Supplies

Beginners Service

Supplies

Looking to offer a Beginners Service?

Contact Us About Running a Beginners Service

NJOP provides a complete line of educational materials to help you start a Beginners Service in your community.

To order supplies,
call 1-800-44-TORAH (1-800-448-6724),
or email Larry Greenman.

Learn to conduct a Beginners Service from Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald. The Beginners Service has proven to be a most effective tool in bringing the unaffiliated into the synagogue and ultimately into Jewish life. From recruitment through follow-up, plus all the details you need to run the service, the materials that will help you start and run a Beginners Service of your own are now available. All the materials have been pre-tested at Lincoln Square Synagogue and at dozens of synagogues throughout the USA. They are designed to give you the information you need to succeed at one of the most exciting and innovative programs in Jewish outreach.

The Leader’s Guide
An attractively bound, step-by-step guide to starting and conducting a Beginners Service, complete with illustrations, outlines, outreach strategies and sample materials. It will take you through a Shabbat Service from start through Kiddush.

Beginners Service Posters
A series of 23″ x 35″ posters to provide instruction and information during the Beginners Service.
3 “Prayer Structure” posters
1 “Kiddush” poster
1 “Bracha Acharona” poster

Decorative Posters
Two beautiful full-color 23″ x 35″ posters on a Teshuva theme and a Shabbat theme.
Perfect for decorating the Beginners Service room.
“Teshuva” poster 
“Shabbat” poster

Introductory Offer

To Help a Jew Pray

Get the Leader’s Guide and all the posters plus a handsome carrying case included.

Shabbat

The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

Learn more

Programs and Classes

Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

Resources

Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

Articles

Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.


Shabbat Jewish Treats

Jewish Treats about

Shabbat

Browse our archive of Shabbat related Jewish Treats.

Shabbat

The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

Learn more

Programs and Classes

Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

Resources

Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

Articles

Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.


Shabbat

Shabbat

More than the Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews.

An Oasis in Time

The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift, “Divine Therapy,” if you will, is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week, and it’s free! Contemporary observers often speak of the need for “quality time.” Shabbat teaches that there cannot be quality time without quantity time. Shabbat is indeed an idea whose time has come.

Sacred Time

As we enter the 21st century, the world has never needed Shabbat more. Our society desperately needs time to catch its breath, to look inward, not outward, to be introspective. We need an opportunity to hug our children, look our spouses in the eye, and engage in true communication, without constant interruptions of telephones, radios, videos and computer games. For all our valued technological advancements (streaming music, smart phones, internet, smart homes, etc.)  our ability to communicate has greatly diminished. In fact, studies indicate that the average American parent speaks with his/her children no more than 11 minutes a day and watches television 35.5 hours a week!

We, and our families, need “sacred time.” Shabbat provides just that, and much more. It has been said, “More than the Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews.” It is an elixir of life. It is G-d’s greatest gift to human-kind. Embrace it! Savor a taste of the world to come.

Jewish Treats Complete Guide to Shabbat

Jewish Treats and our parent organization NJOP, are excited to introduce our Jewish Treats Complete Guide to Shabbat eBook- your online resource to the Day of Rest. This eBook includes a little bit of everything: From how to light the Shabbat candles, the secrets of braided challah, the songs of the Sabbath and much more.  Everything you need to know and have been wondering about Shabbat is now right at your fingertips!

Please share this fun and informative Shabbat eBook with your friends and family!

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Print the Jewish Treats Complete Guide to Shabbat or use the interface on this page to view or download.

*We’d love for you to be able to enjoy this Jewish Treats eBook on Shabbat, as well as during the week. To use it on Shabbat, be sure to print your copy before sunset on Friday to stay within the Shabbat spirit.

Shabbat Programs

NJOP is proud to be able to offer you a selection of informative educational resources for Shabbat.

Shabbat Across America and Canada

“Turn an ordinary Friday night into something extraordinary!” On Friday night, March 5, 2021, hundreds of synagogues across the continent will take part in an historic national Jewish event to celebrate what unifies all Jews — Shabbat! Everyone is invited…

Shabbat Across America at Home

Have you experienced the magic of NJOP’s Shabbat Across America and Canada? Have you wanted to participate but couldn’t? Do you love the idea of creating an evening of warm inspiration, simple peace and beautiful tradition?…

Beginners Service

Designed specifically for the novice worshiper, this free explanatory prayer service is conducted in both Hebrew and English, and provides a comfortable non-judgmental venue for those with little synagogue experience…

CommUNITY

Take the Shabbat Across America and Canada unity challenge and organize a CommUNITY Shabbat Across America and Canada. The CommUNITY initiative requires multiple organizations in one city to work together to create…

Send us message to have us contact you about running any of our Shabbat programs or call 1-800-44-HEBREW.


SAA

The 25th Annual

Shabbat Across America and Canada

is March 5, 2021!

Are you a rabbi or synagogue lay leader who
would like your congregation to take part? Register here.
Click here to register to receive materials for your Shabbat at Home

Shabbat Across Canada

For those of you north of the border, many Canadian synagogues will be taking part in our Shabbat Across Canada initiative. We hope you can join us!

“Turn an ordinary Friday night into something extraordinary!”

On Friday night, March 5, 2021, hundreds of synagogues across the continent will take part in an historic national Jewish event to celebrate what unifies all Jews — Shabbat! Everyone is invited… singles, couples, families — all ages.

That’s the magic of Shabbat Across America and Shabbat Across Canada. By participating in this continent-wide event, you will not only have the opportunity to experience Shabbat, but you will be sharing your experience with tens of thousands of Jews across North America.

No matter what your affiliation or which Shabbat Across America or Shabbat Across Canada location you choose to attend, NJOP’s annual Shabbat program will give you a “taste” of Shabbat. Explanatory services, traditional rituals, delicious meals and lively discussions are all important components of the Shabbat experience, as well as the opportunity to spend the evening with like-minded people, friends and family.

Shabbat Across America or Shabbat Across Canada is for every Jew, and those who are unable to go to a registered location can participate in their own homes or in gatherings with friends/family.

Can’t find a Shabbat event in your area?

Learn how to observe Shabbat in your own home.

Why Participate in Shabbat Across America and Canada at Home?

Have you experienced the magic of NJOP’s Shabbat Across America and Canada? Have you wanted to participate but couldn’t? Do you love the idea of creating an evening of warm inspiration, simple peace and beautiful tradition?

On one special night, tens of thousands of North American Jews will come together in spiritual unison with Jews across the continent and with thousands of years of tradition. Now is your chance to be counted in this campaign that encourages Jews of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate what unifies us all: The Shabbat.

It’s simple. Host a traditional Friday night Shabbat dinner at your home with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues – anyone who would appreciate a warm Shabbat dinner.

Register here and we’ll help you get started with our Shabbat Across America and Canada at Home Guide, Shabbat blessings and prayers, and a Gourmet Shabbat Recipe Guide including traditional recipes from America’s top chefs like Wolfgang Puck, plus the world’s best chicken soup recipe.

Shabbat Across America and Canada at Home Sign-Up
Enter the details of your Shabbat to register and receive your free materials.

    Please send me:

    Shabbat Across America and Canada at Home Guide
    Traditional Recipes from America's top Chefs

    * Required

    In the spirit of Jewish unity, we ask you to consider serving a kosher dinner and observing the beautiful Shabbat traditions.

    We encourage you to share how you will celebrate Shabbat on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook #ShabbatAtHome.

    The Spirit of Shabbat

    "More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews."

    -Achad Ha’am

    Click here to participate, receive free materials, and celebrate what unifies us all: The Shabbat.

    Are you a rabbi or synagogue lay leader?

      In the spirit of Jewish Unity and program uniformity, NJOP respectfully requests that the meal served be kosher and that Shabbat be observed at the location of the program.*

      I Agree *

      *Required

      Attend A Shabbat

      Check the map or run a search above to see if there is a Shabbat Across America and Canada taking place in a community near you. Use the information provided in the listing to contact our partners to register or learn more.

      Donate

      Help us to help your community! Make a tax-deductible donation to NJOP and support programs like Shabbat Across America and Canada. Use AmazonSmile and your eligible purchases will earn donations too!

