The Sabbath (Weekly)

The Sabbath (Weekly)

For a while I have wanted to write about “how and why” we observe the Sabbath. I wanted to encourage new believers that it isn’t hard to do and I wanted to inform those who do not believe as I do what exactly we do, just in case they are curious.

The Day
We celebrate the Sabbath from Friday evening through Saturday evening. “Evening to evening” because it says

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
(Genesis 1:5)

We keep it Friday/Saturday because that is the 7th day. Sunday is the first day of the week. I see no problem with people attending church on Sunday, I only wish more people would devote some time on Friday/Saturday towards remembering and keeping the Sabbath. I wish others could see the beauty in the day God (Yahweh) set aside from the very beginning for us as His “date night.” The way I see it is the Sabbath is a major part of the courtship ritual between us and our bridegroom.

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We treat it much the same as we would for a special guest who was coming over to spend time with us.

Our family doesn’t celebrate the Sabbath verbatim with Jewish tradition, although we have borrowed some traditional aspects from Brother Judah (Jews). I have been around people who make you feel that if you do not have a degree in the Hebrew language and know every aspect of Judaism then you can’t celebrate the Sabbath “correctly.” Let me tell you right now, God knows all languages and you do NOT need to know Hebrew to observe the Sabbath. There are a few phrases of Hebrew I know and a couple songs that I use during our Sabbath but it is just because I find it beautiful and intriguing to use the Hebrew tongue but it is NOT mandatory!! So please feel free to keep the Sabbath however Yahweh convicts you too. If you want to observe it in every aspect of Judaism, that is ok and if you want to throw out all tradition, well that is ok too. Personally, I fit somewhere in between those two extremes. It is not scripturally detailed as to what “protocol” we should take in the event of an ended sacrificial system such as we find ourselves in today. I do, however, recommend that if you bring in a tradition, research it to make sure it did not come from any questionable origins so we do not break Yah’s command of:

…beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.…Deuteronomy 12:30-31

I believe by keeping the Sabbath in a spiritual and symbolic manner, it brings us closer to our Creator.

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Our Sabbath Table Setting

Preparation Day
The kids and I spend most of Friday cleaning the house to prepare for the Sabbath. I cook a meal that is big enough to feed any guests we may have and last two days so I will not have to work on the Sabbath.

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
(Leviticus 23:3)

The Sabbath Table

I usually make either my “easy” Challah (bread) or even better, my “super quick” challah which is tossing store bought frozen yeast rolls in a pan in layered rows (usually twelve rolls representing all twelve tribes) and letting them rise as they thaw, forming a bumpy loaf, then bake them.

My youngest son usually sets the table with my lace table cloth, sets up the candles, menorahs, and places the flower hubby brings me every Friday. The flowers are a “thank you for all you do in preparing our Sabbath.” My youngest son often goes out and pick some flowers from the yard to add to dad’s flowers… which I think is just the sweetest thing to see him doing what dad does… this is how beautiful traditions are made! The kids set the table with good dishes including a plate for the bread and a plate for the wine glass which we fill with grape juice.

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When it gets close to nightfall we all gather around our table and I light the candelabra candles and the tea lights but not the two long candles yet. This is to visually set the day apart from the regular days of the week, to welcome in the Sabbath and set the mood for the evening.

Prayer
We hold hands while my husband prays a prayer from his heart, asking Yahweh to bless this Sabbath.

The Songs
We sing a section of the Shema song as it is sung by 3B4jhoy.  Printable Lyrics Shema Song. We usually sing  the section between the lines on the print out, but you can sing the whole song if you like.

The Two Candles
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If you want to be more traditional, you can use these candle blessing cards from Hebrew for Christians to say the blessings over your candles if you like. (They also have blessing cards for the bread and the wine.) I edited it a bit for our personal use because it is more fitting to what the Bible says. Our blessing is:

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the
universe, Who sanctifies us with His
commandments and commanded us to
remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
(PDF file for this version here Candles Blessing)

And the LORD said to Moses, “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. (Exodus 31:12-13)

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)

Blessing the Family
In Jewish tradition, the father of the house takes time to pray a blessing over his children and his wife. He prays for what he hopes for them and thanks Yah for what he has in them. In our home, my husband and I  both pray blessings over our children and then my husband prays a blessing over me and I then turn and pray a blessing and a covering over my husband. It is a beautiful intimate moment of the Sabbath.

