Shabbat X

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!

RJX Shabbatons

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What is a shabbaton?

From Friday evening through Saturday evening, Rutgers students are welcomed into hosts’ homes and participate in an authentic Shabbat experience, replete with food, singing, discussions, and chilling time.

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Who are the hosts?

Families in various locations (Highland Park, NJ; Far Rockaway, NY; etc.) request to host students from Rutgers. Besides setting up a guest room for the guests, they also share the Friday night meal together. The types of hosts vary in ages and professions, but all are excited to share a Shabbat with RJXers.

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How much does it cost?

Shabbatons are all free for RJXers. Transportation, room and board are provided for the entire weekend.

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Shabbaton Packing List

1-2 Formal/business casual outfits (if you would like a change of clothes for Shabbat day), Toiletries, Comfortable shoes, Appropriate outerwear

Do I need to bring my own linen?  No. Hosts will provide you with fully made beds and towels.

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Sample Itinerary

Welcome to Highland Park!

Your hosts are awaiting your arrival. Settle in, and girls, you can light candles with them too. We are honored to have Rabbi Yaacov Yisroel Wenglin with us this Shabbos! A Cum Laude graduate of Harvard, Rabbi Wenglin’s unique philosophical approach to Torah is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking, and he will be sharing his wisdom throughout shabbos.

We begin with melodious services at  5:45  at the Congregation Ohav Emeth (OE), 415 Raritan Ave for Kabbalat Shabbat. The entance is actually around the back, on Denison St., so if you come from Raritan Ave, go around the building to your left. Or, just follow the singing :).

Afterwards, enjoy a traditional, home-cooked Shabbat meal at your hosts.  Remember,all our hosts are warm, fuzzy and friendly, so if you see something you don’t understand, ASK! You might learn something interesting, and at the very least, it will give you something to talk about.

Have any room for more? Join everyone for an Oneg at the Schwartz house, 307 N 8th Ave, with food, drink, and good times after the meal until 1 am sharp.

Shabbat Morning: An explanatory prayer service will be led by Rabbi Goldberg at 11:15 am in Ohev Emeth Beit Medrash, 415 Raritan Ave.  Of course, refreshments will be served (duh!). Don’t eat too much though- Lunch will take place right after services at 12:30. Maimonides, you are at the Lewis house, 116 Lincoln, and everyone else is at the Pomper’s, 611 South Park.

At 2:45 pm  there will be a fascinating lecture at the home of  Dr. & Mrs. Herman Presby, 467 Lincoln Ave. Dr. Presby, formerly of Bell Labs, holds hundreds of patents in fiberoptics, and will speak about “Absolutely Nothing”-  about Science and Torah. Also,  Rabbi Wenglin will be speaking at the Pomper home,  611 South Park Ave. on “Gratifying Our Deepest Desires.”

After the class, feel free to walk around to ‘hood, sleep, or chillax at the Lewis house for the rest of the afternoon. Rabbi Wenglin will be on hand to answer all of your philosophical questions as well. At 5:45, we will gather again for the Third Meal,  Girls meet at the Orani’s 292 North 5th Ave.; guys are at the Taitel’s, 63 Brookdale Ct.

After nightfall, bid farewell to Shabbat with havdalah at your Third Meal hosts, pack your bags, and get outta town. Don’t forget to write a thank-you card and exchange numbers with your host before you leave!

Upcoming Shabbaton

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“Do It Yourself” Shabbat

Lighting Shabbat Candles
Shabbat candles personify the holiness and tranquility of the Garden of Eden.
How to do it

Making Kiddush
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 moreHow to do it

Making Havdalah
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 moreHow 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 Concepts

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.
Read more

What It Means To “Rest”
Understanding the definition of “work” as it applies to the laws of Shabbat.
Read more

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.
Read more

Shabbat Anywhere

shabbatcomThere’s a host family welcoming you practically anywhere in the world. is a new interactive way for Jews worldwide to be selectively paired with host families from all over the globe for Shabbat.
The site has homes opening their doors for fellow Jews in 40 countries, and has had over 6,000 sign-ups to date. Click on the link below to find your perfect match.

How to be a shabbat guest

A guide to making your visit more pleasurable for you and your hosts.

By Rabbi Shraga Simmons

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.

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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.
Read More