      Partner with NJOP

      Are you a rabbi, Jewish educator or synagogue representative? Click here to learn about the many ways you can partner with NJOP.

      Contact Us

      Shabbat Resources


      The Shabbat Across America and Canada At Home booklet is the perfect guide for the Friday night meal, providing a short explanation and a helpful how-to for each component of the Friday night meal.

      Introductory Guide

      Jewish Treats Complete Guide to Shabbat is the perfect resource on the Day of Rest. This eBook includes a little bit of everything: From how to light the Shabbat candles, the secrets of braided challah, the songs of the Sabbath and much more.

      Detailed Guide

      The Spirituality at Your Fingertips series provides you with a concise, uplifting and meaningful explanation of Shabbat rituals and practice. The guides will help you learn about essential Shabbat practices, enabling you to experience the beauty of Shabbat in your own home.

      Welcoming Shabbat: Shabbat Candle LightingSanctifying Shabbat: Kiddush and Ha'Mo'TzeeEnjoying Shabbat: The Shabbat MealsLeaving Shabbat: Havdalah and Post-Shabbat

        Receive the Jewish Treats daily emailReceive Rabbi Buchwalds weekly Torah message.


        A La Carte Menu Card

        SAAC A La Carte Menu Card Sample

        A La Carte Menu Card – A Great Blueprint for Follow-Up.
        Utliyze these cards to help you assess the interests of your congregation and determine the number or potential participants for the various programs and services we can help you set up, promote and run.  We recommend gathering the participant’s names and contact info so that you can follow up with each congregant when you are ready to offer a program in which they expressed interest.

        How to use the A La Carte Menu Cards:

        1. Once registration for the program is complete, personalize the A-La-Carte Menu Cards for each participant by inserting their names on a card (one name per card). If seating is assigned, fill in table numbers as well.
        2. Assign “Meet and Greet” role to one or two members of the planning committee and have them distribute cards to participants as they arrive, or place cards in an alphabetized list and direct arriving participants to take their cards.
        3. During the meal, explain that the Menu Cards are a selection of programs/initiatives that the synagogue/Jewish center might offer, depending on demand, and ask participants to fold down the tabs for the programs which interest them.
        4. Collect the cards and give them to the appropriate follow-up coordinator (Rabbi, Program Director, etc.) to process as follows:
          • After SHABBAT ACROSS AMERICA/CANADA, count the number of participants who responded to each tab. If possible, record the names of those interested in each program in your database so that they may be contacted if/when the program is offered.
          • Contact us about potential follow-up programs. NJOP will provide you with free teacher’s guides, class materials, and promotional tools.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

        Articles

        Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.


        Spirituality at Your Fingertips

        Shabbat

        The Spirituality at Your Fingertips series provides you with a concise, uplifting and meaningful explanation of Shabbat rituals and practice. It is hoped that the guides will help you learn about essential Shabbat practices, enabling you to experience the beauty of Shabbat in your own home.

        *We’d love for you to be able to enjoy these guides on Shabbat, as well as during the week. To use it on Shabbat, be sure to print your copy before sunset on Friday to stay within the Shabbat spirit.

        Welcoming Shabbat:

        A Guide to Shabbat Candle Lighting

        Here is a great way to take a bit of the Shabbat experience and make it your own. Bring some of the radiance and spirituality of Shabbat into your home each Friday by learning about and lighting Shabbat candles. Our Guide will provide you with inspiration and illumination to welcome Shabbat with candlelight. Your Friday nights will never be the same.

        ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Print A Guide to Shabbat Candle Lighting or use the interface on this page to view or download.

        Sanctifying Shabbat:

        A Guide to Kiddush and Ha'mo'tzee

        Learn why we drink wine as part of Kiddush and recite the Hamotzee blessing and eat Challah each Shabbat. In this comprehensive overview, you’ll discover the reasons behind these Shabbat practices, the significance of the underlying laws and customs.

        ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Print A Guide to Kiddush and Ha'Mo'Tzee or use the interface on this page to view or download.

        Enjoying Shabbat:

        A Guide to the Shabbat Meals

        Ever wonder what makes the three meals of Shabbat so special? Could it be the special foods, the songs that are sung, the invited guests and the special practices and blessings at the end of the meal? You’ll find out after reading this wonderful description of the Shabbat meals.

        ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Print A Guide to the Shabbat Meals or use the interface on this page to view or download.

        Leaving Shabbat:

        A Guide To Havdalah and the Post-Shabbat Experience

        Shabbat ends when the sun has fully set on Saturday night, but Jewish tradition carries the holiness into the week. In this guide, you will find everything from a detailed guide of the Havdalah ceremony to introductions to unique aspects specific to Saturday night.

        ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Print A Guide to Havdalah and the Post-Shabbat Experience or use the interface on this page to view or download.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

        Articles

        Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.


        Blessing the Bread (Ha'Motzee)

        Ha'Mo'Tzee

        Blessing the Bread

        Two complete loaves of bread, called challah, are used for ha’mo’tzee, the blessing over the bread.

        Making Motzee
        Two complete loaves of bread, called challah, are used for ha’mo’tzee, the blessing over the bread. The challah should be covered from before Kiddush until everyone is ready for the blessing over the challah following the ritual hand washing. The person making the blessing over the challah makes a gentle knife mark on the challah that will be eaten first and then raises both challot and recites the blessing. The marked challah is then cut, dipped in salt (just a pinch) and distributed to everyone at the table.

        Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
        Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech ha’o’lam ha’motzee lechem min ha’aretz.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

        Articles

        Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.


        Bentching/Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals

        Birkat HaMazon

        Grace After Meals

        Bentching

        How easy it is, when we are wanting, to ask G-d for the food, to remember our “please and thank yous,” to be grateful when we see food before us. It is much harder to recall that gratitude once the hunger has been satisfied. Grace After Meals, known in Hebrew as Birkat HaMazon and in Yiddish as Bentching, reminds each person that they need to show gratitude after the meal as well. Birkat HaMazon is recited after any meal with bread, for which one would also have washed their hands and recited the Ha’Motzee blessing. There are shorter After-Blessings which are recited following a snack.

        Shir HaMaalot
        On Shabbat and Festivals, Psalm 126, foretelling the restoration of Zion, is sung before Birkat HaMazon.
        A Song of Ascents. When the L-rd brought the exiles back to Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with glad song. Then it was said among the nations: “The L-rd has done great things for them.” The L-rd had done great things for us, and we rejoiced. Restore our captives, O L-rd, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. Though the farmer bears the measure of seed to the field in sadness, he shall come home with joy, bearing his sheaves.
        Shir hama’alot b’shuv Ad-onai et shivat Tzion, hayinu k’cholmim. Az yimalay sichok pinu u’lshonaynu rina, az yomru va’goyim higdil Ad-onai la’asot eem eleh. Higdil Ad-onai la’asot emanu hayinu simachim. Shuva A-donai et shivataynu ka’aphikim banegev. Ha’zorim b’dima b’rina yikzoru. Haloch yelech u’vacho nosay meshech ha’zara bo yavo v’rina nosay aloomatav.

        Actual Bentching:
        The words “our G-d” in parentheses are added if a minyan (quorum) is present.
        Leader: Let us say grace.
        Guests respond, then leader repeats: Blessed be the name of the L-rd from this time forth and forever.
        Leader: With your permission, let us now bless (our G-d) whose food we have eaten.
        Guests respond, then Leader repeats: Blessed be (our G-d) whose food we have eaten and through whose goodness we live.
        All: Blessed be He and blessed be His name
        Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who nourishes the whole world with grace, kindness and mercy. You give food to all creatures, for Your kindness endures forever. Through this great goodness we have never been in want; may we never be in want of sustenance for His great name’s sake. He is the G-d who sustains all, does good to all, and provides food for all the creatures that He has created. Blessed are You, O L-rd, who sustains all.
        We thank You, L-rd our G-d, for having given a beautiful, good, and spacious land to our ancestors as a heritage; for having taken us out, L-rd our G-d, from the land of Egypt and redeemed us from the house of slavery; Your covenant which you have sealed in our flesh; for Your Torah which You have taught us; for Your statutes that You have made known to us; for the life, grace and kindness that You have bestowed on us; and for the food with which You sustains us at all times.
        For everything, L-rd our G-d, we thank You and bless You. May Your name constantly be blessed by all forever, as it is written: “After you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the L-rd your G-d for the good land He has given you.” Blessed are You, O L-rd, for the land and the food.
        Have mercy, L-rd our G-d, on Israel Your people, on Jerusalem Your city, on Zion the abode of Your glory, on the kingdom of the house of David Your anointed one, and on the great and holy Temple that bears Your name. Our G-d, our Father, tend and feed us; sustain and support us and relieve us. Speedily, L-rd our G-d, grant us relief from all our troubles. L-rd our G-d, O make us not rely on the gifts and loans of men but rather on Your full, open and generous hand, that we may never be put to shame and disgrace.

