Shabbat is Judaism’s day of rest and the Jewish week’s seventh day. Considered a festive day, Jews reflect on the Biblical Creation when God rested on the seventh day after creating heaven and Earth in six days.

1,342 Questions

What does 'Shabbat shalom' mean'?

It means "Have a peaceful Sabbath". It's how Jews greet each other during Shabbat.


How do you say happy shabbat?

Shabbat Shalom (שבת שלום).

Note: This means 'A peaceful shabbat'. The phrase "happy shabbat" is not a phrase that is traditionally used.


Why is the spice box passed around on the shabbat?

The spice box is not actually passed around until the very end of Shabbat. It is passed around toward the end of the concluding service of Shabbat, called Havdalah.

One tradition explains that on Shabbat, each person is given an extra soul. The passing of the spice box at the end of Shabbat makes the loss of this extra soul a little less painful.

Tanakh and Talmud

Do you do kiddush and hamotsi after havdalah?

If, for some reason, you were sitting down to a meal after Havdalah, then
you would wash and say Hamotzi, just as you would at the beginning of
ANY meal. There wouldn't be any occasion to say Kiddush after Havdalah.


How do Jews prepare for shabbat?

They cook a big dinner, shower, and dress nicely.


What does shabbat shalom umevorach mean?

It means "peaceful and blessed sabbath".

Herbs Spices and Seasonings

Which spices are used during the Havdalah service?

Pleasantly fragrant spices are used; often spices such as nutmeg, allspice, cloves, or a combination.

Answer:The most commonly used spice is ground cinnamon.

What are the words of the Sephardi Havdalah blessings?


On what day does the Jewish sabbath begin at sunset?

The Shabbat lasts from Friday sunset until Saturday after twilight.


What time does shabbat finish next week?

You need to provide an exact date and location on the Earth in order to calculate the end of Shabbat.


What is the origin of the Shabbat laws in Judaism?

A foreshadowing of the future observance of the Sabbath comes at the beginning of Genesis (ch.2), in noting that after the creation of the entire universe, God ceased from making further new creations. In hindsight, this demonstrated that the Sabbath was inviolable and beyond man's comprehension. If a being without any limitation on his power "rests" on the Sabbath, this demonstrates that the observance of the Sabbath transcends the mere physical need to rest.

The first direct command of the Sabbath comes in Exodus 16:23 and 25 in reference to the manna which would not fall on the Sabbath. At this point in scripture, God had not yet presented the Sabbath as a commandment concerning all forms of labor... but still foreshadows its importance by not causing the manna to fall (and telling the Israelites to not attempt to search for it).

Later, when God gave the Ten Commandments (Exodus ch.20), the fourth Commandment is to keep the Sabbath.

In Exodus ch.31, the commandment was detailed and explained more fully, calling observance of the Sabbath an ''everlasting covenant throughout all generations,'' mandating its observance for ever.

Various references throughout the Bible follow, further adding to this concept of resting and abstaining from all work on the Sabbath. Among the key prohibitions mentioned explicitly are not carrying anything, lighting fires, working, harvesting, etc.

Further details of the Sabbath-laws are spelled out in the Talmud, which devotes an entire tractate to this subject. Specifically, see Talmud, Shabbat 73b, which lists the 39 prohibited forms of creative work.

Later, notable Rabbis (especially Moses ben Maimon -- Maimonides; also known as RaMBaM; 1135-1204) wrote monumental works, cataloging every single law in the Torah and Talmud, and elucidating them for every conceivable situation.

Many of the details of our practical Shabbat-observance date from the publication of the Shulchan Aruch -- ''The Prepared Table,'' (Rabbi Joseph Caro; pub. in 1566), which lays down many of the finer details of Torah-living.

Sabbath law is organized according to the 39 categories of activities that are specifically prohibited by the Torah; and these activities, known as the ''39 Melachot'' -- types of "work" -- are related to various daily activities that fall into one or more of these categories. The Talmud, and the Code of Maimonides and other Rabbis are known as "Rabbinical Law," which is accepted without reservation by Orthodox Judaism. Other groups, such as the Conservative, Reform, Progressive, and Humanistic movements, place progressively less importance on Rabbinical law, or even reject it entirely.

