Shabbat: An Occasion of Gathering for Jews

Kiddush is the ritual followed in the Jewish culture to sanctify yourself and seek the blessings from the Almighty. In the Jewish culture, this is considered an auspicious event wherein the Kiddush cups are filled with tine or grape juice. Following this, the prayers are offered which marks the beginning of that special day. Jews perform every week and on this holy day, they generally do not do any work except preparing arrangements for celebrating the sacred ceremony.

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The importance of the Shabbat in the Jewish culture:

Jewish people are a group of hardworking individuals. They slog throughout the week and the Shabbos is the prayer offered as a remembrance of their almighty. It  takes place before the sunset on Friday and continues till the Saturday evening till three stars appear in the sky.

Shabbat, lasting for 25 hours can be performed by the head of the family. There is no restriction on women regarding performing the rites. In case the male head of the family is sick, the woman head of the family can perform the rituals. Itis also important because this holy occasion allows all family members to join and spend some time together. Those who are single or have no family can also create a group and gather at some place to celebrate this day. As per Judaism, Shabbat is the holy gift of God that God only sends to those who are special to him.

Deep insight into the rituals:

Candlelight ceremony is the central point of the celebration which begins at mid-week. Meals are being held followed by studying and singing which ensures a great family time. Melodies in reference to the Almighty is being conducted.

Various types of Kiddush cups are available. Ranging from traditional cups to wine fountain, they are available for it.

Friday is the preparation day for Shabbat, and every Jews groom themselves well to welcome this day. They clean themselves, bath well, do haircuts, dress up well and beautify their house with lights, flowers, and candles. As per Judaism, it takes place right before the sunset and candles need to be lit at that moment to welcome it. Many Jews communities light up their candles 18 minutes prior to sunset, and many lights up for 36 minutes. Jews make the onset of that memorable through Kabbalat Shabbat, a sacred prayer ceremony. On the occasion, prior to the dinner on Friday night, they sing two songs; one to welcome the Shabbat angels into the home, and another song is dedicated to the women of the house and to thank their hard work throughout the entire week.

Things restricted on that day:

According to the Jews law, there are 39 activities in total that you cannot perform at the time of that day unless you face any medical emergency or any life-threatening situation occurs. These 39 activities are commonly known as ‘melakhah’, which, translating in English, stands for ‘intentional actions or craftsmanship’. Some of these activities include beating and dyeing wool, weaving, tanning, grinding, reaping, baking, tearing, slaughtering, demolishing, etc. A person who abides by all the rules and regulations of this moment from the core of his heart is called ‘Shomer Shabbat’. However, there are disagreements regarding the practical adherence of Shabbat. While conservative and orthodox jews strongly support to adhere to ‘melakhah’, and in some cases, appoint a ‘Shabbos goy’ (a non-Jew person), to perform the forbidden activities, the followers who believe in Reconstructionist Judaism, think that it is totally a person’s choice whether he will abide by the ‘melakhah’ or not.

Activities encouraged:

While Jews believe in not doing certain activities on Shabbat, at the same time, certain activities they encourage to perform on Shabbat. These activities include reading, writing, sleeping, marriage and marital relations, singing, chatting with family and friends, etc.

Dishes prepared:

Shabbat is the festive time during the week, and the celebration remains incomplete without three auspicious festive meals; Shabbat eve dinner, Shabbat day lunch, and a ‘Shalosh seudot’ or third meal on Saturday evening. During this time, every family member is on the same page and when it comes to some exquisite dish, you just cannot ignore it. Starting from the appetizers like the soup that include miso ginger soup and pumpkin corn soup, the main dish is more palatable.

The main dish includes the Shabbat chicken along with cashews and dry fruits, chicken roast with root veggies and sweet and sweet and sour chicken. If you are a fish lover, you need not worry as you can savor the salmon and cod prepared in the most delicious ways.

Any congregation without the dessert is incomplete. A wide range of options in dessert ensures a happy ending to the dinner. Ranging from the brownies to the cake pops, everything can make up your dinner table on this special day.

Reciting a Kiddush:

Certain norms are to be followed while reciting the Kiddush. You can recite the Kiddush Holding the Kiddush cup in your hand and pouring the wine or grape juice in it is the first step. Follow it by reciting the prayer to the Almighty. Sip a bit of wine from the Kiddush cup and then pass it over to other family members. Worshipping and taking a day off is one of the best ways to celebrate the Shabbat.

Enjoying the Shabbat meal is an important occasion as it ensures that the entire family is gathered during the occasion. Make sure you purchase the best quality Sterling silver plated Kiddush Cups to offer the prayer on the auspicious eve of that day.


The holy celebration of Shabbat comes to an end through ‘Havdalah’, the ceremony of bidding farewell and welcoming a new week. In the end, when the three stars disembark in the night sky, Jews enumerate the ‘Havdalah’ blessings accompanied by a glass of wine, beautiful aromatic spices, and lighting up candles. A few communities hold-up the farewell to extend the Shabbat and perform ‘Havdalah’ at midnight.

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