any taste. Glorious, Beautiful, Radiance of the world, my soul is sick with love for You. Please, G-d, heal her now by showing her Your tender radiance. Then she will recover her strength and be healed, be Your servant for all eternity. Ancient of days, let Your mercy be aroused; please have pity on Your beloved child. How long have I yearned to see the glory of Your strength. Please, my G-d, my heart’s desire – hasten; do not hide Yourself. Reveal Yourself, Beloved, and spread over me the tabernacle of Your peace. Let the earth shine with Your glory, let us be overjoyed and rejoice in You. Hurry, Beloved, for the appointed time has come, and be gracious to me as in the times of old.

SPIRITUAL MOMENTS

As Shabbat ebbs away, 
the mood of the third meal has a degree of sombreness, but is also singularly uplifting 
(the mystics refer 
to these moments as 
the holiest of Shabbos).
The mood is reflected in zemirot traditionally sung during this meal, which are particularly poignant – from Mizmor l’David’s intimate, deeply personal declarations of faith in G-d’s ultimate goodness, to the esoteric love poetry and rousing melody of Y’did Nefesh.

16 Havdallah

Havdallah marks the end of Shabbat,
just as Kiddush marks the beginning of 
Shabbat. Just as we bring in Shabbat with wine, so we see it out with wine. 
In addition, we smell spices to revive our spirits which are bereft of the extra level of holiness experienced on Shabbat, and we light a multi-wicked candle to symbolise the beginning of the work week.

Light a multi-wicked candle (or hold two single-wicked candles together) and fill a cup with wine or grape juice until it overflows. Hold the cup in your right hand (or left if left-handed), and let someone else hold the candle. If there is no one else present, hold the candle in your left hand. Have a container of spice ready.

Begin here:

WHY OVERFLOW?
The Talmud teaches that when we spill wine as if it were water, it is a sign of blessing. We are generous with the wine, we use it lavishly: we use the wine
to put the flame out (by dipping the flame into the spilled wine after we recite Havdallah), which is not a regular way of treating wine. Yet, we do this to symbolise an abundance of blessings for the week.

WHY SMELL?

As Shabbos ends, our neshama (soul) feels depleted and sad as the holiness of the day comes to an end. There is an idea that we receive a second soul on Shabbos. This is the time when our second soul departs, which also brings on a sense of sadness. Therefore, we smell the spices to uplift our soul, and to comfort it.

16_Havdallah01

 

16_Havdallah02

16_Havdallah03

16_Havdallah04

Hinei El Y’shu-ati Evtach V’lo Efchad, 
Ki Azi V’zimrat Yah Adonai, Va-y’hi Li Lishu-ah. Ushavtem 
Mayim B’sason 
Mima-ah-y’nei Hay’shu-a. 
LaDonai Hay’shu-a Al Am’cha Virchatecha, Selah. 
Adonai Tz’va-ot Imanu, Misgav Lanu Elohei Ya-akov, Selah.
Adonai Tz’va-ot Ashrei Adam Botei-ach Bach. Adonai Hoshi-ah
Hamelech Ya-aneinu V’yom Kar-einu.
La-y’hudim Ha-y’tah Orah 
V’simcha V’sason Vikar, 
Kein Tih-yeh Lanu. 
Kos Y’shu-ot Esah, Uv’sheim Adonai Ekrah.
Savri Maranan V’rabanan V’rabotai 
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Borei Pri Hagafen.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Borei Minei V’samim.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Borei M’orei Ha-eish.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Hamavdil Bein Kodesh L’chol, Bein Ohr L’choshech, Bein Yisra-el La-amim, Bein Yom Hash’vi-i L’sheishet Y’mei Hama-aseh. Baruch Atah Adonai, Hamavdil Bein Kodesh L’chol.

WHAT GOES DOWN MUST GO UP!

Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz

Shabbos ends with Havdallah, the ceremony of “distinguishing” the holy from the mundane.

A profound lesson can be learned from Havdallah.

Shabbos exits; the week begins. There is a natural sense of letdown; holiness has left, the lower state is experienced. This is why we smell spices at Havdallah – to revive the wilting neshama.

But a deep secret is revealed here: we take wine for Havdallah! Wine is used when elevation occurs. What is the meaning of this paradox?

