Lighting Up The Sabbath Day Together

Click HERE to find your local 
Shabbat candlelighting times 
and weekly Torah portion 

Let's enjoy celebrating The Sabbath Day together. Whether you say Shabbat or Shabbos, it means The Sabbath Day all over the world. It means Shabbat candle lighting, Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Shabbos songs, Shabbat dinner and Sabbath peace. Let's find our local candlelighting times and find a special way to remember the Fourth Commandment together on the seventh day, in all our homes, all over the whole world.

Click HERE to see the Rabbi's answer to, 
"Why is Shabbat so good for my soul?"  


Big Shabbat Gatherings

Shabbat dinner - the real Happy Meal
"As our sages clearly knew, and researchers are only beginning to document, the weekly Shabbat dinner is far more than challah, baked chicken and matzo ball soup. It is a vehicle for releasing our kids from the dangerous clutches of Ronald McDonald. It is a means of keeping our families safe, sane and happy in a stressful, frenetically paced 21st-century world."  from Shabbat: The Real Happy Meal, by Sharon Duke Estroff in The Intermountain Jewish News, April 2009

Click to hear traditional Shabbat songs

Click HERE if you're not Jewish and you 
want to explore the Jewish Shabbat anyway


Little Shabbat At Home

Shabbat Bunny often sits at the extra place set for an uninvited guest, reminding me that Shabbat is about sharing and giving to others as I experience light and joy in my own home. Many people keep Shabbat by themselves at home, and discover, like me, that I am never really alone. The candles remind me that my soul is the candle of God and there is always plenty of extra light on Shabbat.

"According to Jewish tradition, the Sabbath provides a foretaste of the days to come. In its joyful calm, people become aware of how beautiful the world may be. Indeed, with its leisure and tranquility, the Sabbath has sustained the Jewish people through many of its most painful periods of history. Today, in a troubled and turbulent world, the Sabbath provides an opportunity for study, contemplation and sociability, and for the peace through which people can realize that the earth of God's handiwork is good - as He judged it good. " Rabbi Arthur Gilbert and Oscar Tarcov, based on the work of Rabbi Irving J. Rosenbaum for B'nai B'rith  

Texas Shabbat - Shabbat Shalom Y'all

Here's our delicious, easy challah recipe for bread machine or hand kneading, then braiding or shaping by hand and baking in your oven. No dairy. Everyone in Texas loves it!
And here's the recipe for traditional Shabbat Cholent, the Jewish stew made with various beans, potatoes, and meat, simple or spicy.

Challah- Before and After Baking

Here's a good explanation of traditional Challah making, including measurements, methods and the reason for separating a small piece of dough to burn as a sacrifice. Here are the traditional  blessings over the candles, wine and bread.

And here's a good, short video if you want to see easy Challah making for everyone at home.

Preparing, baking, blessing and serving two loaves of Challah at Shabbat dinner on Friday night is a delicious tradition. There are a lot of explanations and interpretations, but nearly everyone agrees that the two loaves represent the double portion of manna provided on the sixth day as the Israelites trekked in the wilderness and stopped their activity to rest on the seventh day, the Sabbath.

No time to braid your own Challahs? Get one of these silicone baking molds and use it for perfect loaves instead!

Plenty of time to braid and bake your own Challahs? Try this
Whole Wheat Sourdough Challah.

Click HERE to read and hear the
traditional blessings over Challah.

the traditional meat, bean and vegetable stew
served with Challah on Shabbat afternoon.

Camping Shabbat

Chavurat Yehudim—CHAI, a congregation on wheels with no walls and the sky for its roof. CHAI has now grown to 165 coaches (the “family unit” of the motor-coach world), comprised of Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and secular Jews, and some non-Jews too; families, couples, and singles; teachers, lawyers, accountants, and entrepreneurs; and many retirees. http://www.chai-fmca.org/
CHAI’s first Friday night service was held in January 2004 in a Claremore, OK campground, where a designated “challah finder” had to drive 60 miles roundtrip to obtain the ritual bread. Nowadays, organizing the service typically involves arranging camping chairs in a circle and setting up folding tables with noshes and drinks. As dusk settles, a folding table becomes a bimah, a challah replaces snacks, and candles and Kiddush cups appear. Voices join in prayers as the stars fill the heavens. By Anna Lee Braunstein for Reform Judaism Magazine, Fall 2010

Tent Camping

Shabbat Begins On Friday At Sunset

Indoors or out, man or woman, in a group or all alone, we light up the night on Friday evenings at sunset to keep the commandment to observe the Sabbath. People all over the world and all through the centuries have kept the Sabbath in many different ways, and now it's our time in history to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy with our own personal expressions.

Shabbat Candlelighting Is For Everybody

Click to see what people say about Shabbat
Click HERE for The Global Yeshiva video on 
The Shabbos Connection (English & Hebrew)

Click HERE to order Shabbat candles by the case. Have plenty on hand for Friday night candle lighting and holidays, too. This box holds 48 candles that are 4" high and burn about 3 hours.