As times have changed, Rabbis of each generation have continually interpreted these laws to apply their precedents to new situations and new technologies. For example, operating an automobile is prohibited on the Sabbath; this is not an extension of the prohibition against riding on a horse (as some mistakenly think), but rather because starting or fanning a fire is prohibited (which an internal combustion engine does thousands of times per minute). Thus, if it is prohibited to light a candle with a match, it is prohibited to light a pressurized mixture of gasoline and air using a 20,000 volt spark initiated by turning a key several feet away.

And thus, we have the Sabbath.


Does everyone drink the kosher wine at Shabbat?

Religiously observant Jews will only drink kosher wine whenever they drink wine, not just on Shabbat.

Kendall Schmidt
Tanakh and Talmud

What country does the word Sabbath come from?

The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word shabbat which means "to cease." This is because the Sabbath is supposed to be a day of rest when work has ceased.


The source of the Hebrew word Shabbat (sabbath) is in Genesis ch.2, from God having ceased from creating.


What does 'Shabbat shalom' mean?

Shabbath_Shalom'_שבת-שלום">'Shabbath Shalom' שבת-שלום

This literally means "peaceful sabbath" in Hebrew.

This is the standard greeting between Jews on Shabbat, from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday, but is often used as early as Thursday.

Shalom: peace/completeness or wholeness and general greeting for all time.

Shabbat: the seventh day of the week for the Jewish calendar. A day off (literally a day to be set apart from all other days-for introspection, spiritual growth, and renewal) - beginning on Friday at sundown and ending on Saturday evening when three stars appear in the sky and can be viewed together.


What did the spice box from the havdalah set represent?

The spice box itself doesn't represent anything. Jewish tradition teaches that at the end of Shabbat, the 'neshama yeseira' or the extra soul that we gain at the beginning of Shabbat, departs and we smell the spices to revive ourselves.

Kosher Food

Why are shabbat and kashrut important to the Jewish community?

In addition to being Mitzvot, they bind the Jewish people together in time and space, and make us holy.


Shabbat and kasrut are both important pillars in our fulfillment of our covenant with God. By observing the Shabbat we testify that God created the world (Exodus 20:7-10) and took us out of Egyptian slavery (Deuteronomy 5:11-14); and kashrut enables us to be a holy people (Leviticus 11:44).


Who celebrates shabbat?


Musical Instruments

Why don't Jews blow the shofar on the sabbath?

Because on Sabbath, it is forbidden to create something. By blowing the shofar you are creating a form of music.


The above answer is incorrect. It's a mitzvah (command) to hear the call of the shofar (Leviticus ch.23), so it would be okay in principle to create something that's been specifically commanded. Rather, we don't blow shofar on the sabbath, in order to prevent an unlearned Jew from violating the sabbath prohibition of carrying the shofar outside to another domain (to bring it to the synagogue; or to be instructed in its use, since blowing the shofar properly is not easy). Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 29b.


Why is it customary to eat meat on shabbat?

According to the prophet Isaiah, we should "call the Shabbat a day of delight" and as a reward, we will "delight in HaShem" in the world to come.

The rabbis of the Talmud determined that a major component of "delight" is meat and drink. There's no specification as to the type of meat, it could even be fish, or any 'high end' cooked foods. The reason for the minhag of eating meat is that it's assumed that most people take more pleasure in eating meat than other foods and in drinking wine more than other drinks. As a result, they should increase both meat and wine within their means.

Please see the related links for more detailed explanations.

Tanakh and Talmud

Why do Jews celebrate the Sabbath from Friday sundown until saturday twilight?

It's fairly common in a great number of cultures throughout human history to consider

the sunset to be the beginning of a new day. One way to understand this mindset

is in the light of agriculture ... perhaps the most central activity of human striving

throughout most of history ... wherein sleep is considered the preparation for the

next day of work, rather than the repair of the damage of the last day's work.

There's certainly nothing 'natural' about beginning a new day at midnight, and even the

most up-to-date modern individuals can recognize the vestiges of new-day-at-sundown

in some of the oldest practices still carried out in the non-Jewish world ... Christmas Eve,

New Year's Eve, Hallowed Evening as the start of All Hallows (All Saints) Day, etc.

