Welcoming the Sabbath


Shabbat is an important tradition in the Jewish faith. It means to have a day of rest, where not much is done, and time is spent with family and other loved ones. It is celebrated in a variety of ways. More orthodox Jews (people who observe a more conservative and traditional version of the Jewish faith) will take the 24 to 27 hours to be completely free from the use of technology, including cell phones, lights and stoves. In Jerusalem, most of the city shuts down for Shabbat, including all transportation services except for overpriced taxis and the Arab-run bus system. To welcome the day of rest, it is traditional to have a dinner with loved ones. 

What tradition did I learn about?:

Each weekend, I have the privilege of experiencing Shabbat in a new way. A few weeks ago, I spent Shabbat and a Jewish holiday with an Israeli-American family in Ra'anana, a town north of Tel Aviv. While there, we had a traditional Shabbat dinner that included the typical prayers over the food. Since then, my friends and I have made it a goal to celebrate every Shabbat with a family-style dinner. Before the shops close around four o'clock in the afternoon, my friends and I do our grocery shopping for the next 30 hours.