Sundown today, Friday, marks the start of another Shabbat. This time, I will spend the evening with Alon and learn how to celebrate Shabbat.
It started earlier in the day – we went to a local food store and bought our dinners as well as a loaf of braided Challah bread.
That evening, we started by setting the table. The challah was placed on a challah board and then covered with a ceremonial cover.
Then the rest of the table is set with the finest plates and cutlery available at Alon’s house.
Now, we pray. Typically, in a family, this is the time that the mother of the house offers a free form prayer. This is the most important prayer of the day, and God is certainly paying attention to what the mother has to say. In our case, Alon gave the first prayer and then I gave a second. Before the prayer, a candle is lit.
If there were children present, they should be quiet and listen carefully to the prayer of their mother.
After the first prayer, then the challah bread is prayed for. Again, this is a free form prayer.
Shabbat Challah is 3 strands of dough braided together. Each strand represents God, Jews, and Goy (GentilesO). The tradition of the hallah was created by messianic Jews 2000 years ago.
After praying over the challah bread, each person takes and eats a piece of bread. No one speaks until the bread has been swallowed.
Next the wine is prayed over – again, this is a freeform, and again, no one speaks until the prayer is done and a sip of wine has been swallowed.
Then it’s time to eat the meal!