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Jewish Festivals

    Shabbat is the Jewish people's most special day. It is a day of rest, peace and joy. It starts on Friday evening just before it gets dark and it ends on Saturday night.

    When Shabbat has arrived in Israel a loud siren is blasted in every town. By the time it has finished everything has closed and people are already in their homes.

    There are three main meals on Shabbat: Friday evening; Saturday midday; and Saturday afternoon. There are also three themes for Shabbat: God; Torah; and Israel, so each has its own theme, its own meal and its own kind of activity.

    Friday evening's theme is Israel and the activity that is done is being together in a happy mood. Saturday midday's theme is Torah and the activity that is done is talking about ideas, especially the Torah reading for that Shabbat. Saturday evening’s theme is God and the activity that is carried out is being quiet, having a nap, reading alone or going fir a stroll.

    On Friday evening two candles are lit to welcome Shabbat. Then there is Kiddush which is when Jews sing blessings for the Shabbat, with a cup of wine or grape juice. There is also a Kiddush on Saturday at midday. Kiddush means making something holy.

    There are three synagogue services on Shabbat one on Friday evening, Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon. On Friday there are prayers and songs to welcome the Shabbat and Kiddush is sung, just as it is at home.

    On Saturday morning there is the reading of the Torah scroll.

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