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       Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays





The Jewish Sabbath

Lighting Shabbat candles is a rabbinically mandated law in Judaism. Two candles or more are lit on Friday evening, eighteen minutes before sundown, to welcome the Sabbath. Candlelighting is traditionally done by the woman of the household, though in the absence of a woman, it is done by a man. After lighting the candles, the woman waves her hands over them, covers her eyes, and recites a blessing.

Barukh ata adonai eloheinu melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, Our God, Ruler of the Universe

Asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav,
Who has sanctified us with God's commandments,

V'tzivanu l'hadlik neir shel shabbat.
And has commanded us to light the Sabbath candles.

Traditional Shabbat candlestick holder

Traditional Shabbat Candlestick Holder

This bronze example was designed by Maurice Ascalon and manufactured by his Pal-Bell Company in Israel in the 1940s.

Shabbat or Shabbos is considered the day of rest in Judaism and symbolizes the seventh day in Genesis, after the six days of creation. It is observed from the sundown on Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Thus, the exact time of Shabbat differs each week and from place to place, depending on the time of the sunset.

Shabbat is observed by positive observances, such as three festive meals (Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch, and a Sunday evening meal.) There a number of activities that are forbidden on Shabbat, e.g. working. The list of these forbidden activities are derived from thirty-nine basic actions, or melachot, that are found in the Talmud. next

Text and photos adapted from Wikipedia. Shabbat prayer transliteration and translation from .

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