Happy Friday everyone! Are you excited for Shabbat tonight? I know I am! This week has been busy so the prospect of a day of rest sounds especially splendid today. When I first started observing Shabbat a few years ago I often felt lost, like I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. For those of you who may be in the same boat, I thought I would share what a typical Shabbat looks like at my house. Your Shabbat certainly doesn't have to look exactly like mine but I thought it might give you some inspiration. As long as you are resting and spending time with YHWH you are doing it right!
Since Shabbat is the set apart day, I like to make dinner more special than the rest of the week. Most of the time it is just me and my husband, as I find that more restful than having company (which we do on occasion and is always fun). A special meal for us means eating in the dining room instead of the kitchen like usual. If I have time, I will try a new recipe or bake bread. Last week we had homemade croissants! I don't make those very often but I will say I like them even better than challah. :) I like to light a candle to make things more festive, but please note candle lighting is not a commandment.
With the bitter temperatures we've had lately we like to stay near the fireplace after dinner (lit before Shabbat). My husband and I study the Torah portion together. We take turns reading and look up words and commentaries as study tools. The evening is a relaxing time of catching up and reading.
In the morning we attend the Shabbat service at our congregation. We have worship and teaching and then a discussion time and prayer. Afterwards we go to my parents and have a simple lunch together with family and sometimes an extra friend or two. We discuss what we've been learning and studying and also catch up on each others lives.
We go our separate ways after lunch. Occasionally, I will take a nap in the afternoon but my favorite thing to do is read. On Shabbat I stick to Scripture, the Apocrypha, Torah commentaries, and books on Scriptural topics. My husband and I make it a point to pray together during the day.
At sundown we often visit friends or my brother or have them over.
So that's Shabbat at my house. I would love to hear: what your Shabbat is like? Do you have a favorite tradition?