What you can expect on Shabbat
RJX has a unique and inviting Shabbat experience happening on or near campus every week. When you arrive, expect to be warmly invited in whether you have been coming for weeks or are brand new to the festivities. A delicious home-cooked meal will be waiting, along with lots of students and friends to meet. After the traditional Kiddush is said, you will be invited to wash your hands and have some yummy challah to start off the meal – and probably chicken soup, too! From then on, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the lively and fun conversation at the Shabbat table with your fellow RJXers.
Celebrate Shabbat in HP!
What a great weekend! While this is my second Shabbatton, the first one having been in Passaic last semester, this was opened my eyes to a whole new perspective. The family I stayed with the Faeur family had seven girls, a father who graduated Rabbinical College, and a lovely mother who made us feel comfortable in her home.
It started with us arriving at the home, and meeting the family. We then ate Kougal before going to Friday Shull…then dinner…then Oneg. On Saturday, I woke up and talked to some of the girls while the family was at Shull (I regret not going actually) and then had lunch at the Lewis', discussions at another family's home (with tons of kids that I loved playing with!) and girls only dinner. We got back just in time for the closing of Shabbat, and saw Havdalah, which I've never participated in before. It was awesome going to services Friday night. I can honestly say those were the first services I not only sat in (I've sat in on services here and there in the past few years) but actually actively paid attention to. I really enjoy sitting at a table with other Jews, and making blessings…talking about nice things (not gossip or junk) and learning the Parsha. All in all a very good weekend!
I attended the Shabbaton this weekend, and it was a powerfully enlightening experience. For the first time in my life, I feel as though I've had a real introduction to Judaism. The services contained a significance I have not previously understood.
It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.”
Lighting Shabbat Candles
Shabbat candles personify the holiness and tranquility of the Garden of Eden.
How to do it
The word kiddush is from the same root as kodsesh — holy; to elevate the physical to a level of spirituality. It is part of our challenge in this world to take the physical pleasures that the Almighty has provided and use them for a higher purpose.
Read more – How to do it
The word Havdalah means to differentiate, to distinguish. The entire ceremony is to distinguish between the Shabbat that we have just experienced and the week that we are about to enter.
Read more – How to do it
Shabbat Recipes – Best Challah
- 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
- Read More
Shabbat: Heaven On Earth
It is repeated more times than any other mitzvah in the Torah, and it is the only ritual observance which is part of the Ten Commandments.
What It Means To “Rest”
Understanding the definition of “work” as it applies to the laws of Shabbat.
The Number 7
Jewish mystics offer a remarkable explanation as to why the Sabbath falls precisely on the seventh day of the week. Human beings are bound by six directions…But of course there is a seventh direction.
How to be a shabbat guest
Every family loves having sleep-over Shabbat guests.
But there is a reality you should be aware of: Families with children can entail a lot of juggling. Between laundry, Shabbat cooking, taking kids to the doctor… by the time Shabbat rolls around, everyone (especially the parents!) is looking forward to a bit of a break.
That’s where you, the Shabbat guest, come in. How can you be a good guest, while making your visit even more pleasurable? Try following these basic guidelines:
1) Beforehand: Be sure to inform your hosts ahead of time of any dietary requirements — allergies, vegetarianism, etc. Most hosts would prefer going to the extra effort to prepare what you will eat, rather than have you sit there and go hungry in their home!
2) What to Bring: Bring a gift. The safest thing is flowers, or wine if you’re familiar with your hosts standards of kashrut. You could also bring something to help keep the kids entertained — a ball or card game. Just make sure it is something the kids can play with on Shabbat (i.e. it’s not muktzah), and also be sensitive that it’s in the spirit of a Torah home (i.e. no Ninja Mutant Turtle toys).
3) When to Arrive: Do not arrive three minutes before candle-lighting. One of your host’s many Shabbat preparations is to make sure their guests are settled in and taken care of with sheets, towels, etc. If you arrive at the last minute, you’re adding to the rush and tension. But don’t come too early, either — parents and children may be taking a nap, or washing the floor. The best time to arrive is 45-60 minutes before candle-lighting. This gives you enough time to get settled, and you can use the spare minutes to offer to help — setting the table, holding a baby, playing with the kids, etc.
4) At the Table: The Mishne Brura says it’s a mitzvah to invite students for Shabbat because they add Divrei Torah to the Shabbat table. So don’t disappoint: Have one or two Divrei Torah prepared. Don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be a genius innovation. Just share something you learned about the parsha, or a personal experience that you found inspiring. And don’t wait to be asked; you can simply chime in.
Featured Story: The Holocaust Lights
Ollendorf, Germany. The skies were leaden, the winds strong and fitful. The trees were shedding their leaves at a rapid rate, so that streets newly swept had to be swept again. Leaves and bits of litter danced haphazardly on the wind’s back.
It was a dismal scene, certainly not one calculated to warm the broken hearts of the Jewish prisoners working in the munitions factory. About a thousand Jewish women labored there. Supervision was constant and harsh. From time to time a female S.S. supervisor would make a surprise inspection; these visits usually ended in heavy punishments for us.
On this gray autumn day, a piece of exciting information vas whispered in my ear.
“I’ve gotten hold of candles — Shabbos candles. Do you want to light them, Miriam?”
I stared at my friend. She smiled, saying, “Don’t you believe me? Shabbos candles! I found some wax in the department where I work. I melted it down in one of these boxes — and here they are. Shabbos candles!”
My heart soared. Shabbos lights, in the very midst of the darkness that pressed in on us from every side! In the center of the arctic menace, a tiny pinpoint of light and warmth — the Shabbos flames.