What is Shabbat?
Shabbat or Shabbos is the day of rest symbolic of the 7th day of creation when God rested. It is the day to disconnect from your workday chores, worries and mundane activities. It’s the day to recharge spiritual batteries through praying, studying Torah, napping and of course, eating well. On Shabbat we drink wine and eat challah, Jewish braided bread.
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When is Shabbat?
Shabbat is every week from sundown on Friday night to sunset on Saturday.
Shabbat is observed with large festive meals at both Friday night dinner and Saturday day lunch. There is also a smaller third meal, Seudah Shlishi, before the day ends.
There is no actual cooking allowed on Shabbat so many of the foods that have become associated with Shabbat are foods that can be made ahead and served cold or kept warm overnight, like cholent, a traditional Jewish Shabbat stew that cooks for 17 hours. Kugels, which are vegetable casseroles are also very popular, but the traditional foods vary based on which part of the world you are from.
On Friday night we light Shabbat candles and at both meals there are two loaves of challah to remind us of the time in the bible when the jews were wandering in the desert and God gave two portions of the Manna bread on Fridays to last through Shabbat.