The Jewish ritual calendar was already 1300 years old in the time of Jesus. According to

that method of time-keeping, the evening prayer ... recited at sunset ... is the first prayer

of each day, and Sabbath and holidays begin at sunset and end the following night.

Answer:The Jewish days begin at sundown because this is the way God created the world and the days themselves (Genesis ch.1); and is therefore the system which the rest of the Torah follows (Leviticus 23:32).
English to Hebrew
Hebrew to English

What does 'Shalom shalom' mean?

Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. Shalom is used as a greeting like "hello" in English. "Shalom shalom" is often used like "bye bye" is used in English.

The repetition of a word is used for emphasis. Biblically, 'shalom shalom', has been translated, 'perfect peace' (see Isaiah 26:3). The thought is complete peace, total peace.

Tanakh and Talmud

What Psalm is read on every Jewish sabbath?

Some customs vary regarding the components of the Jewish prayer service on

various occasions.

Since you asked, the following is the order of components of the Sabbath service,

according to the Ashkenazic tradition, Rabbinical Council of America edition,

Mesorah series of the Siddur (prayerbook), Third edition copyright 1990:

This list doesn't include every item in the entire service, only the Psalms that

you asked about. The services also include numerous selected verses from the

Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings, and the verbatim public reading from the

Torah scroll occupies the central portion of the Sabbath Morning service.

The following list applies to "every Jewish Sabbath", in accordance with your

question. On the "special" Sabbaths ... those that coincide with holidays, such

as the New Month, Passover, Yom Kippur, etc. ... more Psalms will be added that

are not listed here.

Friday, Sabbath Evening service:

Song of Songs

Psalms 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 29, 92, 93, in their entirety, in that order.

Also selected verses from Psalms 119, 122, 68, 113, 66, 17, 121,

51, 79, 19, 34, 60, 108, 113, 121, in that order.

Saturday, Sabbath Morning service:

Psalms 30, 19, 34, 90, 91, 135, 136, 33, 92, 93, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 145, 29,

92, 23, in their entirety, in that order. (Double appearances of 145, 92, and 93

are correct.)

Also selected verses from Psalms 99, 78, 40, 25, 68, 94, 3, 46, 84, 20, 28, 33,

85, 44, 81, 144, 13, 115, 89, 135, 72, 22, 90, 121, 146, 145, 35, 89, 103, 33, 68,

113, 104, 92, 99, 136, 86, 106, 51, 146, 19, 34, 60, 108, 86, 145, 10, 93, 29, 51,

34, 99, 68, 19, 29, 18, 79, 9, 110, 84, 144, 115, 148, 132, 51, 146, 79, 19, 34,

60, 108, 29, 113, 121, 27, 18, 24, 48, 82, 94, 81, 93, 92, 119, 122, 29, 106, 81,

in that order.

Saturday, Sabbath Afternoon service:

Psalms 145 in its entirety.

Also selected verses from Psalms 84, 144, 115, 22, 78, 86, 68, 46, 84, 70, 30, 9,

69, 34, 99, 19, 29, 18, 148, 132, 51, 146, 79, 19, 34, 60, 108, 119, 71, 36, 113,

121, in that order.

On Sabbaths from the end of Sukkot (Autumn) until just before Passover (Spring),

many, but not all, congregations recite Psalms 104, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124,

125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, and 134, in that order, in their

entirety, at this point.

Late Sabbath Afternoon service, just before conclusion of the Sabbath:

Psalms 144, 29, 67, in their entirety, in that order.


Are you allowed to cycle on shabbat?

Although it would seem that there'd be no issue riding a bike during Shabbat, this activity is not allowed. The reason behind this prohibition is the scenario of the bike breaking in some way while you're away from home. If, let's say, the chain fell off the bike, you would not be able to put it back on as that's a form of prohibited work. Also, you would not be able to carry the bike home as that too would be a prohibited form of work.


What are the Jewish sabbath candles called?

They're called Shabbat candles (in English); neirot Shabbat (in Hebrew); or Shabbes Licht (in Yiddish).


What happens to bread at shabbat?

The challah bread is broken into 2 pieces during the Blessing Over the Bread.


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