        On Sabbath add the following paragraph:
        (Favor us and strengthen us, L-rd our G-d, with Your commandments, with the commandment concerning the seventh day, this great and holy Sabbath. This day is great and holy before You to abstain from work and rest on it in love according to Your will. In Your will, L-rd our G-d, grant us rest so that there be no sorrow nor grief on our day of rest. Let us, L-rd our G-d, live to see Zion Your city comforted, Jerusalem Your holy city rebuilt, for You are Master of all salvation and consolation.)
        Remember us this day, L-rd our G-d, for goodness; consider us for blessing; save us for life. With a word of salvation and mercy spare us and favor us; have pity on us and save us, for we look to You, for You are a gracious and merciful G-d and King.
        Rebuild Jerusalem the holy city speedily in our days. Blessed are You, O L-rd, who will rebuild Jerusalem in mercy. Amen.
        Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe. G-d, You are our Father, our King and Sovereign, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Maker, the Holy One of Jacob, the Shepherd of Israel, the good King who does good to all and has done good, is doing good, and will do good. You bestow favors on us constantly. You do ever lavish on us kindness and mercy, relief and deliverance, success, blessing, salvation, comfort, sustenance, support, mercy, life and peace and all goodness. May You never deprive us of any good thing.
        May the Merciful One reign over us forever and ever.
        May the Merciful One be blessed in heaven and on earth.
        May the Merciful One be praised for all generations; may He be glorified through us forever and ever; may He be honored through us to all eternity.
        May the Merciful One grant us an honorable livelihood.
        May the Merciful One break the yoke from our neck; may He lead us upstanding into our land.
        May the Merciful One send ample blessing into this house and upon this table at which we have eaten.
        May the Merciful One send us Elijah the prophet of blessed memory who will bring us good tidings of consolation and comfort.
        May the Merciful One bless…(choose the appropriate phrase:)

        • Guests recite the following line and, at one’s parents’ table, add the words in parentheses:
          (my revered father) the master of this house and (my revered mother) the mistress of this house.At one’s own table, add:
          myself (my wife/my husband and children) and all that belongs to me and all
          those who are participating in this meal.

        All continue here:
        May He bless us all together and all our possessions just as He blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with every blessing.
        May He bless us all together with a perfect blessing, and let us say, Amen.
        May they in heaven find merits with us so that we may enjoy a lasting peace. May we receive blessings from the L-rd, justice from the G-d of our salvation, and may we find favor and good sense in the eyes of G-d and men.
        On Sabbath add sentence in parentheses:
        (May the Merciful One cause us to inherit the day which will be all Sabbath and rest in the eternal life).
        May the Merciful One enable us to live in the days of the Messiah and in the world to come.
        He is the tower of salvation of His chosen king and shows kindness to His anointed prince, to David and his descendants forever.
        He who creates peace in His heavenly heights, may He grant peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
        Revere the L-rd, you His holy ones for those who revere him suffer no want. Lions may be hungry and starving, but those who seek the L-rd shall not lack any good thing. Give thanks to the L-rd, for He is good; His kindness endures forever. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Blessed is the man who trusts in the L-rd, and whose trust is in the L-rd. I have been young and now I am old, but never have I seen the righteous man forsaken, nor his children wanting bread. The L-rd will give strength to his people; the L-rd will bless His people with peace.
        The word “Eh’lo’hay’nu ” in parentheses is added if a minyan is present.
        Leader: Ra’bo’tai n’va’raych.
        Guests respond: Y’hee shaym Ah’doh’nai m’vo’rach may’ah’tah v’ad o’lam.
        Leader: Y’hee shaym Ah’doh’nai m’vo’rach may’ah’tah v’ad o’lam. Beer’shoot ma’ra’nahn v’ra’ba’nahn v’ra’bo’tai n’va’raych (Eh’lo’hay’nu) sheh’ah’chal’noo mee’sheh’lo.
        Guests respond, then Leader: Ba’ruch (Eh’lo’hay’nu) sheh’ah’chal’noo mee’sheh’lo oov’too’vo cha’yee’noo.
        All: Ba’ruch Hoo, oo’va’rooch sh’mo.
        Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech ha’o’lam, ha’zan et ha’o’lam koo’lo b’too’vo b’chayn b’chesed oo’v’rah’cha’mim. Hoo no’tayn leh’chem l’chol basar kee l’o’lam chas’do. Oo’v’too’vo ha’ga’dol ta’mid lo cha’sar la’noo v’al yech’sar la’noo ma’zohn l’o’lam va’ed. Ba’ah’voor sh’mo ha’ga’doal, kee Hoo Ayl zahn oo’m’far’nays la’kol, oo’may’tiv la’kol, oo’may’cheen ma’zohn, l’chol bree’o’tav ah’sher ba’rah. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’do’nai, ha’zahn et ha’kol.

        No’deh L’chah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu ahl sheh’hin’chal’tah la’ah’vo’tay’noo eretz chem’dah tovah oo’r’chah’vah. V’al sheh’ho’tzay’tah’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu may’eretz Mitzrayim, oof’dee’tah’noo mee’bayt ah’vah’dim, v’al brit’chah sheh’cha’tam’ta biv’sah’ray’noo, v’al Torat’cha sheh’lee’mad’ditanu, v’al choo’keh’chah sheh’ho’dah’tanu, v’al chayim chayn va’chesed sheh’cho’nahn’tah’noo, v’al ah’chee’laht mah’zohn sheh’ah’tah zahn, oo’m’far’nays oh’tah’noo tah’mid b’chol yom oo’v’chol ayt oo’v’chol sha’ah.
        V’al ha’kol Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu ah’nach’noo mo’dim lach, oo’m’var’chim oh’tach, yit’bah’rach shim’chah b’fee kol chai tah’mid l’oh’lam va’ed. Ka’ka’toov v’ah’chal’tah v’sah’vah’tah oo’vay’rach’tah et Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’heh’chah ahl ha’ah’retz ha’tovah ah’sher natan lach. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’do’nai, ahl ha’ah’retz v’ahl ha’mah’zohn.
        Rah’chaym (nah) Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu ahl Yisrael ah’meh’chah v’ahl Yerushalayim Ee’reh’chah v’ahl Tzion mish’kahn K’vo’deh’chah v’ahl mahl’choot bayt David m’shee’cheh’cha v’ahl ha’ba’yit ha’gah’dol v’ha’ka’dosh sheh’nik’rah shim’chah ah’lahv. Eh’lo’hay’noo Ah’vee’noo r’ay’noo zoo’nay’noo par’n’say’noo v’chal’k’lay’noo v’har’vee’chay’noo v’har’vach lah’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu m’hay’rah mee’kol tza’ro’tay’noo. V’nah Ahl tazt’ree’chay’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’noo lo lee’day maht’naht ba’sar va’dahm v’lo lee’day hahl’va’ah’tahm, kee im l’yad’cha ha’m’lay’ah ha’p’too’cha ha’k’doh’sha v’har’cha’va, sheh’lo nay’voash v’lo nee’kah’laym l’o’lam va’ed.
        On the Sabbath insert:
        (R’tzay v’ha’cha’lee’tzay’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu b’mitz’vo’teh’cha, oo’v’mitz’vaht yom ha’sh’vee’ee, ha’Shabbat ha’gadol v’ha’kadosh ha’zeh. Kee yom zeh gadol v’kadosh hoo l’fah’neh’chah, lish’baht bo v’la’noo’ahch bo b’ah’ha’vah k’mitzvat r’tzo’neh’cha. Oo’vir’tzon’chah ha’nee’ach la’noo Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu sheh’lo t’hay tza’rah v’ya’goan va’ah’na’chah b’yom m’noo’cha’tay’noo. V’har’ay’noo A’do’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu b’neh’chah’maht Tzion ee’reh’chah, oo’v’vin’yahn Yerushalayim eer kod’sheh’chah, kee ah’tah Hoo ba’ahl ha’y’shoo’oat oo’va’ahl ha’neh’cha’moat.)

