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Shabbat Meals
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Three Shabbat Meals We are required to eat three Shabbat meals, as a rabbinic (d’rabanan) enactment to enjoy Shabbat (oneg Shabbat). The first Shabbat meal must be at night and the remaining two must be during the day (the third meal must be eaten after halachic midday). Friday night dinner and the first meal on Saturday are preceded by kiddush. For the first two Shabbat meals, say ha’motzi over two complete loaves of bread, […]
Friday Mincha, Maariv and Kabbalat Shabbat
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Earliest Mincha before Shabbat The earliest mincha before Shabbat is one-half hour after halachic midday, as with all mincha prayers. Saying Mincha after Lighting Shabbat Candles A woman or girl who has already lit Shabbat candles may not say mincha for Friday afternoon, even if she lit (after plag ha’mincha but) long before sunset time, unless she intended not to begin Shabbat when she was lighting the candles (and intending […]
Shabbat Candles
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Peace of Home and Festive Feeling The original purpose for lighting Shabbat candles was to enhance the peace of the home (shalom bayit – so that people could walk around without stumbling in the dark), and so Shabbat candles were lit where people would eat dinner Friday night.  But we now rely on the idea that candles help provide a […]
When Does Shabbat Start? (Plus: Techum Shabbat)
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When Shabbat Starts There are many approaches as to when to start Shabbat: Men For men, whichever is first: At sunset, or When they light candles intending to begin Shabbat then, or When they say Mizmor shir l’yom haShabbat. Women For women, whichever is first: When they light candles intending to begin Shabbat then (most […]
How To Prepare for Shabbat
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Introduction  Taking care of many of our physical needs before Shabbat begins allows us to enhance our physical rest and emphasize our spiritual nature on Shabbat. To prepare, we make or buy the food we will need for Shabbat, clean the house, and put it in order.  The custom is to shower or bath especially for Shabbat. Before sunset on Friday, we […]
Shabbat and the International Date Line
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WHEN IS SHABBAT? Where the Day Begins: Three Opinions There are three main opinions on where the day begins: 90 degrees east of Jerusalem; 180 degrees east of Jerusalem; and Eastern extent of land at Jerusalem latitude (in China, near Shanghai). WHICH DAY IS SHABBAT? Introduction to Shabbat, IDL, and Region of Safek/Doubt The International […]
Introduction to Shabbat
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Goal of Creation Shabbat was the goal of Creation. Just as God completed the world’s creation on the sixth day and ceased His work on the seventh, so Jews are supposed to imitate God and not do any creative work on the seventh day. Everything we need for living through Shabbat must be prepared ahead so that we […]
Siddur Guide – Part 3: Maariv
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Praying Ma’ariv V’hu Rachum Everyone reads the two introductory lines of v’hu rachum. Bar’chu Leader says bar’chu. Everyone else responds, baruch Adonai…. The leader repeats that line. Everyone reads the next paragraph/blessing. The leader says that final line out loud. Everyone responds amen. Note: Don’t say baruch hu u’varuch shemo at all during ma’ariv. Shema […]
Siddur Guide – Part 2: Shacharit
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Bar’chu The leader says Bar’chu et Adonai ha’mevorach. Everyone bows from the waist and replies (aloud), Baruch Adonai ha’mevorach l’olam va’ed (which is then repeated by the leader). Everyone says the blessing’s ending …u’vorei et ha’kol. Shema and Its Blessings The next paragraphs lead up to the shema: Leader says, “Et shem ha’el...” Everyone says […]
Siddur Guide – Part 1: Preliminary Morning Service
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How To Pray in Synagogue The synagogue (shul) prayer service may confuse the unfamiliar. Here is a brief guide to following the congregational prayers. Note: This Guide may be printed and given to people who are unfamiliar with the prayer services (or to people who are not yet completely comfortable in following the prayer services). […]