Keep the conversation lively and bring a touch of Israel into your Shabbat with these great discussion resources.
In our fast-paced world, we often forget to slow down, relax and focus on the things that are truly important – family, a healthy balance of body/mind, filling the soul… Shabbat is an excellent opportunity to connect with ourselves, our family, our legacy and our heritage. Of course, you don’t have to wait for Shabbat to do any of these things – or to utilize our Shabbat Talks, these discussions are appropriate any day of the week!
Shabbat Talks are a special Israel Forever initiative you can utilize on Shabbat, or any other time you are up to having a friendly debate with family and friends. These Talks are discussions on various subjects that shine a light on issues related to our Jewish identity and connection with Israel. Some of the topics are related to certain historical events and, as such become more relevant to discuss at specific times throughout the year. Other topics are more general and suited for discussion at your convenience.
Pick the topic that speaks to you and have a rip-roaring debate but remember to keep it friendly!
If you keep Shabbat and would like to use one of the Shabbat Talks, we suggest downloading and printing the Talk in advance so you will have the activity available for your use.
WHY DOES SHABBAT MATTER?
"More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews." Ahad Ha'am (Asher Ginsberg, poet and Zionist ideologue: 1856-1927)
The Talmud (Shabbat 10b) states that Shabbat was God’s precious and guarded treasure, which was given to the Jews as a gift. It was His day of rest, and He shared it with the Jewish people. Shabbat was the day to be dedicated to building a relationship with the Divine, and reconnecting with the spiritual after a week of toiling in the physical world.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW WAYS YOU CAN CELEBRATE THE SHABBAT AND YOUR ISRAEL CONNECTION
- Prepare a Israel-inspired Shabbat meal All you need is good company and a few good recipes. Bring the tastes of Israel to your Shabbat table by trying some of our delicious Cooking Israel recipes.
Have your own Shabbat recipe you want to share with our global community? Email it to us today and be featured on Cooking Israel!
- Light Shabbat candles before sundown - Check the web for Shabbat start times HERE
Recite the following blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אַדֹנָ-י אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת
Transliteration: Baruch a-ta A-do-nay Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam a-sher ki-di-sha-nu bi-mitz-vo-tav vi-tzi-va-noo li-had-leek ner shel Sha-bat
Translation: Blessed are you, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the light of the Holy Shabbat.
- Recite the Kiddush over a glass of Kosher sweet red wine or grape juice.
Take the cup of wine in the right hand, pass it to the left hand, and lower it onto the palm of the right hand. The cup should be held approximately 9 inches above the table throughout the Kiddush. Those listening to the Kiddush should respond Amen.
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן
Transliteration: Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech Haolam, borei p'ri hagafen.
Translation: Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. (Amen)
Learn more about the rituals of Kiddush HERE and HERE
- Disconnect in order to reconnect: Power down your devices and enjoying a peaceful 25 hours free of the daily routines. If you aren’t ready to shut down entirely, try it out for an hour each week and see how it feels.
Find the time for a good book on Israel to learn from on your Shabbat. Explore our selection of choices in our Reading Israel virtual library, and use our discussion questions as food for thought on your day of peace and rest.
- Attend Shabbat services on either Friday night or Shabbat morning.
Most congregations will allow anyone to walk in and take part in their Shabbat services. Try to meet new people using some of what you've learned from ShabbatTalks and all Israel Forever content