Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) artefacts

'Shabbat' is the Jewish Sabbath. It begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday. It is a day of rest and no work is done. This reminds Jews of how God rested on the seventh day after creating the world in six days (Genesis chapter 1). On Friday evening, there is the special Shabbat meal which is a family event. The mother will light the Shabbat candles and welcome in the Sabbath.
Kiddush Cup

At the beginning of the Shabbat meal, the father pours a cup of wine and recites a blessing over it. The blessing is called ‘Kiddush’. The Kiddush cup is often made of silver. This particular cup is silver-plated. The family share the wine. Jews drink wine to celebrate a happy occasion. For them, Shabbat is a day of happiness and rest.
Challah Loaves

Two plaited loaves of bread, called challah (pural challot), are put on the table with a special cover over them. Challah bread is made from fine flour and eggs and tastes sweeter than ordinary bread. This is to symbolise that Shabbat is sweeter than any other day.

The two loaves remind Jews of how God provided for their ancestors when they were in the wilderness during the time of Moses. God sent manna from heaven for the Jews to eat each day. However, on the day before the Sabbath, he sent enough manna for two days because collecting manna on the Sabbath day was considered work, and therefore was not allowed.

The father recites a blessing over the challah. All members of the family share the first piece of bread. The Shabbat meal will then be eaten.

Challah Cover
This is a special cloth cover which is put over the challah loaves. It is usually embroidered with Jewish symbols, Shabbat artefacts or Hebrew writing.
Havdalah Candle

At sunset on Saturday, the family hold a special ceremony, called Havdalah, to say farewell to Shabbat for another week. They light a havdalah candle. This has six wicks to symbolise the six days before the return of Shabbat.

The family pass around a spice box containing sweet smelling spices. A cup of sweet wine is poured. The wine is allowed to overflow the cup onto a saucer. This symbolises that the joy of Shabbat will spill over into the coming week. A member of the family then puts out the flames of the Havdalah candle in the wine to show that Shabbat is over.

Back
Content
Next