Shabbat

Havdalah

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Written by: Erin Parfet
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Havdalah is a beautiful multi-sensory ceremony and one of the most ancient blessings in Jewish religious life that symbolically marks the end of Shabbat after the appearance of three stars in the sky, usually 45–60 minutes after sundown, depending on one’s latitude and season. The ceremony delineates the end of Shabbat from the commencement of the new week ahead of work, blessings, and God’s mercies, which begin every morning.

Kiddush

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Written by: Erin Parfet
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kiddush article 24As zikaron le-ma’asei v’reishit ("a memorial to Creation"), Kiddush ("sanctification" or "separation") is a beautiful Shabbat benediction and one of the central traditions of the Shabbat in Jewish life. It is a blessing said over a cup of wine on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, or possibly at other times, marking certain festive occasions and life milestones.

Lecha Dodi

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Written by: Erin Parfet
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Lecha Dodi (“Come my Friend”) is a well-known eight-stanza hymn of mystical origins that is commonly sung at Friday night synagogue services to usher in the beginning of the Sabbath. It is a beautiful song that incorporates various scriptural passages, prophecies from Isaiah, references to Jerusalem and the Messiah, and various references to the Talmud and Midrash. Melodies vary around the world, with different Jewish communities infused with different musical flavors in different countries.