        Oo’v’nay Yerushalayim eer ha’kodesh bim’hay’rah v’yah’may’noo. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai bo’nay v’rah’chah’mav Yerushalayim ah’mayn.
        Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech ha’o’lam, ha’Ayl ah’vee’noo mahl’kay’noo ah’dee’ray’noo bo’ray’noo go’ah’lay’noo yo’tzray’noo k’doh’shay’noo k’dosh Yaakov ro’ay’noo ro’ay Yisrael, ha’Melech ha’tov v’ha’may’tiv la’kol sheh’b’chol yom va’yom Hoo hay’tiv, hoo may’tiv, Hoo yay’tiv la’noo, Hoo g’mah’lah’noo, Hoo go’m’lay’noo, Hoo yig’ma’lay’noo la’ahd. L’chayn, oo’l’chesed, oo’l’rah’chah’mim, oo’l’reh’vach, ha’tza’lah v’hatzla’cha, b’racha vee’shoo’ah, neh’chah’mah
        par’nah’sah v’chahl’ka’lah, v’rah’cha’meem v’chayim v’shalom v’chol tov oo’mee’kol toov l’olam ahl y’chas’ray’noo.

        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yim’loach ah’lay’noo l’o’lahm vah’ed.
        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yit’ba’rach ba’sha’mayim oo’va’aretz.
        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yish’tah’bahch l’dor doh’rim v’yit’pah’ar ba’noo la’ahd ool’nay’tzach
        n’tza’cheem, v’yit’ha’dar ba’noo la’ahd ool’ol’may o’la’meem.
        Ha’ra’chah’mahn Hoo y’far’n’say’noo b’chah’voad.
        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yish’bor oo’lay’noo may’ahl tza’va’ray’noo v’Hoo yo’lee’chay’noo ko’m’mee’yoot l’ar’tzay’noo.
        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yish’lahch lah’noo b’racha m’roo’bah ba’ba’yit ha’zeh v’ahl shool’chahn zeh sheh’ah’chahl’noo ah’lahv.
        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yish’lahch lah’noo et Ay’lee’yahoo ha’na’vee za’choor la’tov, vee’va’ser la’noo b’so’roat toh’voat y’shoo’oat v’neh’chah’moat.

        Guests recite the following line and, at one’s parents’ table, add words in parentheses:
        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo y’vah’raych et (ah’vee mo’ree) ba’ahl ha’ba’yit ha’zeh v’et
        (ee’mee mo’rah’tee) ba’ah’laht ha’bayit ha’zeh. O’tahm v’et bay’tahm v’et zar’ahm v’et
        kol ah’sher la’hem.

        At one’s own table, recite:
        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo y’vah’raych o’tee (husband adds: v’ish’tee) (wife adds:
        oo’ba’ah’lee) (if one has children add: v’zar’ee) v’et kol ah’sher lee.

        All continue here:
        O’tah’noo v’et kol ah’sher lah’noo k’mo sheh’nit’bar’choo ah’vo’tay’noo Avraham, Yitzchak v’Yaakov bah’kol mee’kol, kol, kayn y’vah’raych o’tah’noo koo’lah’noo ya’chahd biv’rah’chah sh’lay’mah v’no’mar ah’mayn.

        Bah’ma’roam y’lahm’doo ah’lay’hem v’ah’lay’noo z’choot sheh’tehay l’mish’meh’ret shalom. V’nee’sah b’racha may’ayt Ah’do’nai, oo’tzedaka may’Eh’lo’hay yish’ay’noo, v’nim’tza chayn v’say’chel tov b’ay’nay Eh’lo’him v’ah’dahm.
        On the Sabbath:
        (Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo yahn’chee’lay’noo yom sheh’koo’lo Shabbat oom’noo’chah l’chayay ha’o’la’meem.)

        Ha’rah’chah’mahn Hoo y’zah’kay’noo lee’moat ha’mashiach oo’l’chayay ha’o’lahm ha’ba. Mig’doal y’shoo’oat mahl’ko v’oh’seh chesed lim’shee’cho, l’David oo’l’zar’o ahd o’lahm. O’seh shalom bim’ro’mahv Hoo ya’ah’seh shalom ah’lay’noo v’ahl kol Yisrael v’im’roo Ah’mayn.
        Ye’roo et Ah’doh’nai k’do’shav kee ayn mahch’sor lee’ray’ahv. K’fee’rim ra’shoo v’rah’ay’voo, v’dor’shay Ah’doh’nai lo yach’s’roo chol tov. Ho’doo la’Ah’doh’nai kee tov kee l’oh’lahm chas’doh. Po’tay’ach et yah’deh’chah oo’mas’bee’ah l’chol chai rah’tzon. Ba’ruch ha’gever ah’sher yiv’tach ba’Ah’do’nai, v’ha’yah Ah’doh’nai miv’tah’cho. Na’ar ha’yee’tee, gahm za’kahn’tee, v’loo rah’ee’tee tzaddik neh’eh’zahv v’zar’oh m’vah’kaysh lah’chem. Ah’doh’nai oaz l’ah’mo yee’tayn, Ah’doh’nai y’vah’raych et ah’mo va’shalom.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

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        Kiddush

        Kiddush

        Kiddush, sanctification, is the prayer said over wine and/or grape juice through which Jews proclaim the uniqueness of Shabbat. Reciting or hearing Kiddush is a Shabbat obligation for all adult Jews.

        The Friday night Kiddush contains verses from Genesis describing the Sabbath of Creation, followed by the blessing over wine, and closes with a blessing affirming the sanctification of Shabbat.

        The blessing is recited while holding the kiddush cup in the right hand. (See Blessing Below)

        KIDDUSH
        The person reciting the Kiddush then drinks from the wine and distributes it so that everyone present can actively participate in the mitzvah. The actual obligation, however, is fulfilled by everyone simply hearing the Kiddush recited.

        There are various customs regarding standing or sitting for the recitation of the Kiddush. Some people stand throughout the entire Kiddush, while others stand only for the first paragraph and sit when saying the blessing over the wine and the blessing sanctifying Shabbat.

        BLESSING
        It was evening and it was morning, the sixth day. The heavens and the earth were finished, with all their complement. On the seventh day, G-d had completed His work which He had undertaken, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had been doing. Then G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all His creative work, which G-d had brought into being to fulfill its purpose.

