Celebrate Shabbat In Your Home
Something for everyone
If you choose to celebrate Shabbat in your home, here are a few resources to help enhance your experience.
Basic Shabbat Prayers
Blessing for Lighting the Shabbat Candles
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam
Asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’zivanu l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat
Blessing for the Wine
Blessed are You, Eternal our G-d Sovereign of the world, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
Blessing for the Bread (Challah)
Blessed are you, Eternal our G-d Sovereign of the world, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
Shabbat Ideas for Families with Small Children
To enhance the Shabbat experience for young children, you can add the children’s blessing after you light candles and before you say kiddush. Here are the traditional children’s blessings and variations.
May G-d make you like
Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah (girl)
Ephriam and Menashe (boy)
May G-d bless you and watch over you
May the light of G-d shine upon you, and my G-d be bracious to you.
May the presence of G-d be with you and give you peace.
I/We bless you and watch over you with my/our love.
And I/We hope that your learning and good deeds bring you joy and long life.
May you help others and be an example to all,
Just as others help you and show you the paths of goodness.
May the best within you shine forth with compassion and
may you always lift up your face to meet others in peace.
From the Book of Blessings by Marcia Faulk
Be who you are –
And may you be blessed in all that you are.
Adapted from Dasee Berkowitz (in an article for Kveller.com)
She suggests mentioning a milestone in your child’s life from the past week or anything else that moves you about your relationship with your child. “May you continue to approach the smallest discoveries in life with wonder and joy” “May I continue to learn how to be the best parent to you.”
Other Ideas for Shabbat with Young Children
- After lighting the two traditional candles, light an extra candle for every child. When they are old enough, they can light this candle themselves.
- During the week, compile a list of child friendly activities. On Shabbat morning, let the child pick which activity he/she would like to do. You can create variations on this idea by putting the activities on a velcro dart board and letting the child throw a foam dart to pick the activity. You can put the activities in a special box and let the child pick etc.
- Create a Shabbat box of special toys the child(ren) get to play with only on Shabbat.
- Make a relaxation jar. Take sand and pour it into clean, used jar or bottle. Fill it about 1/3 full. Fill the remainder of vessel with water. Children shake the sand and then watch it filter out of the water as a form of relaxation. Be creative and fill the jar with glitter in addition to the sand.
- Designate a special bell to be the Shabbat bell. On Shabbat, anyone can ring the bell. All members of the family (including the person who rang the bell) have to stop what they are doing and take 3 deep breaths in silence.
- Spend the next few Shabbat mornings or afternoons creating your Shabbat kit. Make a kiddush cup one week, a challah cover the next, a spice bag for Havdallah after that. Then, use these special items during Shabbat.