The Jewish Holy Days: Part : V ... continued
Jerry Katz - December 15, 2008
Two candles are lit to represent the two commandments of Shabbat: zakhor (remember) and shamor (observe). Most Jewish families then attend a brief evening service and after services head home for dinner. Before dinner, the man of the house recites Kiddush, a prayer over wine sanctifying Shabbat. This is usually recited over challah, a sweet egg-based bread and while there are few traditions as to what should be eaten on the Shabbat, many Jewish families eat something like a stew that has been pre-prepared so as not to violate the restrictions on the use of electricity during Shabbat.
In the morning Shabbat services begin around 9 o’clock and may continue until noon. After the services are over the family says kiddush again and has another meal. Then it is time for rest and relaxation time that some use to read the Torah or to play quiet games with their family. Some people have another light meal together late in the afternoon before the end of the Shabbat.
Shabbat ends at nightfall according to the tradition, when three stars are visible, or approximately 40 minutes after sunset. There is a concluding ritual called the "Havdalah" which means separation or division. Final Blessings are recited over wine, spices and candles and the Shabbat is over for another week.
There are many other religious holy days, holidays and events in the life of Jews but we hope we have given you some insight into the major ones that make up the lives and living of the Jewish people. Look for other articles in this series including the many varied and wonderful ways that Jews in different parts of the world acknowledge and celebrate their religious traditions and practices. Next Article -->
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