14 Facts About Shabbat


Since the Jewish religious calendar counts days from sunset to sunset, Shabbat begins in the evening of what on the civil calendar is Friday.

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Shabbat observance entails refraining from work activities, often with great rigor, and engaging in restful activities to honour the day.

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Judaism's traditional position is that the unbroken seventh-day Shabbat originated among the Jewish people, as their first and most sacred institution, although some suggest other origins.

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Variations upon Shabbat are widespread in Judaism and, with adaptations, throughout the Abrahamic and many other religions.

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Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles and reciting a blessing.

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Shabbat is a festive day when Jews exercise their freedom from the regular labours of everyday life.

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Universal Jewish Encyclopedia advanced a theory of Assyriologists like Friedrich Delitzsch that Shabbat originally arose from the lunar cycle in the Babylonian calendar containing four weeks ending in a Sabbath, plus one or two additional unreckoned days per month.

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Seventh-day Shabbat did not originate with the Egyptians, to whom it was unknown; and other origin theories based on the day of Saturn, or on the planets generally, have been abandoned.

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Longstanding Jewish position is that unbroken seventh-day Shabbat originated among the Jewish people, as their first and most sacred institution.

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Kabbalat Shabbat service is a prayer service welcoming the arrival of Shabbat.

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In modern times, many composers have written sacred music for use during the Kabbalat Shabbat observance, including Robert Strassburg and Samuel Adler.

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Term shomer Shabbat is used for a person who adheres to Shabbat laws consistently.

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Shabbat lamps have been developed to allow a light in a room to be turned on or off at will while the electricity remains on.

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Talmud, especially in tractate Shabbat, defines rituals and activities to both "remember" and "keep" the Sabbath and to sanctify it at home and in the synagogue.

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