By Levi Clancy for לוי on
Many of our traditional prayers developed in the era between the second Temple destruction and the Middle Ages. This particular prayer is by Rabbi Shimon, but there are others by Rabbi Hiyya and Rav Hamnuna Sava which are just as appropriate.
Setting the table
The sabbath table should be set with at least two candles (representing the dual commandments to remember and observe the sabbath), a glass of wine, and at least two loaves of challah (representing the dual portion of manna that God provided for the Israelites in preparation for Shabbat in the desert). The challah loaves should be whole, and should be covered with a bread cover, towel or napkin.
Candles should be lit no later than 18 minutes before sundown. For the precise time when Shabbat begins in your area, consult the list of candle lighting times provided by the Orthodox Union or any Jewish calendar.
At least two candles should be lit, representing the dual commandments to remember and to keep the sabbath. The candles are lit by the woman of the household. After lighting, she waves her hands over the candles, welcoming in the sabbath. Then she covers her eyes, so as not to see the candles before reciting the blessing, and recites the blessing below. The hands are then removed from the eyes, and she looks at the candles, completing the mitzvah of lighting the candles.
Blessing over candles
|Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam||Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe|
|asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu||Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us|
|l'had'lik neir shel Shabbat. (Amein)||to light the lights of Shabbat. (Amen)|
Evening services (Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv) should be attended in the synagogue or performed in the home between candle lighting and dinner on the evening of the sabbath.
קדיש kiddush (sanctification)
Kiddush is the blessing over wine before a meal.
It is recited while holding a cup of wine or other liquid, no less than 3.3 ounces.
שבת shabbat prayer
|וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי Gen 1:31||vay'hi erev vay'hi voker yom hashishi||and there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.|
|וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, וְכָל-צְבָאָם. Gen 2:1||vay'khulu hashamayim v'ha'aretz v'khol tz'va'am||the heavens, the earth, and everything in them was now completed|
|וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה Gen 2:2||vay'khal elohim bayom hash'vi'i m'la'kh'to asher asah||On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation,|
|וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מִכָּל-מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה||vayish'bot bayom hash'vi'i mikol m'la'kh'to asher asah||so he rested from all his work.|
|וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת-יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ Gen 2:3||vay'varekh Elohim et yom hash'vi'i vay'kadeish oto||And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy,|
|כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל-מְלַאכְתּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר-בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת||ki vo shavat mikol m'la'kh'to asher bara Elohim la'asot||because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.|
prayer for wine
|ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם||barukh attah adonai eloheinu melekh ha'olam||now bless our blessed lord, our god, majesty of the universe|
|בורא פרי הגפן||bo'rei pe'ri ha'gafen||who creates the fruit of the vine|
For a non-grape beverage, we say the blessing below instead.
|Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam||Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe|
|shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (Amein)||Who made all things exist through His word (Amen)|
After the beverage prayer, we then say this blessing.
|בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם||Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam||Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe|
|אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְרַָצָה בָנוּ||asher kid'shanu b'mitz'votav v'ratzah vanu||who sanctifies us with his commandments, and has been pleased with us|
|וְשַׁבָּת קָדְשׁוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן הִנְחִילָנוּ|
זִכָּרוֹן לְמַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית
|v'shabat kad'sho b'ahavah uv'ratzon hin'chilanu|
zikaron l'ma'aseih v'rei'shit
|You have lovingly and willingly given us Your holy Shabbat as an inheritance,|
in memory of creation
|כִּי הוּא יוֹם תְּחִלָּה לְמִקְרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ|
זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם
|ki hu yom t'chilah l'mik'ra'ei kodesh|
zeikher litzi'at Mitz'rayim
|because it is the first day of our holy assemblies, in memory of the exodus from Egypt|
|כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאוֹתָנוּ קְדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים||ki vanu vachar'ta v'otanu kidash'ta mikol ha'amim||because You have chosen us and made us holy from all peoples|
|וְשַׁבָּת קָדְשְׁךָ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ||v'shabat kad'sh'kha b'ahavah uv'ratzon hin'chal'tanu||and have willingly and lovingly given us Your holy Shabbat for an inheritance|
|בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ מְקַדֵּשׁ הַשַׁבָּת||Barukh atah Adonai m'kadeish hashabat (Amein).||Blessed are You, who sanctifies Shabbat (Amen)|
Blessing the meal
washing the hands
N'tilat yadayim / Mayim rishonim
Recite the appropriate blessing and wash the hands.
|ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם||Barukh ata Adonai Elohenu melekh ha'olam||now bless our blessed lord, our god, majesty of the universe|
|אשר קדשנו במצותיו||asher qiddeshanu b'mitzvotav||who has sanctified us with His commandments|
|וצונו על נטילת ידים||v'tzivanu al netilath yadayim||and commanded us on washing our hands|
After Kiddush and before the meal, each person in the household should wash hands by filling a cup with water and pouring it over the top and bottom of the right hand and then the left hand. Before wiping the hands dry on a towel, the following blessing should be recited. Why is there no "Amen" at the end of this blessing? Traditionally, each person washes their own hands, and each person says their own blessing. You don't say "Amen" to your own blessing, and everybody says their own n'tilat yadayim, so there is no "Amen"! With the other blessings on this page, a leader says the blessing on behalf of everyone, and the others say "Amen."
blessing over the bread
This blessing is made only for bread made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt. Immediately after washing hands and before eating, the head of the household should remove the cover from the two challah loaves, lifting them while reciting the following blessing.
|ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם||barukh atah adonai elohenu melekh ha'olam||now bless our blessed lord, our god, majesty of the universe|
|המוציא לחם מן הארץ||ha'motzi lehem min ha‑aretz||who brings forth bread from the earth|
The challah is then ripped into pieces or sliced and passed around the table, so that each person may have a piece. The family meal may then begin.