Shabbat or Shabbos or Sabbath is a sacred day, a day of celebration and rest for all the Jewish people from all over the world. This day of celebration begins on Friday at sunset and ends on the next evening after nightfall.
What is the Shabbat?
Torah said that Sabbath is the day of the week when Jewish people commemorate the day when God rested from creating the world.
The translation of the word „Shabbat” is „he rested”. This day of the week is considered to be a day of holiness and peace and nobody is allowed to work during this period.
What time does Shabbat start?
The Jewish law is known as halakha sais that the Shabbat starts a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening. So, from Friday evening till Saturday evening it is the sacred day for Jewish people.
What time is Shabbat over?
The same Jewish religious law, halakha sais that the Shabbat is over on Saturday night at the moment when you can see on the sky the appearance of three stars. There is even a sacred ceremony called havdalah which marks the moment of transition between the holy day of Saturday and the rest of the week.
Sabbath is the day of rest from all work; it is that time of the week when you are not allowed to work because in this day God rested from creating the world.
There is a list with 39 categories of work which are not allowed to be done on Shabbos.
A part of the Jews follow these rules very strict and do not deviate from them. But there is also the other part of the Jewish people who take the time to relax and enjoy their free day together with friends and families.
Generally, during the Sabbath, most people wear white and nice clothes, white symbolising the holiness and purity.
The feast starts with synagogue services on Friday night, followed by some specific songs and then by the mystical prelude known as Kabbalat Shabbat written in the 16th century by Kabbalists.
But what is the Shabbat without candle lighting and blesses?! Parents use to bless their children on this special day and candles are being lit at home.
On Saturday morning, at the synagogue, the Torah is read and special prayers and blessings are spoken.
What time is Shabbat over on Saturday evening is market with the havdalah or separation ceremony. This ceremony marks the transition between the sacred day of Saturday and the rest of the week.
What kind of food is eaten the Sabbath?
During this special feast people usually eat three meals: Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch and another meal sometime in the late afternoon. What is the Shabbat without traditional meals?!
Typical day Shabbat meals include challab which is a special type of bread and wine. These have to be blessed before you eat them and before the meal begins.
For Jewish people meat is considered a meat and is usually eaten during Shabbat. It is not mandatory to eat meat on Saturdays, you can eat vegetarian dishes and/ or fish.
Everything related to Sabbath is special: clothes, food and the way Jewish people spend their Saturdays.
So, to answer simply what is the Shabbat I would tell you that is the most important of the Jewish holidays. It is as important as is Sunday for Christians.
And to recap, what time does Shabbat start and what time is Shabbat over? Well, the feast starts on Friday evening and end on Saturday evening.