The idea is as follows: certainly the week begins with the sadness of sensing Shabbos fade. The relinquishing of holiness is palpable. We smell spices. But the week’s beginning means a new opportunity to build; to elevate our present status towards another Shabbos – a Shabbos which will be higher than the last, which will reflect another week of work and growth added to all the previous ones! We take wine! This is called a Y’rida L’tzorech Aliyah – a descent for the purpose of elevation, a higher and greater elevation than before.

Dear Friends,

As we ushered Shabbat in with Kiddush, and so do we usher it out with Havdallah. Kiddush is the point of contact between the preceding week and Shabbat, and Havdallah is the point of contact between Shabbat and the week to come. Both declare the special gift and holiness of Shabbos.

As the Havdallah candle flickers and shares its light when we bid Shabbat farewell for another week, it reminds that the inspiration and illumination of Shabbos can accompany us during the week; that we should live out our week connected to the lofty values and ideas of Shabbos.

We can take the spiritual energy, and emotional connectedness with us into every part of our lives.

When we all have had the privilege to be part of this awesome and historic Shabbat of keeping it together with Jewish communities across the globe. Let’s hold onto this precious moment of unity and inspiration, and go forward together with faith and strength.

Shavua Tov!

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein

 

The Holy One, Blessed is He, places an additional soul in a person on the eve of the Sabbath, and it is taken from him after the Sabbath ends.”

Talmud Beitzah
16A

 

The halacha is that if one did not say Havdallah on Saturday night, one has until Tuesday night to say it (the only difference being that Havdallah not said on Saturday night does not include the candle and spices, or the blessings thereof). One can learn from this that the first three days of the week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) are connected to the Shabbos that precedes them, and that the following three days – during which one may no longer say Havdallah – belong to the realm of the new Shabbos.

The journey is completed.

17 Shabbat Reflections

 

Shabbat Stories, Reflections & 
Inspiration The focus of this section is to provide further ideas & stories about Shabbat to share around the Shabbat table and beyond.

SHABBOS IS ABOUT BEING, 
NOT DOING

Dr David Pelcovitz

You may be thinking: well, I can take a day off, 
I can go on a mini-vacation, I might even shut down my cellphone… But what we’re talking about here in terms of the qualitative difference about Shabbos, is that Shabbos is about an internal process of being, of finding the essence of who we are, of connecting to what we cherish the most.

The psychological research on happiness shows that true happiness is not about money; it’s about connection to family, friends, and faith in a deep way. When we’re able to connect, and focus on that and nothing else in the course of that 25-hour period, we’re giving ourselves and our family a priceless gift.

BUILT INTO THE SYSTEM

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

“If individuals, if societies, if cultures don’t institutionalise rest they eventually – and sooner rather than later – become exhausted. Every life, every culture needs its intervals. Like a symphony needs an interval between movements; like a book needs its chapter breaks so life needs its breaks and pauses. And that is the secret, one of the great secrets of the fact that the Jewish people – the oldest religion in the west – remains eternally young because we built Shabbat into the system.”

 

THE INNER DIMENSION

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

Shabbos is the seventh day of the week. The Maharal of Prague explains the spiritual significance of the number seven using the graphic image of a cube. A cube has six sides: four sides plus up and down. But there is also a seventh side: the inside. Every three-dimensional object has an internal place that isn’t just surface.

That seventh side, the inside, can be accessed on Shabbos, the seventh day of the week.

Shabbos gives us the space to stop being absorbed by the surface and edges of life, the outward delineation of existence, and to see life’s centre, its core. It accomplishes this through the detailed laws of Shabbos.

G-d Himself told His prophet: 
“If you trample not the Sabbath, do no business on My holy day; Call the Sabbath a delight, and from weekday interests, speaking mere words. Then you will find joy in G-d, soar the earth’s heights, take in Jacob’s heritage” -
G-d Himself has said it.
ISA. 58:13

A SPARK OF HOLINESS WHICH ANIMATES TIME


Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz

“The week is a period of working, building; 
Shabbos is the cessation of that building, which brings home the significance and sense of achievement that building has generated. Of course, our goal on Shabbos is also to aim to arrive at a higher, more developed state seven days later. And we must remain aware that the entire span of our lives is patterned thus: born from a higher dimension, given our time here to work, to give, to achieve, we are aiming at a return to the higher dimension with a lifetime of hard work to our credit. This life is the week, the rest is the great Shabbos. Shabbos occurs weekly to teach that very fact: ultimately, sooner or later, there will be a final end to the work-phase and the long Shabbos will begin. Shabbos is the plan and the result. It is the life of the week, the spark of holiness which animates time.”

