Friday Night at Home
The traditional Shabbat evening rituals are best shared with family and friends.
After the meal, the time before going to sleep is usually spent talking to family or friends, and/or in the study of Torah.
Shabbat is the crowning glory in the life of the Jew. Countless generations of Jews followed the advice of Shammai the Elder who, whenever he found some especially tasty bit of food, would set it aside to be eaten on Shabbat. Jews who lived in poverty would deprive themselves all week in order to honor the Sabbath with light, wine, and proper food.
Why are Shabbat meals considered so important? If the Sabbath is a time of spiritual joy, why the concern with eating and drinking? The tale is told of a king who invited one of his subjects to come and dwell in the royal palace. Said the subject to the king, "I have a friend whom I love so dearly that I never allow myself to dwell apart from him. Only if you invite him to be with me can I accept your invitation. The soul refuses to leave the body; true joy can happen only when they rejoice together as one."
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