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Youth & Family Engagement: The Mitzvot of Shabbat

Posted October 9, 2015

<b>Youth & Family Engagement: The Mitzvot of Shabbat</b>

There are four mitzvot (commandments) associated with Shabbat. These mitzvot are derived from these verses found in the Bible: (1) “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8); (2) “Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” (Deuteronomy 5:12); (3 & 4) “...if you call the Sabbath ‘delight,’ God’s holy day ‘honored’; and if you honor it and go not your ways, nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains; then you can delight in God.” (Isaiah 58:13-14)

To fulfill the commandments of (1) remembering, (2) observing, (3) delighting in, and (4) honoring Shabbat, the rabbis specified certain actions-such as refraining from work, lighting the candles, eating delicious meals, and dressing in special clothing.

With your children, generate ideas and family activities that will fulfill these four mitzvot:
As a family we can remember Shabbat by…

As a family we can observe Shabbat by…

As a family we can honor and delight in Shabbat by…

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
It is a tradition to give tzedakah (charity) before Shabbat begins. Usually this means that family members place a few coins in a tzedakah box. With your family, generate a list of worthy causes.

Choose Jewish-themed books and/or music to share at Shabbat bedtime or during the day with your children.

Spend time out in nature on Shabbat by taking a family walk outside and/or having a Shabbat picnic.