ANOTHER DIMENSION OF CREATION

The teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe


Rebbetzin Mashi Lipskar

Time and space are the building blocks of creation.When it comes to space it is relatively easy to distinguish differences. The very terrain created by Hashem during the Six Days of Creation is replete with distinctiveness. There are rocky mountains, vast oceans, green valleys, sand-swept deserts, fertile fields.

In truth, every molecule in space is a reflection of Hashem’s Infinite Creative Power. Each is a unique creation of Hashem created with Divine precision for an ultimate unique purpose.

And just as they are in space, differences are also present in time. Though we cannot see the differences in time, every moment has its distinct quality. Every hour, every day has an energy of its own. Indeed, as our Sages of blessed memory explain, the time of Sunday is altogether different from the time of Monday. And Shabbos, the seventh day, is in a class of its own – completely different from any and all of the other days of 
the week.

Shabbos stands above the rest because it was created from the Divine source of rest rather than the Divine source of work. The very time of Shabbos has within it infinite dimensions of Divine wholeness and Divine rest. Shabbos offers a Jew a haven from the routine and the mundane and invites him or her to enter another dimension 
of creation.

By observing Shabbos, we connect with the Divine
energy of rest and allow for the flow of true tranquility into our lives. It strengthens us to such a degree that its power extends throughout the week, enabling us to cope with the stresses and challenges of the weekday experience.

THE SPIRITUAL NEXUS

Twerski on Spirituality
Rabbi Abraham Twerski

If one were asked to list those aspects of Judaism that are especially spiritual, one would likely list Shabbos as the foremost spiritual experience. And rightly so. Inasmuch as the goal of spirituality is to come into a closer relationship with G-d, what could possibly be as potent and strong a bond as Shabbos, of which G-d Himself stated, “Between me and the Children of Israel it (Shabbos) is an eternal sign.” (Exodus 31:17)

Shabbos is the covenant between Israel and G-d, hence it is the spiritual experience par excellence.

The more we unburden ourselves of weekday worries, the more receptive our minds will be to things of Kedushah (holiness) and we can then make the Shabbos into a truly holy day.

SERENITY

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

One is required to view all of one’s weekday work as if it has been completely finished. This is a mental exercise that will enable those who master it to be more serene the entire week.

When someone takes an actual trip to a scenic spot conducive for serenity, whenever he mentions or hears the name of that place, his mind will replay those mental pictures either consciously or unconsciously and this helps access serene feelings. If one were using a biofeedback machine, one would clearly observe the stress level go down. Biofeedback machines measure muscle tension when one experiences stress. 
Your muscles give off more electricity measured 
in microvolts, when they are tight, and less electricity when they are relaxed. Seeing this in front of you can be highly motivating to increase serene mental pictures.

SHABBOS IS LIKE SWIMMING


Rabbi Yanki Tauber

Question:

I love the Shabbat experience, but why so many restrictions? No driving, no shopping, no music, no chatting on the phone – you’re not even allowed to check your email! Why not just focus on the beautiful rituals and the restful atmosphere? I’d love to start keeping Shabbat, but all that “don’t do this” and “don’t do that” is a real turn-off…

Answer:

I’m reminded of a conversation I overheard the other day at my child’s swimming class.The instructor had just concluded his 10-minute introductory lecture on the joys and perils of swimming. “Any questions?” he asked.
Ten-year-old Bobby raised his hand. “Can I play with my Gameboy while we’re swimming?”
“No, Bobby,” replied the instructor. “We shouldn’t have any electronic devices with us in the water…”
“How about Scrabble then? Can I play Scrabble while I’m swimming – that’s not electronic?”
“No, Bobby, I don’t think that would be possible.”
“Can I wear my new cowboy boots?”
“I really wouldn’t recommend wearing cowboy boots while swimming, Bobby.”

And so it went. Bobby was disappointed to learn that he couldn’t ride his bicycle, play the piano, paint the garage or eat a grilled cheese sandwich while swimming. He finally left in disgust – who needs swimming anyway, if all it is a bunch of you’re-not-alloweds!

Bobby, of course, was being ridiculous. Swimming is not a bunch of don’ts. Swimming is a positive activity. Obviously, if you’re going to be swimming, you’re going to stop doing all the things that interfere with that activity.

