Looking for information or guidelines for Shabbat and/or Havdalah? Whether you’ve never celebrated either before and are looking to start, or would like more information about the various customs and traditions associated with these rituals, these handy downloadable guides from InterfaithFamily are a great resource.
Both Shabbat Made Easy and Havdalah Made Easy are reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.
Did you know there is one Jewish holiday whose importance exceeds all the rest?
If you are thinking that it is Passover, guess again. Yes, Passover is important and we are commanded to remember the exodus from Egypt every day, which reminds us that we were once slaves and so should be empathetic to all who are in current states of slavery.
If you are thinking it is Yom Kippur, you have been tricked again. Yes, Yom Kippur is important. Together with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur bookends the “Days of Awe” when we spend ten days examining our behavior and looking for ways to be a better person and a better Jew.
Here is a hint… The most important Jewish holiday comes every week! Yep, it is Shabbat or the Sabbath. One day a week, in imitation of God who rested on the seventh day of creation, we rest from our work.
To help you bring the gift of the Sabbath in to every home, InterfaithFamily.com brings you Shabbat Made Easy.
This little booklet is a guide through the why and how of bringing Shabbat to your home and table. It includes all the blessings traditionally said in the table service with candles, wine and the braided bread called challah. This booklet can be the script for both Jewish and interfaith families who are ready to “build a cathedral in time,” as Abraham Joshua Heschel said.
This handy guide to Shabbat can also be used:
as the foundation for a class on Shabbat for family education;
as a handout for new synagogue or community members;
to help interfaith families — and all families — who need a refresher on the Shabbat table service;
as a handout for religious schools, community Shabbat gatherings and tot Shabbats.
Abraham Joshua Heschel called Shabbat a cathedral in time. While in that “cathedral,” we live as if the world were perfect, needing no change. We may close our computers and leave our work selves behind, to relish our family and friends, our beautiful world and to express our gratitude. We open the door to that cathedral as the sun sets on Friday evening and we sadly close the door twenty-five hours later with the Havdalah ritual.
Havdalah is Hebrew for separation. As we metaphorically close the door on Shabbat, we remind ourselves of the differing qualities of time that we have experienced. Just as we mark the end of childhood with bar/bat mitzvah, the end of high school and college with graduation ceremonies, Jews around the world mark the end of the special time of Shabbat and our reluctant move back to the world and all its demands with Havdalah.
This dramatic ritual is a favorite of both children and adults. It uses all five senses in the goodbye to the Sabbath. It can be the small, intimate ending note of a visit with friends that began on Shabbat afternoon or it can be a theatrical start to a big party on a Saturday night.
To help you conduct this ritual, InterfaithFamily.com brings you Havdalah Made Easy. This colorful booklet explains all that you need for the brief, but memorable, ritual. Included are the four blessings over wine, fragrant spices, fire and distinctions, as well as the items that are needed for the rituals. Included are traditional songs to complete your ceremony.
This handy booklet is perfect for:
individuals and couples taking a class on the Sabbath;
parents, as they register their children for preschool or religious school;
new members of your community, given out in a welcome packet;
bar/bat mitzvah students looking for a way to transition into their Saturday night festivities.