The Sabbath is holy time. God made it that way as a part of the natural created order. But we only benefit from that holiness by formally and outwardly acknowledging it, and that is what Kiddush is intended to do. Kiddush is a prayer of thanks that we recite over a cup of wine at the Sabbath table. This blessing recognizes the gift of the Sabbath that was given to Israel as an inheritance to be passed on from generation to generation. This prayer is one way that we carry out God’s instruction to remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Reciting Kiddush on Friday night sets the tone for holiness for the entire day.
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There is no commandment in the Torah to light candles just before the Sabbath, and yet it is one of the most universal and beloved of our Jewish traditions. On a practical level, the candles enhance the joy and honor of the Sabbath by providing light and beauty.
Blessings of Thanks Before and After Meals
Nodeh Lecha, or as it is called in English, We Thank You, offers a simple and innovative liturgy for disciples of Yeshua by weaving the ancient meal blessings of Judaism together with recently discovered prayers of the early believers.
Sitting on my kitchen floor, wiping out a cabinet the night before Passover last year, I thought about how much we need examples. We need people who have gone before us and learned how to do this, but sometimes we don’t have them. We might need to be the ones to clear the path and be that example for someone else.