© 2014 Temple Beth Torah, Fremont, CA

Shabbat

WHAT IS SHABBAT?

 

Shabbat is a weekly 25 hour observance that lasts from just before sundown each Friday until nightfall on Saturday . Shabbat is one of Judaism’s most distinct practices, as well as one of its most pervasive and long lasting gifts to the Jewish people.

 

Shabbat is more than just a day off; it is a day of physical and spiritual delights, a day that is meant to illuminate certain fundamental concepts in the traditional Jewish perception of the world .

 

The Torah describes Shabbat as the "pinnacle of creation in the universe", and states that the observance of Shabbat is a reminder of the purpose of the world and our purpose in the world. Additionally, Shabbat serves as a commemoration of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. By setting aside one day as a rest and recoup from the pressure and demands of one’s day to day affairs, we are reaffirming his dedication to the God whom rescued Israel from the Egyptian oppression. Indeed, this notion is eloquently portrayed in Jewish liturgy as "a day of joy, a sanctuary from travails, and even a foretaste of the perfect world that will someday be attained."