On Shabbat we enter into a state of rest. “Rest” sounds easy. It isn’t. It is the most unnatural activity in the universe.
The universe existence itself is a giant perpetual motion machine. Everything in it, from galaxies to atoms, is constantly spinning, vibrating, dividing and multiplying, deconstructing and rebuilding, driving and striving. Not for a single moment does our heart stop pumping, our brain churning, our soul yearning. Earning a living is work, running a home is work, vacationing is work. Rest? The very fact that we can even articulate the idea of “rest” to ourselves is a miracle!
Indeed, our Sages tell us that at the end of the six days of Creation the world was complete. It had everything except for one element. “What was the world missing? Rest. With the coming of Shabbat came rest.” Rest is a creation if G-d had not created the seventh day, there would be no such thing as “rest”. Even now, true rest is an elusive commodity, obtainable only via the active experience of Shabbat.
And to experience Shabbat rest, we need to cease work that is, cease all creative involvement with our world. Ploughing a field, for example, constitutes creative involvement with the world. Converting matter into energy (which is what we do every time we press down on the gas pedal or turn on an electrical appliance) constitutes creative involvement with the world. If you’re creatively involving, you’re not resting.
Swimming can be a very restricting state if you forget about what it is you’re doing and just think about all the things you’re not doing because you’re doing what you’re doing. Shabbat, too, may feel restrictive at first. 
But once you shrug off those cowboy boots and chuck all thoughts of the piano playing out of your mind, the rest kicks in.
Yanki Tauber is content editor of Chabad.org. Reprinted with permission from Chabad.org

THE END OF TIME IN THE 
MIDST OF TIME

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

“Shabbat is not simply a day of rest. It is an anticipation of ‘the end of history’, the messianic age. On it, we recover the lost harmonies of the Garden of Eden. We do not strive to do; we are content to be. We are not permitted to manipulate the world; instead, we celebrate it as G-d’s supreme work of art. We are not allowed to exercise power or dominance over other human beings, nor even domestic animals. Rich and poor inhabit the Sabbath alike, with equal dignity and freedom. Don’t wait till the end of time. Have Utopia now. That is what Shabbat is. A full experience and intimation, a foretaste of the end of time in the midst of time.”

 

Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz

“Shabbos is described as me’eyn olam ha’ba – a small degree of the experience of the next world. How is this higher taste experienced? By desisting from work. Not work in the sense of exertion, that is a serious misconception. What is halted on Shabbos is melacha – creative activity. Thirty-nine specific creative actions were needed to build the mishkan (Sanctuary) in the desert; these mystically parallel the activities Hashem performs to create the Universe – Hashem rested from His Creation, we rest from parallel creative actions. The week is built by engaging in those actions constructively, Shabbos is built by desisting from those very actions. The mishkan represents the dimension of kedusha (holiness) in space, Shabbos is the dimension of kedusha in time.”

THE GIFT OF REST

Senator Joe Lieberman

None of us needs to work every day of the week. A lot of people think that they are perpetually indispensable – to their families, to their co-workers, to themselves, maybe even to the world. If I don’t go to work, my career will be ruined. If I don’t go shopping, my family will starve. If I don’t go to the gym, my body will atrophy. The truth is that we – and the world – will survive just fine if we stop working or shopping and stay home with our families one day a week. Our lives will continue. Our careers will go forward. Our families will flourish. This is true even for members of the US Senate – men and women with a greater tendency to think of themselves as more indispensable than most. The fact is that none of us is essential every minute of the week.

I am here to testify that laying your work aside for one day a week is a responsible and ultimately productive choice. This big Sabbath lesson and insight may be as humbling and anxiety-producing for you as it used to be for me, but it is ultimately liberating.

 

“When I was in the company of the Chofetz Chaim, he told me that since the commandment of Shabbos is equal to the entire Torah, each and every mitzvah we perform on Shabbos is equivalent to six hundred and thirteen mitzvot.”
Sefer Lev Eliyahu 

RETURNING THE 
WORLD TO ITS OWNER

Debra Sturdivant

Today is my birth. This is the first time I will ever observe Shabbat. I’m anxious. I smoke. I’m fearful. What will life without my smartphone be? I am excited. My rabbi said relax. “Return the world to its Owner.” 
How profound.

I think about the world’s Owner. Will He help me when my lungs scream for nicotine? Will He share a Shabbat with me alone? Will He care that it is a struggle for me, that I live in a home that is not observant? Will He wipe away the tears of doubt and unworthiness?

