5 Ways to Make Shabbat Special

Shabbat is a gift to the Jewish people. We are the only people lucky enough to have a holiday every week. In Bereishit, the very first portion of the Torah, we learn that God worked for six days to create the world, and on the seventh day, God rested.  From this we learn that we are meant to rest too.  In the Torah, we are commanded to both “remember” Shabbat and “keep” it holy.  Whether you “keep” Shabbat in the traditional way or are looking for a few ways to “remember” the day, we have some suggestions for you on how to make it special!:

Unplug: Consider putting your phones and other electronics away for the day to give you a rest from day-to-day activities. Check out this article from PJ Library for ideas on how to unplug as a family.

Set the Scene: Spruce up your Shabbat table.  This could mean using your grandmother’s china or it could mean the fancy disposable plates from the party store. Consider placing your Shabbat candle sticks on your table. They might be silver or made out of play-dough, but they are unique and cherished by your family.

Dress Up: Dressing up for Shabbat doesn’t mean you have to be fancy – just do something that feels different and special.  You could even choose to have Shabbat in your pajamas or fanciest robe.

Eat Something Delicious: It is traditional to eat the very best food on Shabbat. The Talmud, in Beitzah 16a, teaches us about Shammai the Elder and says that “all his days he would eat in honor of Shabbat. If he found a choice animal, he would say: ‘This is for Shabbat.’ If he then found another one choicer than it, he would set aside the second [for Shabbat] and eat the first.” This teaches us that Shabbat is the time for our most delicious meals. Check out these 57 Shabbat dinner recipes from The Nosher. Feel overwhelmed by the thought of cooking? No problem. Ordering take out from your favorite restaurant works too.

Play a Game: There has been a resurgence in creative board games and card games in recent years – maybe you love Settlers of Catan or Exploding Kittens. Games can be a great way to spend quality time as a family or with a group of friends.  Check out this list from Better Homes and Gardens of the 50 most popular board games of all time. PJ Library also has a list of 9 fun ideas for Shabbat Family Game Night.

Take a Nap: While not a commandment, it’s a time-honored Shabbat tradition to have a schluff (Yiddish for sleep) on Shabbat afternoon. You worked hard all week, so take some time to enjoy this day of rest.