        Blessed are You L-rd, our G-d, Ruler of the world, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
        Blessed are You L-rd, our G-d, Ruler of the world, who made us holy with His commandments and favored us, and gave us His holy Shabbat, in love and favor, to be our heritage, as a reminder of the Creation. It is the foremost day of the holy festivals marking the exodus from Egypt. For out of all nations You chose us and made us holy, and You gave us Your holy Shabbat, in love and favor, as our heritage. Blessed are You, L-rd, Who sanctifies the Shabbat.
        Va’yehee erev va’yehee vo’ker yom ha’shee’shee, va’y’choo’loo ha’shah’ma’yim v’ha’ah’retz v’chol tz’vah’ahm. Va’y’chahl Eh’lo’him ba’yom ha’sh’vee’ee m’lach’to ah’sher ah’sah, va’yish’boht ba’yom ha’sh’vee’ee mee’kol m’lach’toh ah’sher ah’sah. Va’y’vah’rech Eh’lo’him et yom ha’sh’vee’eeh va’y’kah’daysh oh’toh, kee vo shah’vaht mee’kol m’lach’toh ah’sher bah’rah Eh’lo’him la’ah’soht.
        Sah’v’ree mah’rah’nahn v’rah’bah’nahn v’rah’boh’tai: Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’noo Melech ha’oh’lahm bo’ray p’ree ha’gah’fen.
        Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech ha’o’lam ah’sher kidishanu b’mitz’vo’tahv v’rah’tzah va’noo v’Shabbat kawd’sho b’ah’hah’vah oo’v’rah’tzohn hin’chee’lah’noo zee’kah’rohn l’mah’ah’say v’ray’sheet, kee hoo yom t’chee’lah l’mik’rah’ay ko’desh zay’cher lee’tzee’aht Mitz’ra’yeem, kee vah’noo vah’char’tah v’oh’tah’noo kee’dahsh’tah mee’kol ha’ah’meem, v’shabbat kawd’sh’chah b’ah’ha’vah oo’v’rah’tzohn hin’chal’tah’noo. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai m’kah’daysh ha’Shabbat.

        WASHING THE HANDS
        After Kiddush, the celebrants at the meal wash their hands. This is not meant to be a hygienic washing of one’s hands with soap and water, but rather a ritual washing — a sanctification, if you will. A cup is filled with water which is poured twice over the right hand, then twice over the left hand. (Some have the custom of pouring 3 times over each hand.) The entire hand up to the wrist, with all jewelry removed, should be rinsed and a blessing recited as the hands are dried. There should be no talking between the washing of hands and eating the bread because one washes in order to eat bread, and there should be no interruption between these related actions.

        Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us in His commandments and commanded us to wash our hands.
        Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Melech ha’o’lam ah’sher kidishanu b’mitz’vo’tav v’tzee’vanu al n’tee’laht ya’da’yim.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

        Articles

        Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.


        Aishet Chayil (Woman of Valor)

        Aishet Chayil

        Woman of Valor

        Aishet Chayil, “The Woman of Valor,” is actually a selection of verses from the Book of Proverbs (31:10-31) written by King Solomon. It has been speculated that Solomon wrote these verses either as “provincial wisdom” on the ideal qualities of a wife, or as a tribute to his mother, Batsheva.

        Some commentaries have suggested that the verses of Aishet Chayil are descriptions of the Torah, Shabbat, and the soul, all of which have feminine names in Hebrew and thus assume some feminine attributes. As with all of the books of the Bible, Proverbs reflects a deeper understanding of the relationship between the Jewish people and G-d.

        The Midrash teaches that the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai was a marriage. On that day the Jewish nation was married to G-d, with the Torah serving as the ketubah (marriage contract). The Aishet Chayil section of Proverbs, therefore, can also be read as a description of the ideal Jewish nation – prosperous, generous, beautiful, loyal and happily laboring for the fruits of the Torah.

        Who can find a woman of valour?
        Her worth is more precious than pearls.
        His heart trusts in her and lacks no treasure.
        She does him good, never bad, all the days of her life.
        She seeks out wool and linen, and her hands work willingly.
        She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.
        She rises while it is yet nighttime, and gives food to her household, the daily fare of her maidens.
        She envisions a field and acquires it, from the fruit of her handiwork she plants a vineyard.
        She girds herself with strength, and invigorates her arms.
        She tastes and sees that her business is good, and her lamp never goes out at night.
        She sets her hands to the distaff; and her fingers work the spindle.
        She spreads out her palm to the poor, her hands are stretched out to the needy.
        She fears not snow for her household, for her whole house is dressed in scarlet.
        She makes covers for herself, her clothing is linen and purple [wool].
        Her husband is prominent in the gates, as he sits among the elders of the land.
        She makes cloth and sells it, and delivers a belt to the merchant.
        She is clothed in strength and splendor, she looks to the future cheerfully.
        She opens her mouth in wisdom, and kindly teaching is on her tongue.
        She oversees the activities of her household, and never eats the bread of idleness.
        Her children rise to declare her happy, her husband praises her.
        Many daughters have done well, but you surpassed them all.
        Grace is false, beauty is fleeting, it is for her fear of G-d that a woman is to be praised.
        Give her of the fruit of her hands, and her works shall praise her in the gates.

        Aishet chayil mi yimtza v’rachok mipninim mich’rah:
        Batach ba lev ba’alah v’shalal lo yechsar:
        G’malat’hu tov v’ lo rah kol yimay chai’yeha:
        Darsha tzemer u’phishtim va’ta’as b’chay’fetz capeha:
        Hayta ka’aniyot socher mimerchak tavi lachmah:
        Va’takam b’od lie’lah va’titen teref l’vayta v’chok l’na’aroteh’ah:
        Zam’ma sadeh va’tikachayhu mipri chapeh’ha natah karem:
        Chagra b’oz matneh’hah va’t’ameytz ziro’o’teha:
        Ta’amah ki tov sachrah lo yichbeh ba’lie’lah nayrah:
        Yadeha shilcha vakishor v’chapeha tamchu falech
        Kapah parsa leh’ani v’yadeha shilcha la’evyon:
        Lo tira l’vayta mishaleg ki chol bayta lavoosh shanim:
        Marvadim a’setah lah shaysh v’argaman l’voosha:
        Nodah ba’sharim ba’alah bshivto im ziknay aretz:
        Sadin a’setah va’timkor va’chagor natna la’kna’ani:
        Oz v’hadar l’voosha va’tis’chak l’yom acharon:
        Pi’ha patcha v’chachma v’torat chesed al l’shona:
        Tzofiya halichot bayta v’lechem atzloot lo tochel:
        Kamu bane’ha va’ya’ashruha ba’ala va’yihal’lah:
        Rabot banot asu chayil v’at alit al koolana:
        Sheker ha’chayn v’ hevel ha’yofi eesha yirat Hashem hee tit’halal:
        T’nu lah mipri yade’ha v’y’hale’luha bash’arim ma’ase’ha.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

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        Shalom Aleichem

        Shabbat

        On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel represents the positive forces and one angel represents the negative forces. When the person arrives home and finds the candles lit, the table set and the house in proper order – in other words, a house prepared for Shabbat – then the positive angel says “May it be thus for another Shabbat!” The negative angel must affirm this and say “Amen.” If, however, the house is not ready for Shabbat, the negative angel says “May it be thus for another Shabbat!” The positive angel must affirm this and say “Amen.”

        Rabbi Josi, son of Judah
        Talmud (Shabbat:119b)

        The positive angel and the negative angel who accompany us home from the synagogue are the angels to whom we sing Shalom Aleichem. These two angels remind us of the importance of the Shabbat atmosphere. The Shabbat is more than just a day of resting from work, it is a day infused with holiness.

        Throughout rabbinic literature, one finds Shabbat referred to as both the “Shabbat Queen” and the “Shabbat Bride.” The accompanying angels are like royal servants who have come to make certain that everything is prepared for the arrival of the Queen. So grand is the arrival of Shabbat, that even preparing for its arrival brings extra blessings to one’s home.

        Peace be unto you, ministering angels, messengers of the Most High,
        the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He.

        May your coming be in peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
        the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He.

        Bless me with peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
        the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He.

        May your departure be in peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
        the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He.

        Shalom aleichem, malachei ha’sharayt, malachei elyon, mi’melech malchei ha’mlachim, HaKadosh Baruch Hoo:

        Bo’achem l’shalom, malachei ha’shalom, malachei elyon, mi’melech malchei ha’mlachim, HaKadosh Baruch Hoo:

        Barchunee l’shalom, malachei ha’shalom, malachei elyon, mi’melech malchei ha’mlachim, HaKadosh Baruch Hoo:

        Tzaytchem l’shalom, malachei ha’shalom, malachei elyon, mi’melech malchei ha’mlachim, HaKadosh Baruch Hoo:

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

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        Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.


        Birkat HaBanim (Blessing the Children)

        Birkat HaBanim

        Blessing the Children

        “May G-d make you like Ephraim and like Menashe.”

        “May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.”

        For both sons and daughters, the parent(s) also recite the blessings by which the Kohanim (priests) used to bless the Jewish people.