Shabbat. Giving the world back to its Owner. One day I don’t have to worry. Giving it back to its Owner. One day I don’t have to answer the phone or an email. One day to study, to daven, to praise. Giving it back to its Owner. One day to pray and pray and pray. No interruptions. No worries. Leave those for the other six days of the week. Tonight I am giving it back to its Owner.

SHABBOS & PSYCHOLOGY

Dr Gary Neuman

“The more I live, the more research I see, the more I understand that psychology is always catching up to Torah principles. The idea on Shabbos is that you get to sit around the Shabbos table and you have meals and you talk to each other. Well, wouldn’t you know…the University of Minnesota came out to say that children who have four to five family dinners a week have a 60% less chance of trying drugs. A Columbia University study told us that 80% of teens prefer to eat with their families and not alone. Your teens might not tell you that, but that’s the truth!”

SHABBOS AS A MINDSET

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Founder of Hineini

“Every day in the concentration camp, my Abba took his little piece of stale, mouldy bread, which was all they gave us, and he hid it. And he told us kinderlich one more day, two more days, three more days it will be Shabbos. On Shabbos, he gathered us together while rats and vermin were all about us. 
He said to us in Yiddish, ‘My precious lights, close your eyes, your mummy baked challah. It’s so delicious, it’s so warm.’ And we started to sing Shalom Aleichem, ‘Welcome you Angels of Shabbos’. My older brother said, ‘I must see the angels of Shabbos.’ And my Abba broke down and wept and he said, ‘You my children, you are the angels of Shabbos. You are the angels of Shabbos.’ Then we sang a song, a song of praise to Hashem, ‘Come my beloved and let’s greet the 
Sabbath Queen.’”

RESTORING OUR 
SPIRITUAL LIVES

Ambassador Yehuda Avner

Former advisor & speechwriter to five Israeli prime ministers
“People who do not observe Shabbat often think of it as a day filled with stifling restrictions. I would think it takes a degree of intellectual humility and a sanguine spirit to begin to grasp the inner beauties of this most precious gift to 
our people.
As Menachem Begin famously stated in front of the Knesset: ‘If it were not for this Shabbat that restored the souls and revived the spiritual lives, week by week, of our long-suffering nation, our trials and our tribulations would pull us down to the lowest levels of materialism and moral unintellectual decay.’”

MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT #370

“I wish I can give you a day later, but you know I just don’t like flying Jews on Shabbat,” the travel agent wrote to his client Andrew. In turn Andrew told the agent not to hold the Friday morning flight and he decided to book a flight on Shabbat independent of the travel agent. He replied to the email saying, “I guess I’ll just book [the Saturday flight] myself.” The travel agent booked the rest of the man’s travel itinerary which included flights to Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Melbourne, Australia.

According to Daniel Eleff’s blog post on DansDeals.com, later that evening, Andrew changed his mind and decided not to fly on Shabbat after all. He thanked the agent for prompting him to consider the obligation not to travel on the Sabbath, writing, “I reconsidered, you are right and I should be more observant. I’ll manage without that day in Kuala [Lumpur].”

The travel agent booked the Friday flight and both men put the matter aside. On March 7, Andy successfully flew on Malaysia Airlines flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Exactly 24 hours later, the same flight ended in tragedy, resulting 
in the presumed deaths of the 239 people 
onboard. After Shabbat ended on March 8, the travel agent turned on his computer and read the grateful email.

“Holy God, You sure[ly] heard what happened to [Malaysian Airlines flight 370],” the traveller, who only identified himself by his first name of Andy, wrote to the travel agent in an email. “I cannot stop thinking about this. This is a true miracle for the books. You are a true life saver.”

“I am so happy for you!” the agent responded. But he saw a larger plan at work in Andy’s close brush with death. “I am not the life saver. G-d and Shabbat were your life savers. You owe 
them something.”

STARTING ANEW

Dr Gary Neuman

“The Gemara relates that all kedusha, all holiness, comes from Shabbos. When it comes to Shabbos you can restart your family, you can restart your clock, you can restart your energy. When Shabbos begins, 
the whole world is starting anew.

And you know what happens when the world starts anew? There is unlimited hope and unlimited possibility. The holiness of Shabbos is that when you are creating from the very start, anything becomes possible. We are no longer bound by what’s happened before. It’s a totally new future. 
We need to harness 
that energy.”

