Tag Archives: Sabbath

Kabbalat shabbat rituals

After the Sabbath starts, is that part of any eating ritual is that before you eat, you wash your hands in a ritual way just with water and say a prayer. Between saying the prayer and eating a piece of bread, you can’t talk. When you have a family or guests over, it takes a moment for everybody to go through the ritual before blessing the bread and partaking in it together.

In the few minutes that it takes for people to come back and sit back down at the table, no one can talk, but everyone will hum songs. These tunes are just known from growing up together, and sometimes it’s just the head of the house humming it and sometimes other people will join in, but it makes the space very happy. There’s no reason for it other than just to make the space beautiful.

Literally means “the welcome of shabbat (Sabbath).” Practically, all the blessings and songs and rituals that you do to welcome the Sabbath in on Friday night, though there are rituals, such as the one listed above, that you can do on the Sabbath itself.

The idea behind it: making things beautiful to welcome in the Sabbath — you’re not just celebrating, but you’re doing it even though you don’t need to. Generally, it means being unnecessarily fancy for the Sabbath, e.g. cleaning the house, wearing fancy clothes, getting out nice dishes.

The informant has a memory of her grandfather always humming when her family would come over on Friday nights, or when he came over on Friday nights. He’s a huge part of her life, and one of her greatest inspirations.

I spoke to my informant during an on-campus event.

During my undergrad years at USC, I sometimes went over to my Jewish friend’s house to partake in their shabbat dinners. I never knew there were religious rituals attached to it, but this one really captivates me because of its inherent quietness. When many people think of rituals or festivals, they think of noise and excitement, but this is one ritual that’s incredibly low-key in practice, but still shows a strong devotion to and respect of the religious rite.