Shabbat Resources

At Temple Beth Israel see ourselves as a community of meaning, charged with the responsibility of helping each other deepen the purpose we find in our lives.

On our better days, we do this by following the lessons of our tradition – by challenging each other to consider the way in which we go about our daily tasks and the way in which we interact with the world around us.

Over the last few years you have heard my colleagues and I talk a lot about our core values – the principles and practices that really matter in life. Chief amongst these values has been the observance of Shabbat which have fostered though our rejuvenated services, the innovation of Pop-Up Shabbat and the re-conception of our Tot Shabbat and Family Shabbat experiences.

Now we want to bring that same energy and effort into you own homes with this Shabbat At Home booklet which we are gifting it to every home in our congregations as part of our 85th Anniversary celebrations.

It has been has been said that “more than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.” More than any single practice, Shabbat is the institution that has kept us Jewish. It has set us apart, it has sustained us, it has made us holy.

Our hope is that this new resource will help you, your family and friends create and enhance your own Shabbat experiences.


Friday Night Blessings

Blessing over the Candles

Blessing over the Wine

Blessing over Hand Washing

Blessing over the Bread


Each Saturday night, Havdalah (meaning “separation”) marks our transition from Shabbat into the rest of the week.  The service itself consists of four blessings.  The first three outline all the materials we need to make Havdalah: the fruit of the vine (wine), varied spices (usually cinnamon, cloves, etc.), and the light of fire (a plaited candle).  The fourth recognizes the meaning of the ritual: to separate the holiness of Shabbat from the ordinary work week.  At the end of this blessing, we extinguish the braided candle in the glass of wine, marking Shabbat’s formal end.  Havdalah “sets,” which contain a candle holder, a wine glass, and a spice box, can be found at most Judaica shops, as can the traditional plaited candles.  While they are a beautiful piece in any Jewish home, they are not necessary for making Havdalah.  Homemade Havdalah sets can consist of any combination of two or more spices, a cup of wine or grape juice, and any three or more candles lit together.

The Havdalah service begins on page 610 of Mishkan T’fillah, where in addition to these four blessings, we find additional texts that enhance this ritual.  For your convenience, we have included a link below to the Havdalah Service (as a PDF file). It is traditional to close Havdalah with a song for Elijah the Prophet, and a hearty “Shavua tov!”