FULL HOME SERVICE FOR SABBATH EVE

(Friday Evening)

 

 

PREPARATION

* (First, switch off all the lights that don’t need to be on during Shabbat (usually just the bedroom and unused rooms). You may say:

“Even though I may walk in a valley of deepest darkness, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your wolf-cudgel and your shepherd’s staff – they comfort me.” (Ps 23:4)

* (Then go round the house and switch on all the lights that you need during Shabbat. You may say:

“YHVH is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? YHVH protects me from danger – so why should I tremble?” (Ps 27:1)

“For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.” (Ps 36:9)

“Wisdom is of more value than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness.”

(Ecc 2:13)

“You have brought light to my life, O YHVH; you light up my darkness, O God.”

 (Ps 18:28)

* (Then about an hour before Shabbat starts, light the candle[s] on the table while it is still light and say:

“O YHVH, you have brought light to my life; my God, you light up my darkness.”

(Ps 18:28)

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” (Ps 119:105)

“As your words are taught, they give light; even the simple can understand them.”

(Ps 119:130)

“Light shines on the pious, and joy on those who do right.” (Ps 97:11)

* (Now wash, and dress in clean clothes).

* (Then set the table [plates, cutlery, glasses, kiddush cups, plate of challah bread covered in cloth, jug of wine/grape juice, saucer of salt, orders of service].

SANCTIFICATION OF THE SABBATH

(Once darkness has fallen, or later when everyone is ready, everyone gathers standing at table, and says in Hebrew, then in English:

anu mevarkhim umeshavchim otkha, YHVH elohéinu

she-natat lánu et ha-shabbat limnuchah

ve-tzivíta lánu et ha-shabbat be’ot le-brit

ve-qidáshta

We bless you and honour you, O YHVH our God,

for you have given us the Sabbath for rest,

ordained it as a sign of the Covenant,

and made it holy. Amein.

(Each says a passage in turn):

It is written in the Torah of YHVH our God:

“The people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout the generations as a covenant for all time. It shall be a sign for all time between me and the people of Israel.” (Ex 31:16-17a)

It is also written:

“Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath dedicated to YHVH your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the foreigner resident among you.”

(Ex 20:9-10)

(All say together in Hebrew, then in English):

shema‘ yisra’eil, YHVH elohéinu, YHVH echad.

ve-ahávta et YHVH elohéykha

be-khol levávkha, uv-khol náfshekha, uv-khol me’odékha

Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.

And you shall love YHVH your God

with all your heart and mind, with all your soul, and with all your might.

(All sit)

WHAT THE SABBATH IS FOR

(Each take it in turn to read a paragraph):

The Sabbath is to be holy, separate and distinctive from all the other days of the week (Ex 20:8)

On this day, we take our rest, for God set apart the seventh day so that we might refresh ourselves (Ex 31:15, 23:12)

Today, we are set free from all our labours, and we refrain from making or creating anything (Gen2:2-3, Deut 5:14)

And we recall and bring to mind the Holy Covenant which YHVH our God made with the whole house of Israel, past present and future (Ex 31:16-17).

God intended the Sabbath to be a memorial of creation, an eternal sign of the Covenant, and an eternal remembrance of the Exodus.

Therefore on the Sabbath, we remember that God is the Creator of Heaven and Earth: “By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work that God had created to do.” (Gen 2:2-3)

We recall and respect God’s creation and everything in it; for on this day, even the animals who serve us must rest: “your ox, your donkey and all of your animals”

(Ex 20:10)

We remember and recall that all life, and all land belongs to God (Lev 25:23)

The Sabbath was also given as a sign of the Covenant; we therefore remember the Covenant which God made with the children of Israel at Mount Horeb:

That we shall worship no other God but YHVH, as it is written: “You shall have no other gods besides me.” (Ex 20:3)

