Eighteen ways to honor the Shabbat
By Rabbi Fabian Werbin
- Prepare your house. Clean the house before Shabbat; take out all the devices you won’t use during Shabbat.
- Prepare the meals for Shabbat. Set up a nice table, different from the other days of the week. Flowers are welcomed.
- Give Tzedakah before Shabbat. You can put some money in a Tzedakah box.
- Light candles before sunset. There’s a nice custom to add one more candle for each member of the family.
- After lighting the candles sing some Shabbat songs.
- Study the parasha, the weekly portion, with your family.
- After coming from the Synagogue, do the Kiddush (blessing over the wine), bless your children, do netilat yadayim (wash your hands), do hamotzi (bless over the bread). Then eat the meal and after the meal bless birkat hamazon (grace after the meals)
- Drink a good wine for Shabbat.
- Begin reading a new book during Shabbat.
- Wake up late, rest more time than the other days of the week.
- After coming from the prayers at the Synagogue in the morning take a long nap. It is very important to rest well.
- Tell a story to your kids. If they are young, read them a book. If they are older, tell them a story about your family or about your previous experiences or about the grandparents.
- After praying mincha (the afternoon prayer) eat seuda shlishit (the third meal). During this meal you can sing songs, study and share divrei Torah (torah explanations)
- Play a game with your family.
- Set aside a time to meditate. Close your eyes, think of pleasant things, take some deep breath, and try to connect with G-d.
- Take a walk. During the week we drive. During Shabbat take advantage of the driving prohibition and go to a park with your family. Walk a little bit; it’s healthy.
- Tell your family how much you love them.
- Distinguish between Shabbat and the rest of the week. Do the Havdalah, bless over the wine, the spices, and the candles.
Then your week will be different.