        The custom of blessing the children goes back to the patriarch Jacob and the blessing that he gave to Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Menashe. Joseph brought his sons to his father’s death bed. When Jacob realized that these were the children of his son whom he had thought he had lost, he instructed Joseph to bring them forward so that he might bless them. Through his blessing, he actually bequeathed upon the two boys equal status with their uncles so that the descendants of Ephraim and Menashe each received a separate portion in the land of Israel.

        Significant to the Blessing of the Children, however, is what Jacob said in Genesis 48:20: “And he blessed them that day, saying: “By you shall Israel bless, saying: May G-d make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.'” Since that day, the children of Israel have blessed their sons with these exact same words: “May G-d make you like Ephraim and like Menashe.”Because Joseph’s only children, Ephraim and Menashe were boys, the blessings for daughters is slightly different, referring back instead to the four matriarchs of the Jewish people: “May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.”

        For both sons and daughters, the parent(s) also recite the blessings by which the Kohanim (priests) used to bless the Jewish people:

        Almost universally, it is the custom to put one’s hands on the child’s head as the blessing is recited.

        For Girls
        May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.
        Yisimeich Eh-lokim k’Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, v’Le’ah

        For Boys
        May G-d make you like Ephraim and like Menashe.
        Yisimcha Eh-lokim k’Ephraim v’chi’Menashe

        For Everyone
        May G-d bless you and watch over you.
        May G-d shine His face toward you and show you favor.
        May G-d be favorably disposed to you and grant you peace.
        Yivarechecha A-donai v’yish’m’recha.
        Ya’air A-donai panav aylecha vee’chu’neh’ka.
        Yisa A-donai panav ay’lehcha, v’yah’saym l’cha shalom.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

        Articles

        Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.


        Candlelighting

        Shabbat

        The very last act performed before bringing Shabbat into the home is the lighting of the Shabbat candles. While this mitzvah is considered one of the three primary mitzvot of a Jewish woman, Shabbat candles must be lit in every home, by either a man or a woman.

        One is supposed to enjoy Shabbat, and stumbling about in a dark house is hardly a way to experience enjoyment. Today, when every house is filled with electric light, it may be difficult to grasp the importance of candles. It should be recalled, however, that electric light came into use only at the beginning of the last century. The burning of Shabbat candles, often placed on or near the dining room table, ensure Shalom Bayit, peace in the home, for Shabbat evening. And even today, in rooms filled with electric light, there is a special soothing feeling when watching the flickering flames of the candles cast playful shadows as they add a glow of sanctity to the Shabbat setting.

        Blessed are you L-rd, our G-d, Ruler of the world, Who sanctified us through His commandments and commanded us, to kindle the lights of the Sabbath.
        Ba’ruch ah’tah Ah’do’nai, Eh’lo’hay’nu melech ha’o’lam, ah’sher kidishanu b’mitz’vo’tav v’tzee’vanu l’hahd’leek nayr shel Shabbat.

        You can also add your own prayer — ask G-d for whatever you wish. Now, uncover your eyes, enjoy the soft light of the candles, and feel the holiness of the Shabbat descend upon you and your household.

        ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Print the Candlelighting Poster> or click the image to view in full screen or download.

        *To use tha candlelighting poster on Shabbat, be sure to print your copy before sunset on Friday to stay within the Shabbat spirit.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

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        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

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        Shabbat Prayers

        Jewish Prayer
        A basic explanation of the nature of prayer is that it is simply a “personal” conversation between an individual and G-d. But, if prayer is personal, what is the advantage of formal prayer? On the surface, formal prayer seems rote and automatic, not at all personal. But how often would most people pray, if they were not required to do so. It is easy to say “Thank G-d” when something good happens, or to pray for help when things go wrong. But how many of us would think to thank G-d for the myriad of miracles we witness every day? And how often would we pray for the well-being of others if our own lives are running smoothly? By requiring that we pray a fixed number of times a day, the Rabbis ensure that we are in communication (however imperfect) with G-d each day. People who pray every day often find that prayer helps them anchor their day. Life in the frenetic-paced world of today is so chaotic. But, fixed prayer ensures that twice or three times a day we can stop, slow down, and completely focus on our relationship with G-d and the cosmos. It’s the best tranquilizer in the world.

        Prayer is always meaningful. But in many ways Jewish prayer is special and unique. Unlike other religions, each Jew prays individually — no leader is necessary, just ourselves. In Judaism, both private and public prayer have a place and special meaning. Private prayer makes it possible for people who are unable to participate in congregational prayer (for example, women with young children) to communicate on a sublime level with G-d. The value of public prayer is that each individual in the group contributes a special element, and all of the elements combined add up to a more perfect whole. There is also an important symbolic meaning to public prayer. When ten or more people convene for the purpose of prayer, they symbolically represent all of Israel. When an individual prays with a congregation, that individual is praying with the entire Jewish people. Nevertheless, even in a minyan, each individual who is capable of praying is required to recite the prayers personally. And, of course, the central prayer – the Amidah – is recited privately.

        The special prayers that Jews recite each day express the historical experience and basic values of our people. In these prayers we reaffirm the articles of Jewish faith and give voice to our hopes for the future, not only of the Jewish people, but for all humankind. We become a part of our history, a connection with the past, present, and the future. Perhaps the most valuable asset of prayer is that, even if only for a few minutes each day, it brings us closer to each other and to G-d.

        The Shabbat morning (Shacharit & Mussaf) prayer service is an especially beautiful and moving service. It not only encompasses all of the major elements of the Jewish prayer service, but the tenor of the service is fundamentally enhanced by the holiness of the day. On Shabbat, Jews refrain from doing any kind of creative labor. Instead the day is spent in reverent homage to the ultimate Creator — G-d.

        The following is a brief explanation of each major section of the Shabbat Shacharit service. For reasons of space, it is impossible to include the actual prayers as well as the explanations. This is unfortunate, because the prayers themselves evoke a deep emotional response which can only be felt, not explained. To get the full benefit of this module, the reader might wish to first read the prayer or blessing in the Siddur (prayer book), and then read the explanation presented here:

        The Shabbat Service

        MORNING BLESSINGS (BIRKHOT HASHACHAR)
        It is no accident that the first and last thing Jews do every day is pray. What could be more appropriate in these moments of quiet reflection than to thank G-d for the myriad blessings of each day. The morning blessings are recited (some privately upon awakening, and some publicly in the Shacharit service) to express our gratitude to G-d for enabling us to start a new day, refreshed and reinvigorated.h concept of G-d, and the last four lines express the faith we have in G-d.

        VERSES OF PRAISE (PESUKEI DEZIMRAH)
        Originally, the Verses of Praise were an optional part of the prayer service and were recited privately. Today, these verses are recited every day, in private and public prayer. The Verses of Praise consists of a series of psalms, preceded and followed by a special blessing. The recitation of these psalms is intended to prepare and uplift the soul, purify our thoughts, and make us worthy to approach G-d in prayer. Following the Verses of Praise, the Half Kaddish is recited to indicate that a subsection of the prayer service has now concluded, and we continue with a major section of the prayer service, namely, the blessings of the Shema and the Shema. [The Half Kaddish and other versions of Kaddish are explained after Ein Ke’elohaynu in the section called Kaddish.]

        BOREKHU (CALL TO PRAYER)
        At one time the morning congregational service began with the Shema. All preliminary prayers were said privately. Consequently the introduction to the Shema was the call to prayer or Borekhu. This marked the beginning of the public prayer service. Although preliminary prayers are now said publicly, Borekhu still remains the introduction to the Shema. Since Borekhu calls the congregation to public prayer, it is not said when praying privately.