That we should not pray in the name of any other god, as it is written: “Now, concerning everything which I have said to you, be on your guard; do not invoke the names of other gods, nor let them be heard from your mouth.” (Ex 23:13)

That the first born of every human being and of every animal belongs to God, male or female, kosher and non-kosher, as it is written: “The first offspring of every womb belongs to me.” (Ex 34:19, Num 18:15-17)

That we remember to keep the pilgrim festivals, as it is written: “Keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread – as I commanded you – at the designated time in the month of Ripe Barley, for it was in the month of Ripe Barley that you left Egypt. Keep the Festival of Weeks with the first-fruits of your wheat harvest. Also celebrate the Festival of In-gathering when the year turns. Three times in the year, all of you shall appear before your Sovereign, YHVH, the God of Israel.

(Ex 34:18, 22, 23)

It is also written, that we should remember how YHVH brought us out of the land of Egypt, from a state of slavery: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that YHVH your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore YHVH your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” (Deut 5:15)

THANKSGIVING FOR OUR LONG HISTORY WITH GOD

(The leader reads):

And for all this, we give thanks to YHVH our God:

“Praise God’s glorious name! May it be exalted above what any blessing or praise can say!

You alone are YHVH. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve and give life to everything, and everything that is in the heavens worships you. You are YHVH our God, who chose Abram and brought him from Ur and renamed him Abraham. When he had proved himself faithful, you made a covenant with him to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan. And you have done what you promised, for you are always true to your word. You saw the sufferings and sorrows of our ancestors in Egypt, and you heard their cries from beside the Sea of Reeds. You displayed miraculous signs and wonders against Pharaoh, his servants, and all his people, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians were treating us. You have a glorious reputation that has never been forgotten. You divided the sea for your people so they could walk through on dry land! You led our ancestors by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night so that they could find their way. You came down on Mount Horeb and spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and instructions that were just, and laws and commands that were true. And you instructed them concerning the laws of your holy Sabbath. You commanded them, through Moses your servant, to obey all your commands, laws, and instructions”. (Nehemiah 9:5-14)

THE WASHING OF THE HANDS

*(Before washing the hands, say):

“Who may ascend the mountain of YHVH? Who may stand in God’s holy place? They who have clean hands and a pure heart, who do not pray to idols or swear by what is false.” (Ps 24:3-4)

* (Now all wash hands)

*(After drying the hands, say in Hebrew, then in English):

anu mevarkhim umeshavchim otkha, YHVH elohéinu

asher bishkhinátkha qidáshta kol techum be-chayyéinu

afílu netilat vibush yadáyim

“We bless you and honour you, O YHVH our God,

for you sanctify every part of life by Your Presence,

even the washing and drying of our hands. Amein.”

THE MEAL

*Blessing for the bread

(Remove the cloth cover from the bread, and say in Hebrew then in English):

anu mevarkhim umeshavchim otkha, YHVH elohéinu

‘al she-yitzrata et tevu’at ha-adamah

zeh ha-lechem she-anu okhalim ha-yom

“We bless you and honour you, O YHVH our God,

for you have created the grain of the earth,

which we eat here today in the form of bread. Amein.”

(all break the bread together, dip in salt and eat)

(Now all assist in bringing the food to the table [except the small children and the infirm]).

(The meal is eaten).

*Blessing after meals

(All say in Hebrew, then in English):

anu mevarkhim umeshavchim otkha, YHVH elohéinu

`al pri ha-adamah she-natat lanu

`al mah she-akhalnu

afilu she-lo shatalnu

o zara`nu

o qatzarnu

anu modim

“We bless you and honour you, O YHVH our God,

for all the many fruits of the earth which you have given us.

For what we have eaten,

even for what we have not planted,

or sown,

or harvested ourselves,

we give thanks. Amein.”

PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS FOR THRE COMMUNITY,

AND FOR OUR HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES

(All Say for the whole community of Israel and all Godfearers):

‘This is what YHVH says: “Maintain justice and do what is right. Blessed is the one who does this, the one who holds fast to it, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hand from doing any evil. Let no foreigner who has bound themselves to YHVH say, ‘YHVH will surely exclude me from God’s people.’ And let not any childless man or woman complain, ‘I am only a dry tree.’ For this is what YHVH says: ‘To the childless ones who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and who hold fast to my Covenant – to them I will give within my Temple and its walls a monument and a memorial better than having sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting memorial that will never be destroyed. And foreigners who bind themselves to YHVH to serve God, to love the name of YHVH, and to worship God, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my Covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:1-7)

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight and YHVH’s holy day honourable; and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking evil, then you will find your joy in YHVH, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land, and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of YHVH has spoken.’ (Isaiah 58:13-14)

(A husband says to his wife):

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

              Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

              She opens her arms to the poor, and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed;

she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, saying:

              ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

              But a woman who reveres YHVH in awe is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,

              And let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

(A selection from Proverbs 31:10-31)

(A wife says to her husband):

“Blessed is the man who reveres YHVH in awe,

              who finds great delight in his commands.

His children will be mighty in the Land;

              The generation of the upright will be blessed.

Wealth and riches are in his house,

              And his righteousness endures forever.

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,

              For the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.

Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,

              Who conducts his affairs with justice.

Surely he will never be shaken;

              A righteous man will be remembered forever.

He will have no fear of bad news;

              His heart is steadfast, trusting in YHVH.

His heart is secure, he will have no fear;

              In the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endured forever;

              His trumpet will be lifted high in honour.”

(Psalm 112)

(Those who have sons, say):

May YHVH make you to be like Efraim and Manasseh! (Gen 48:20b)

(Those who have daughters, say):

May YHVH make you to be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah!

BLESSING OVER THE WINE

(God is blessed for the wine or grape juice; with the bottle or jug of wine/juice in the centre of the table, say in Hebrew, then in English):

anu mevarkhim umeshavchim otkha, YHVH eloheinu

`al she-birata et pri ha-gafen

she-et totzarto anu shotim ha-yom

“We bless you and honour you, O YHVH our God,

for you have created the fruit of the vine,

whose produce we drink here today. Amein”

(all serve themselves; assist small children or the infirm. Then all drink together)

Remembering the Covenant

After drinking the wine, all take it in turns to read each of the Ten Proclamations:

“Hear O Israel, the decrees and laws that I am declaring today for your ears to hear, so that you might learn them and be sure to follow them.

YHVH our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our ancestors that YHVH made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. YHVH spoke to us face to face out of the fire on the mountain. At that time Moses stood between YHVH and us to declare to us the word of YHVH, because we were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain. And God spoke all of these words, saying:

‘I am YHVH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from a state of slavery.

1.  You shall have no other gods besides me.

 

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form or image of anything in the skies above, or on the earth below, or in the waters beneath the earth.

 

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, YHVH your God, am a zealous God.

 

3. You shall not use the name of YHVH your God for false, common or evil purposes, for YHVH will not hold anyone guiltless who abuses God’s name.

 

4. Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, just as YHVH your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to YHVH your God. On it you shall not do any work – neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the foreigner resident among you, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. For six days YHVH made the skies and the land, the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh God rested. For this reason, YHVH blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that YHVH your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore YHVH your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

 

5. Honour your father and your mother, just as YHVH your God has commanded you, so that you may endure long, and so that things may go well for you in the land YHVH your God is giving you.

 

6. You shall not commit murder.

 

7. You shall not commit adultery.

 

8. You shall not steal.

 

9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour

 

10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.’ (amalgamation of Ex 20:1-17, and Deut 5:6-21)

 

 

The leader says:

The Sabbath has begun. Shabbat shalom – May YHVH give us all a Sabbath of peace.

(Now all shake hands and wish each other ‘Shabbat shalom’.)

 

 

   
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