57 Shabbat Dinner Recipes You’re Going to Love

Posted on November 12th, 2017
By Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com

Friday night dinner: it’s truly something sacred. And delicious. Roast chicken and veggies, soup, salad, kugel , fresh baked challah and something sweet to finish.

We all love Shabbat dinner, but sometimes we need to change up our weekly routine to include something a little special: a new stew, a spicy soup or some truly decadent cookies.

So here is our ultimate Shabbat recipe round-up with over 50 mouth-watering recipes that are perfect for Friday night dinner. Get ready to menu plan, friends.

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Zemirot, or Shabbat Table Songs

Posted on November 5th, 2017
BY RONALD L. EISENBERG for myjewishlearning.com 


Learn the most popular songs associated with the day of rest.

Table hymns sung during or immediately after Sabbath meals are called zemirot . These medieval songs represent a unique blend of the holy and the secular, the serious and the playful, and allow family and friends to enhance the Sabbath experience.

Below is information about some of the most popular Shabbat songs, followed by videos of them with the words in transliteration, so you can practice singing them.  Find a searchable database of Shabbat song recordings and lyrics here.

Watch & enjoy.

Blessing the Children

Posted on October 29th, 2017
BY TAMAR FOX for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com 

This Friday night practice is taken from the priestly blessing.

Many Jewish parents embrace the custom of blessing their children on Friday evening. This custom is a nice way of bringing gratitude and spirituality into your family. On Shabbat and at other special occasions, it can contribute to a special feeling of closeness between you and your children.

The words of the blessing are taken from the priestly blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) and the introduction is altered depending on whether the child being blessed is a boy or girl.

For boys, the introductory line is:

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Havdalah Made Easy

Posted on October 23rd, 2017
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 

Abraham Joshua Heschel called Shabbat a cathedral in time. While in that "cathedral," we live as if the world were perfect, needing no change. We may close our computers and leave our work selves behind, to relish our family and friends, our beautiful world and to express our gratitude. We open the door to that cathedral as the sun sets on Friday evening and we sadly close the door twenty-five hours later with the Havdalah ritual.

Havdalah is Hebrew for separation. As we metaphorically close the door on Shabbat, we remind ourselves of the differing qualities of time that we have experienced. Just as we mark the end of childhood with bar/bat mitzvah, the end of high school and college with graduation ceremonies, Jews around the world mark the end of the special time of Shabbat and our reluctant move back to the world and all its demands with Havdalah.

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Guide to the Synagogue Sanctuary, From Ark to Yad

Posted on October 15th, 2017

An introduction to the parts that make up a synagogue sanctuary.

The Ark

Looking around the synagogue you will see the eastern wall, where the aron ha-kodesh (the holy ark) is located. The ark is the repository for the Torah scrolls when they are not in use. It also serves as the focus for one’s prayers. Above the ark is located the ner tamid–the eternal light — recalling the eternal light in the Temple (Exodus 27:20–21).

Arks can be decorated in innumerable ways and come in many different sizes, shapes, and materials. The central part of the ark is a cabinet that contains the Torah scrolls. This usually has a parochet  — curtain — covering it. (Many Sephardic  shul s do not have a parochet.) The parochet is often elaborately designed with many embellishments; some shuls have a special white parochet used only for the High Holidays. Because the parochet is considered holy, it is treated like any holy object–e.g., books, Torah scrolls, etc.–and is never discarded. [Instead, it is buried when no longer used.]

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