        BLESSINGS OF THE SHEMA AND THE SHEMA
        The Shema is more than just a prayer — it is the Jewish profession of faith. For generations, Jews have marked the most meaningful events of their lives with the recitation of the Shema. It is said when one rises in the morning and when one retires at night; in joy; in despair; in thankfulness; in resignation; when praising G-d; when beseeching G-d; and even when questioning G-d. It is usually the first prayer taught to children, the last thing on the lips of martyrs and is part of the deathbed confession. No one can miss the emotion in a Jew’s voice when he/she intones: Shema Yisrael, Ado-nai el-oheinu, Ado-nai echad. Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One. (Deut. 6:4)

          1. 1st and 2nd Blessings
            The blessings of the Shema lead up to the actual recitation of the Shema itself. 1. The first blessing is the blessing of G-d the Creator. In this blessing, we bless, praise and thank G-d for the miracle of creation and acknowledge G-d’s ongoing involvement in that process. The Shabbat version of the blessing varies slightly from the weekday version in that it focuses more on G-d’s supremacy as the ultimate Creator. The first blessing is broken down into six segments. 1) The first segment blesses G-d for the creation of the Universe. 2) The second segment thanks G-d for the creation and affirms G-d’s supremacy in all things. 3) the third segment affirms G-d’s greatness as we perceive it in the form of the heavenly bodies. Because the heavenly bodies are so awe inspiring, we are further inspired to praise their Creator. 4) On Shabbat the fourth segment differs from the weekday version in that in focuses on and praises the Sabbath Day. 5) The fifth segment blesses G-d for making it possible for us to act in accord with the Angels in honoring G-d the Creator. 6) The sixth segment reviews all of the above and blesses G-d as “Creator of the Lights.” 2. The Second blessing, leading to the actual recitation of the Shema, blesses and thanks G-d for choosing His people, Israel, with love. We ask G-d to instill in our hearts the ability to understand and elucidate, listen, learn, teach, safeguard, perform and fulfill all of the words of the Torah.
          2. Paragraphs of the Shema
            Next comes the actual recitation of the Shema itself, which consists of three paragraphs, each a selection from the Torah: 1.The first paragraph (Deut. 6:4-9) begins with the profession of faith “Shema Yisrael …” (see above) and continues to define our relationship with G-d. “You shall love G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources.” We are instructed to engrave G-d’s commandments upon our hearts, teach them to our children, speak of them at all times, bind them as a sign upon our arms and on our heads above the eyes (tefillin), and write them on the doorposts of our homes and gates (mezuzah). 2.In the second paragraph (Deut. 11:13-21), G-d promises us prosperity if we follow his commandments. G-d also warns us of the consequences if we turn our hearts away from Him. And, once again, G-d reminds us that if we keep His commandments in our hearts and minds at all times, we will attain heaven on earth. 3.In the third paragraph (Num. 15:37-41), we are commanded to wear tzitzit (fringes on the corners of our garments). These fringes serve as a reminder to us of G-d’s commandments and the need to observe them and thereby become holy. It further reminds us of G-d’s role in redeeming the Jewish people from Egypt, thereby affirming His role as our G-d.
          3. Blessing of Redemption
            The three paragraphs of the Shema are followed by the blessing of redemption in which we evoke G-d’s past role as the redeemer of Israel and ask Him to redeem us again, We conclude with the blessing of G-d who has redeemed Israel.

        THE SHABBAT AMIDAH
        The central prayer of each service is the Shemoneh Esrei, also known as the Amidah. This prayer encompasses all facets of life, both physical and spiritual and epitomizes the concept of Jewish prayer. The Shemoneh Esrei was originally composed by the Men of the Great Assembly in the fifth century B.C.E. and was finally recorded in its present form about the year 100 C.E.. It has been recited by Jews two or three times a day since then. Reciting the Amidah, fulfills the actual obligation to pray. In fact, it is usually recited twice during the morning and afternoon service, once quietly by each member of the congregation, and then repeated by Prayer Leader (Chazzan). This repetition was instituted for those who cannot yet pray on their own, for the Sages understood the spiritual hunger of those still learning to pray. By listening intently and repeating Amen at the end of each blessing, these worshippers are considered to have fulfilled their obligation to recite the Amidah. Shemoneh Esrei means “eighteen” and the weekday version of the Shemoneh Esrei originally consisted of eighteen blessings (a 19th blessing was added in the third century C.E.). The other name for this prayer is “Amidah” which means to stand. When we recite the Amidah, we are standing in the presence of G-d. On Shabbat, all blessings that emphasize our personal needs and requests are omitted, and only seven blessings are recited. These seven blessings focus on our relationship to G-d and emphasize the sanctity of Shabbat. The number seven represents wholeness, completion and peace, a most appropriate theme for Shabbat. These seven blessings are broken down into three sections:

          1. Blessings of Praise
            The first three blessings of the Amidah are devoted to praise of G-d and defining our relationship with Him. 1.Shield of Abraham (History) In the first blessing, we introduce ourselves to G-d and define ourselves as His faithful followers. We reemphasize our history and lineage, identifying ourselves as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As we again affirm our covenant with G-d, we beg His protection based on this covenant. 2.Restores the Dead to Life (Power) In the second blessing, we again recognize the unique power of G-d. We extol His greatness in giving and sustaining life, healing the sick, freeing the captive, and raising the fallen. We speak of G-d’s great mercy, and of life after death (“Blessed art Thou, Lord, who makes the dead live”). In this blessing, we once again praise G-d the Creator of all things and humbly accept G-d’s great power over all living things. 3.Sanctification In the third blessing, we emphasize the holiness of G-d. By proclaiming G-d’s holiness, we are emphasizing his separateness from us. In Bereshith (Genesis) it is stated that the human being is created in G-d’s image. This means that, of all G-d’s creations, only the human being is capable of attaining holiness. However, lest we become vain, we must constantly remind ourselves that the holiest of humans can never become as holy as G-d. In this third blessing, we once again affirm the supreme holiness of G-d and remember that, in His holiness, G-d is separate from us. During the repetition of the Amidah, a special prayer called the Kedushah is recited, which further expands on the holiness of G-d.
          2. Body of the Shabbat Amidah
            On weekdays, this middle section of the Amidah consists of 13 blessings which ask G-d for his intervention on behalf of our physical and spiritual needs. Because it is unseemly to concern ourselves on Shabbat with personal needs, or to request that they be fulfilled, these blessings are omitted, and instead we focus our single blessing on Shabbat itself. 4. Blessing of G-d Who Sanctifies Shabbat In this blessing, we affirm the holiness of Shabbat as a day of remembrance of the creation. We thank G-d for giving us this covenant between G-d and Israel, the sanctification of the Sabbath day. We acknowledge our special privilege in being the people chosen by G-d to receive the blessing of Shabbat and promise to pass it on to our children through the generations.
          3. Blessings of Thanksgiving
            In the last three blessings of the Amidah, we ask G-d to accept our prayers, we thank Him for past, present, and future kindnesses, and pray for peace. 5. Restoration of G-d’s Presence to Zion Before the destruction of the Temple, we asked G-d to accept animal sacrificial offerings. This blessing was altered after the destruction of the Temple. In this blessing we ask G-d to accept prayer as our offering in lieu of animal sacrifice. It is through this prayer that we are drawn closer to G-d. In this blessing now we ask G-d to respond to what we bring to Him, not what we ask of Him. Throughout the blessing, we ask G-d to receive — to receive our prayer, to receive our love, to be received favorably by Him. And, finally, we ask G-d for the restoration of the Temple and the restoration of the Divine Presence to Zion, embodied in the final redemption of our people. 6. Thanksgiving In each of the previous blessings we have petitioned G-d, or in some way expressed our own needs. In this blessing, our needs are not mentioned. Instead, we thank G-d. We thank Him for our lives, for His miracles which we witness every day, for His compassion. This blessing affirms the importance of gratitude in our daily lives to each other and to G-d. Ingratitude is vanity at its worst. When directed against others, it is a sin, and when directed against G-d, it borders on heresy. This blessing reminds us of the necessity of thanksgiving. 7. Peace In ancient times and, unfortunately also in present times, many nations measured their national glory and prestige in terms of war and conquest. In this blessing we are reminded that, while we are sometimes compelled to wage war, peace is the ideal to strive for on all levels — peace between individuals and peace between nations.
          4. Personal Meditation
            During the silent repetition of the Amidah, individuals add a personal meditation. The Talmud records eleven sages who added their own supplication to the Amidah. Eventually the one by Mar, a fourth-century rabbi, found its way into the prayer book. Judaism believes that one of the worst sins that we can commit is that of lashon hara (“an evil tongue”). Rabbinic opinion considers this is a worse sin than murder. It is also one of the hardest sins for frail humans to avoid. For this reason, we especially ask G-d’s help to “guard our tongues from evil and our lips from speaking deceit.” We pray for the strength to endure the calumny of others towards ourselves and ask for G-d’s intervention for justice in these matters. In keeping with Talmudic tradition, we ask G-d to open our hearts to his law. In an additional prayer which was added later to the silent meditation, we affirm that our prayer is not only for ourselves, but also for the furthering of G-d’s glory. We again ask G-d to accept our prayers and to grant us peace. Following the Silent Meditation, Full Kaddish is recited indicating that a major section of the prayer service has now concluded. [For an explanation of Full Kaddish and other forms of Kaddish, see Kaddish.]

