5 Unit(s), 26 Resource(s), 4 Teaching Tool(s)
The Why of Shabbat
What are the philosophical underpinnings of Shabbat observance that make it a critical area of religious observance throughout history? In this house this will be explored through the eyes of several contemporary Jewish thinkers.
The How of Shabbat
In this house the “how of shabbat observance” will be explored in all its complexity and diversity among the Jewish people today.
This unit on Shabbat focuses on the songs and melodies that accompany Shabbat – during rituals and prayers, as well as modern-day songs.
Shabbat – A Day of Rest and Holiness
This unit discusses the uniqueness of Shabbat as a day of rest from work and a day that is different from other days of the week.
Shabbat – Rituals
This unit on Shabbat deals with the various ceremonies and rituals traditionally performed over the course of Shabbat – including candle lighting, kiddush (the blessing over the wine) and havdalah (the ceremony differentiating between Shabbat and the rest of the week).
Shabbat as a Taster of the World to Come (the afterlife)
In this block we will look at three sources that compare the experience of observing shabbat to the World to Come (the afterlife).
Shabbat and Creation
In this block we will consider the connections between Shabbat and the Creation of the world.
Shabbat is the heart of Jewish life
In this block we will look at the historical, cultural, and sociological impact of shabbat observance on the Jewish people.
Shabbat and the Exodus
In this block we will consider the connections between Shabbat and the Exodus.
Shabbat is being in the present
In this block we will look at several sources who all approach shabbat as a means to pause and take stock, be present in the moment, and focus on ourselves.
The Spirit of Shabbat
In this block we will explore the overall theme of “rest” on shabbat as a way to maintain the spirit of shabbat.
Contemporary Approaches to Shabbat
In this block we will explore contemporary approaches to shabbat observance from various streams of Judaism that differ in some way from Orthodox observance.
Zachor – the “dos” of Shabbat
In this resource we will consider the positive aspects of Shabbat observance, including the positive mitzvot involved in an active Shabbat observance.
Shamor – the “do nots” of shabbat
In this block we will consider the classic Biblical and Talmudic sources for the prohibitions involved in shabbat observance.
Lighting Shabbat Candles
Lighting Shabbat candles is a ceremony that takes place at the beginning of Shabbat and is effectively how we bring in Shabbat.
We will use the song “Little Gifts” to discuss the special time on Friday as Shabbat approaches and the gifts these hours can give us.
The Shabbat Queen
We will read the poem “The Shabbat Queen” by Chaim Nachman Bialik to learn about the main aspects of Shabbat and the ceremonies and customs of the day, in the order of their occurrence from Friday evening through sunset on Saturday.
We will learn the song that is traditionally sung on Friday night. The song blesses the angels which, according to Jewish legend, accompany us on Shabbat.
It is traditional to welcome Shabbat with psalms and poems (piyutim), including the song Lecha Dodi. This resource discusses the song and the feeling of anticipation and excitement as Shabbat approaches.
Shabbat Rest for Everyone
In the book of Shemot (Exodus) the commandment to keep Shabbat is set in a social and moral context. Shabbat rest is intended to apply equally to every person, regardless of class or socioeconomic status. This lesson will discuss the moral aspect of Shabbat as an inspiration to a more just society.
Welcoming Shabbat – Kiddush
We will examine the Kiddush ritual, said over wine and Challah. We will discuss the blessings and the actions they accompany.
Spice of Shabbat
We will read a rabbinic story to discuss the various elements that create a special atmosphere on Shabbat.
Oneg Shabbat — Delighting in Shabbat
We will learn about what it means to delight in Shabbat, in light of the traditional commentary on the verse “and you call Shabbat a delight.”
Shabbat – Time To Contemplate Anew
Shabbat offers an opportunity to rest from the hectic pace of the week and to take a fresh look at our lives. We will study a text by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan regarding this aspect of Shabbat.
Shabbat – A Palace in Time
Abraham Joshua Heschel compares Shabbat to a “palace in time” – a superior and special place we come to once a week.
Havdalah – Saying Good-Bye to Shabbat
We’ll learn about the havdalah ceremony and its different components.
Feeling Shabbat – People Creating Holiness
We will use a Hassidic story to discuss the power of symbols and human actions to create an atmosphere of Shabbat.
Kiddush and Kedusha
We’ll become familiar with the Kiddush blessing that is said on Friday evening. We’ll look at the concept of kedusha (holiness), in general, and the kedusha of Shabbat, in particular.
The Blessing for Sons and Daughters
We’ll learn about the blessing for sons and daughters that is said in many families on Friday evenings.
Shabbat – An Island in a Tumultuous Ocean
With the help of a text written by Abraham Joshua Heschel, we will touch upon Shabbat’s essence as a moment in time in which we take a break from the hustle and bustle of the week, rest and connect to ourselves and to the sublime.
The First Shabbat
On the seventh day, God rested from the work of Creation.
The seventh day of Creation was designated as a day of rest — Shabbat. From the description of Shabbat in the Creation story, we will learn about how God rested and we will explore how we rest from our weekday routines.
A template that helps students understand the abstract idea of holiness.
Template for activities in which we are parting from Shabbat through the character of the Prophet Eliyahu, a kind of Jewish "superhero" who offers us powers that we would like to take with us from Shabbat into the rest of the week.
Shabbat Gifts Template
Template for activities connected to the unit "Little Gifts". Shabbat offers us intangible "gifts", which we are able to experience through our five senses. The students will identify what they see as those gifts.