The Ways in Which Shabbat is Observed in Jewish Homes and in the Synagogue
Shabbat, the Jewish holy day, begins at sunset on Friday night and
ends Saturday night when the first star appears. It usually lasts 25
hours. Jewish people observe Shabbat in many different ways.
On Shabbat, Jews are forbidden to work. This is because they believe
that on their holy day they should devote themselves entirely to
praying, worshipping God and studying the Torah. Rabbi Saadia Gaon
stated that Jews must not work on the Shabbat "to achieve rest from
the abundance of one's toilâ€¦"
All preparation, such as cooking and cleaning, must be completed prior
to Shabbat ...view middle of the document...
There a two loaves of Challot to represent the extra food
that had to be gathered the day before Shabbat so that the Jews could
rest on their holy day. The Challot is dipped in salt before being
passed around and eaten. This is a reminder that the bread is a result
of hard work as salt is symbolic of sweat and toil. "By the sweat of
your brow you shall get bread to eat". After the Shabbat meal, songs
are sung and stories from the Torah are told. This helps strengthen
faith and provides an opportunity for children to learn more about
On Shabbat, Jewish people also spend a lot of time in the synagogue.
At the synagogue, a Sidra, a small portion of the Sefer Torah, is
read. By the end of the year the complete scroll will have been read
in this way. The Ark is then opened and the congregation stands as a
mark of respect. Seven men recite blessings during the reading of the
Sidra. After the reading of the Sefer Torah, an eighth man reads
Haftarah, a portion from one of the books of the prophets. After the
scroll has been put back in the Ark, the Rabbi gives a sermon that
encourages the congregation to keep their faith.
On Saturday, after the morning synagogue service, they go home. They
eat an already prepared meal, which follows a similar format to the
Friday night meal. In the afternoon, Jewish men and boys return to the
synagogue for another service. After dinner, the family may discuss
their Jewish studies. In the late afternoon the males in the family go
back to the synagogue to study the Torah...