        SHABBAT MORNING TORAH SERVICE
        The public reading of the Torah predates congregational prayer. Unlike other religions, the sacred books of the Jews were considered to belong to the entire community, not just a privileged few. Although our sages were responsible for its interpretation, there was no monopoly on the study of Torah. In fact, universal religious education is one of the primary precepts of traditional Judaism. Although public Scripture reading began with Moses, for a long time there was no universally established order. At different times in Jewish history various customs regarding public Torah reading were followed. Around the Maccabean period (second century B.C.E.) the rule of consecutive annual reading became the universal practice. This means that public reading must begin where it left off the previous Sabbath morning and that the entire five books of Moses are read within the year. The weekly Torah reading has been divided into 54 portions (or parshiyot) according to the number of weeks in a leap year (according to the Jewish calendar). In normal years when there are only 50 weeks, double portions are read on selected Sabbaths, in order to complete the reading of all Five Books of Moses within a one-year period. Reading of the Torah Removing the Torah from the Ark is accompanied by great ceremony. The congregation rises, a prayer is recited praising G-d and His Torah, and the Ark is opened. The congregation then recites a sentence from Numbers (10:35) relating how the Ark was carried forward in the wilderness of Sinai. Then follows a quote from Isaiah (2:3) heralding the future, messianic period. This is followed by a personal meditation (“Brikh Shemei” – “Blessed is the Name”) blessing G-d and the Torah. The Torah Scroll is then removed from the Ark and lifted up by the Prayer Leader who recites the first sentence of the Shema and several other passages which are repeated by the congregation. The Torah is then carried from the Ark to the bimah (table), from where it is read. It is usual to have seven people called to the reading of the weekly Shabbat parsha (portion). It is considered an honor to be called to the Torah, especially on special occasions (birth of a child, child’s Bar Mitzvah, marriage etc.). Each person called up recites a short blessing, follows along with the reading of the weekly portion and concludes with another blessing. An eighth person is then called up to the bimah for the MAFTIR and the reading of the prophetic portion (HAFTORA), which often paralles the message of the weekly Torah reading.

        RETURNING THE TORAH
        At the conclusion of the Torah Service, the Torah is returned to the Ark with great ceremony. The Prayer Leader lifts the Torah into his arms and recites part of a verse from Psalms. The Torah is then carried back to the Ark in procession (often stopping to allow congregants to touch or kiss the Torah). While this procession takes place, the congregants chant from Psalms (Psalm 24 on weekdays, and Psalm 29 on Shabbat and festivals). As the Torah is put back into the Ark, the congregation recites a passage from Numbers (10:36). Finally, the Ark is closed.

        MUSSAF
        During the Temple period, the Shabbat was further sanctified by a second sacrificial service known as Mussaf (which means “additional”). Now that we do not have the Temple, we further sanctify this special day with an additional Shabbat prayer service called Mussaf. The Mussaf service is similar to the morning Amidah, with the same opening and closing blessings, but with a different middle blessing. This middle blessing focuses on the sanctification of the Sabbath day through the special sacrifice which was offered in the Temple. With the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of animal sacrifice, we recite the portions of the Torah which deal with these sacrifices and pray for the speedy rebuilding of the Temple, and the ingathering of Jewish exiles to Israel. The following prayers conclude the Sabbath service:

        The following prayers conclude the Sabbath service:

        EIN KE’ELOHAYNU
        The Ein Ke’elohaynu is a beautiful hymn extolling G-d’s uniqueness. It begins “There is none like our God; there is none like our Master; there is none like our King; there is none like our Savior.” The four designations for G-d’s name (God; Master; King; Savior) are arranged as they appear in the Torah. Each name represents a different dimension of the unique nature of G-d. The last line of the hymn is followed by Talmudic passages regarding the burning of incense in the Temple. This part of the prayer is actually educational in nature. The rabbis were concerned that each Jew engage in formal Torah study each day, so they incorporated it as part of the morning prayer service. While the insertion of learning material in a prayer service may seem odd, Judaism elevates Torah learning almost to the level of prayer itself. At this point, following the Talmudic passages, the Rabbi’s Kaddish is recited by mourners.

        KADDISH
        Kaddish means “sanctification”. Although this prayer is often associated with mourning, it is not a prayer for the dead; rather, it is a public sanctification of G-d’s name. Historically, it has been the duty of every Jew to publicly extol the name of G-d and to publicly testify to our faith in Him. Kaddish is recited only in a congregation because there can be no public sanctification of G-d’s name without a public assembly. The purpose of the prayer is not only to praise G-d — many other prayers do that and can be said individually. The purpose of the Kaddish is to evoke a unique, public response from the congregation: “May His great Name be blessed forever and ever”. There are four slightly different versions of the Kaddish. The Rabbi’s Kaddish is said by mourners after a portion of Torah study (as in Ein Ke’elohaynu). The Whole Kaddish is recited by the CANTOR at the conclusion of a major portion of the public prayer service and it includes a special verse asking G-d to accept all of the prayers that were recited. The Half Kaddish is an abbreviated Kaddish that is said by the Cantor at the conclusion of a minor or introductory portion of the public prayer service, and the Mourner’s Kaddish, at the end of the service (after Aleinu and the Psalm for the Day), is recited by close relatives of the deceased for 11 months following a person’s death. Whether the Kaddish is recited by a Cantor or a mourner, all members of the congregation say the responses.

        ALEINU
        Aleinu is the final prayer of every prayer service. According to tradition, Joshua composed the prayer after he led the Jews across the Jordan. Aleinu was originally only said in the Rosh Hashana prayer service, but sometime during the thirteenth century, it became the closing prayer for each service. The prayer consists of two paragraphs. The first paragraph praises and thanks G-d for making Israel a nation of distinct character. We draw a parallel between the vanity and emptiness of others who worship false gods, and the worship of the true G-d of Israel. We bless and praise G-d and proclaim His superiority and uniqueness. In the second paragraph, we pray for the perfection of the world under the rule of the Almighty when we will share the blessings of the true G-d with all the nations of the world. We look forward to the day when Hashem and His commandments shall reign supreme. Although Aleinu is the concluding prayer of the service, it is followed by a psalm for the day (Shir Shel Yom) and a final hymn (Adon Olam).

        SHIR SHEL YOM (PSALM FOR THE DAY)
        During the Temple period, it was the custom of the Levites to chant a psalm for each day of the week as part of the service. By the twelfth century, people were customarily reading the unique psalm for that day at the end of the morning prayer services. On the Sabbath Psalm 92 is recited.

        ADON OLAM (ETERNAL LORD)
        Adon Olam is a beautiful hymn which was probably composed in the eleventh century by Solomon ibn Gabirol. It consists of ten lines. The first six lines express the Jewish concept of G-d, and the last four lines express the faith we have in G-d.

        Shabbat

        The Jewish Sabbath has been called an “oasis in time.” This heavenly gift is a unique opportunity for spiritual and psychological renewal that comes every week!

        Learn more

        Programs and Classes

        Host or join one of our renowned Shabbat programs, and find out how you, your family and your community can participate.

        Resources

        Discover, read, share and download our Jewish Treats Guide to Shabbat, a fantastic resource to the Day of Rest.

        Articles

        Browse our collection of Shabbat Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about Shabbat.