Shabbat Candles Give A Special Light

Shabbos Candles

by Rebbetzin Denah Weinberg

Look around. The world is a dark place. People are wandering, roaming the world, searching for meaning. They are trying out this philosophy, that religion. People are groping. Where are the answers? Where is the light?

Light was created on the first day, and the Torah says, "It was good."

It is a woman's mitzvah to light the Shabbat candles. It is a woman's privilege to bring "good" into the world through light. How can those two little flickering candles on my table, light up the big, dark world?

The Shabbat candles usher in the holy day of Shabbat. Thus those little candle lights direct us to a much greater light, the light of Shabbat.



The light at the end of the tunnel is bright -- it breaks the darkness. Shabbat also breaks the darkness. It is not just a day when we stop working. Shabbat is the Day of the Candles, the Day of Light, the day when we clearly see our purpose in this world. Shabbat is the day on which we see we have a soul.

The soul itself is called a candle -- the candle of God. It is the light of the world. It infuses spirituality into the body and into all materialism. Without this spirituality, the world would be in a state of darkness. It is the soul that connects human beings to God. Similarly, Shabbat is the soul of the week. Without Shabbat, the world is a body without a soul. When women light candles, we welcome that extra light into the world.

Do you know that Shabbat also gives us an extra soul? During the rest of the week, one soul is powerful enough to receive the available holiness. But we need two souls to handle all the extra holiness that enters the world on Shabbat.

It is all too easy to ignore the extra soul and the extra spirituality that is available every Shabbat, and to spend the day just eating and sleeping. We need to ask ourselves, Is this the most efficient use of an extra soul?

I once heard it said that it's much easier to overcome internal conflicts on Shabbat than all week, because during the week the odds are one against one -- one body versus one soul. But on Shabbat, it is two against one -- two souls versus one body. On Shabbat we have a real chance to be more in control.


Candles are lit at romantic dinners, aren't they? What makes a dimly lit room romantic? Its the candles -- they draw people together on a soul level. It goes beyond eating a meal together -- that's mundane, that's physical. Rather, its about two humans connecting on a deep, spiritual level. That's exciting. That's romantic! The candles do it.

This, too, is Shabbat. The candles draw us to each other, and they draw us to God. Our soul is drawn to Him and vice versa. Shabbat is a love song. It is romance. It is a date between God and us. (Remember, on Shabbat, don't concentrate on your food -- concentrate on your date!)
We women are the ones who ignite this romance with God. This is what Shabbat candle lighting is all about.

So let's give our mitzvah some thought and put it into its proper spiritual dimension. Do you feel the light on Shabbat? Do you feel your soul light up?

Our tradition gives us guidelines to experience the spiritual dimension of candle lighting. Buy beautiful candlesticks; make sure they and the tray they rest on are polished to emphasize the importance of this mitzvah. Lighting with olive oil is highly regarded because of the intense light it produces. Be dressed in beautiful clothes at candle lighting time and, of course, be on time (18 minutes before sunset on Friday afternoon). Prepare, think, and be focused on this great experience.


Our tradition also tells us something remarkable. To help her children fulfill their potential, a woman should feel tremendous happiness when lighting her Shabbat candles. What won't parents do to have good children? They pay high tuition for the best schools; give them extracurricular activities, hobbies, and vacations to stimulate their minds and strengthen their bodies; feed them good, healthy meals; and buy them fine clothes. Yet Jewish sources tell us that one of the most important things we can do for our children is to be careful and happy when lighting Shabbat candles. This is our investment for meriting good, wise, and spiritually fulfilled Jewish children.

Shabbat candles also create peace in the home. How? People enjoy the Shabbat food more with the added light. And there is something deeper. Candles connect people on a spiritual level. Souls don't fight. Bodies fight. Candlelight evokes a soul connection between people, which creates real peace in the home.

Shabbat reminds us that there was a creation and a Creator. Just as Shabbat comes after six days of work, our ultimate connection to God comes in the World to Come -- after years and years of work! This is clarity. This brings sanity.

Human beings ask, What are we living for? The light of Shabbat answers, For an eternity of light, warmth, and closeness to our loving God.

Shabbat is the goal of the week, not merely a rest stop to prepare for the coming week. In truth, we work all week long for this day of pleasure. There is even a tradition to count the days in anticipation of Shabbat. "We're getting there... We're almost there... We're here!" It's like a bride counting the days to her wedding -- not because the wedding will mark the end of her preparations, but because it is the goal.

Shabbat is our goal, our destination. On Shabbat, all difficulties of the previous week change into a new reality. On Shabbat, all pain changes into beautiful, new challenges.

May we light the candles joyfully, carefully, and happily until the world is lit completely with the lights of Shabbat.

Reprinted with permission from InnerNet Magazine by Torah.org

From THE JEWISH SABBATH by Samson Raphael Hirsch, linked here as a Google Book

Shabbat Shalom