GROWING EACH DAY

Rabbi Abraham Twerski

“נשמה יתירה נותן הקב”ה באדם ערב שבת”
“G-d instils an additional neshama (soul) in a person on the eve of the Sabbath.” (Beitzah 16a)

 

We know two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Although spiritual substance need not be subject to the law of physics, we might still ask, “Where does this additional neshama fit? Was there previously a vacuum in the space it 
now occupies?” As Shabbos approaches, we create a place for the additional neshama by discarding much of the weekday matter we have accumulated. To the extent that we rid ourselves of the weekday problems, to the extent we can receive the additional neshama of the Sabbath. We are instructed to approach Shabbos with an attitude that all our weekday work has been totally completed, and so nothing has been left undone that could cause us to think about it on Shabbos. Weekday activities relate to the means of living, while Shabbos represents the goal of life. It is the time when, freed from all other activities, we can direct attention to the study of Torah, to prayer and to contemplating on what G-d wants of us. Vacating the thoughts, stresses and worries of weekday life leaves “space” for that extra neshama. We can begin preparing to receive the additional neshama during the week: we can consider our weekday activities as merely the means to earn a livelihood, and then look forward to Shabbos, 
on which we will be able to focus on the purpose of life.

THE AURA OF SHABBOS

Dr Akiva Tatz

The Sages make the strange statement that a Talmid Chacham (a person learned in Torah) is called “Shabbos”.
Why is a person called “Shabbos”?
The underlying idea is that Torah is the ultimate end-point; the entire world was created only so that Torah could be manifest. Torah is learned for its own sake, not as a means to an end; it is the end, not the means.
And therefore one who learns Torah correctly, one who is imbued with Torah knowledge has an aura of Shabbos about him. There is the deepest connection between Torah and Shabbos.

ENJOYING THE VIEW

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sack

“Thirty-three centuries ago, G-d gave us Shabbos to free us from the tyranny of slavery. Today Shabbos frees us from the tyranny of tweets and texts and Facebook updates. It frees us from the tyranny of being on call 24/7, it frees us from the tyranny of the consumer society and of the individualism that is damaging families and communities, and it frees us from this crazy frenetic pace of the modern world in which you can be so busy making a living that you hardly have time to live. Shabbat frees us from the rush and pace of a society in which we are so busy rushing from A to B that we never have time to enjoy the view.”

With Thanks

In acknowledgment of the following authors and 
publications quoted from in this Toolkit

Angels at the Table


Dr Yvette Alt Miller

Continuum
 2011

Feldheim Publishers

Jew Got Questions

Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff

Siddur Tehillat Hashem – Annotated Edition

Kehot Publication 
Society

A division of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch

Life is a Test


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Mesorah Publications 
2006

Living Inspired

Rabbi Akiva Tatz

Targum Press
 1993

Radical Then, Radical Now

Jonathan SacksBloomsbury Academic

2004

Serenity

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Mesorah Publications
 2001

The Aryeh Kaplan 
Anthology

Aryeh Kaplan

NCSY/ OU 2004

The Gift of Rest

Joseph I. Lieberman

Howard Books 2011

The Koren Sacks

Siddur 
Koren Publishers

Jerusalem 2009

The Prime Ministers

Yehuda Avner

The Toby Press 2010

Twerski on Spirituality

Rabbi Abraham Twerski

Mesorah Publications 1998

 

Rabbi David Aaron
Ambassador Yehuda Avner
Moshav Band
Mordechai Ben David
Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
Rabbi Ari Kievman
Baruch Levine
Senator Joe Lieberman
Rebbetzin Mashi Lipskar
Dr Yvette Alt Miller
Dr Gary Neuman
Dr David Pelcovitz
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Yonatan Razel
Shlock Rock
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Yaakov Shwekey
Debra Sturdivant
Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz
Rabbi Yanki Tauber
Rabbi Abraham Twerski
Slovie Jungreis Wolff

Josh Alter
Simon Apfel
Rochel Leah Auerbach
Natalie Bentel
Gary Braude
Malki Connack
Gabriella Demby
Deena Friedman
Tamara Guinsberg
Rosy Hollander
Laurence Horwitz
Heidi Hurwitz
Wazza Katz
Danielle Katzeff
Nicole Knopp
Tanya Page
Alexa Scola
Netanel Sherazi
Alexis Sirakis
Debbie Stephens
Chanie Suttner

Every effort has been made to acknowledge 
copyright of holders herein. The publisher apologises for any unintentional omission. We would be pleased to hear about any unacknowledged content and undertake to make all reasonable efforts to include the appropriate acknowledgements in any subsequent editions.