The Bread
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After my husband blesses the bread we go through the following scriptures:

Because “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  (John 1:14)

And  {Yeshua (Jesus) {being the Word made flesh} took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
(Luke 22:19)

For “It is written: … man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ (Mathew 4:4)

It often goes like this:

Me: In the beginning…
Children: was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
Me: And the Word…
Children: was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Me: Who is the Word made flesh?
Children: Yeshua!

Hubby (as he breaks the bread): Yeshua, took the bread and brake it and said…
Children: This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.
Me (as we hold up our bread): It is written… (everyone chimes in) man does not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Me: Yeshua is that Word that proceeded out of the mouth of God and we are to devour the Word daily so that we can allow it to nourish our soul just as food nourishes our body. (and we eat the bread)

The Salt
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We either pre-salt our challah or have the plate for the bread salted and go over these scriptures as we eat our bread:

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (Matthew 5:13)

May we always serve Abba with zeal and passion, a complacent believer is no good to the kingdom and sadly, tends to get trampled on when they are unable to stand up for their faith.

The “Wine”

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We use 100% pure grape juice but you can use wine if you desire.
As we pour the juice, we allow it to over flow from the glass onto the plate, a full cup symbolizes abundance, much like the saying, “My cup runneth over.” means abundantly blessed.

In ancient times, when a young Hebrew man and woman were about to be betrothed, the groom would pour wine into a cup and then offer it to the woman. She had a choice to make at this point. If she accepted and drank of the cup, she was considered as being betrothed to him. It was said that she drank of the marriage covenant or contract. If she refused, the marriage was off.  When we drink of the cup, we are accepting the betrothal, along with the vows that go along with it, we are coming in covenant with our soon to be bridegroom.

And he took a cup, and he gave thanks and he gave to them, and he said, “Take, drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed in exchange for the many for the release of sins. (Mathew 26:27-28)

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
(Jeremiah 31:31-33)

We all drink a sip from the glass (or individual glasses if company is over) all accepting the betrothal and praying that Yahweh will put His laws on our hearts so we can learn to be the obedient blameless bride, pleasing to Her husband.

The Meal

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The meal is a meal like a holiday! Give yourself a tad of extravagance and always include dessert! This is the meal you are sharing with your bridegroom, and it is a great day to forget those calories and just enjoy the abundance He has blessed you with!

The Bible Readings

Torah Portions are specific sections of the Bible that has been set aside to be read on specific weeks. It is somewhat like if you had a “yearly reading plan” but this focuses on the Torah which is the first five books of the Bible! The web site I use is called Torah PORTIONS and does include sections from the other “Old Testament” books and some from the New Testament! I love using these as opposed to just grabbing a section to study at random (which you can do or just stick with whatever reading plan you like) but I like the portions because I like the unity, of knowing that Jews and Hebrew Roots Christians are all “on the same page” every week. It is all of us, coming together, in one mind and one accord, Jew and Gentile, a kingdom united. It is beautiful.

I blog the Torah Portion each week, I include a couple little YouTube videos (all together lasts about 6 minutes) and links to commentaries, color sheets for the kids, craft ideas and even sometimes fun food ideas to help the kids stay engaged throughout the evening.

What we do is use my blog, we watch the short videos on the portion and then read a commentary or two and sometimes read the portion scriptures. I know, we are “suppose” to read the scriptures each time but I tend to just try to keep the kids engaged with shorter things and discuss it how it relates currently to our lives. We have had some really great discussions doing it this way.

And that is it for Friday evening! We sometimes go outside and set by a fire and sometimes watch a recently released Inspirational Movie but for the most part that is how my family spends our Friday evening.

Saturday

On Saturday, since it is still the Sabbath until sunset, we heat up leftovers (avoiding work) then usually try to go on a nature walk and just enjoy the Creator’s creation just like He did after all was created. I find the greatest peace out in nature I think about what it would have been like to be in the Garden of Eden and being able to walk with Yahweh in the cool of the evening. I find my Shalom, my peace. Sometimes we will have a Scripture Scavenger Hunt with the kids, or have “Show and Tell” hike. If the weather is bad we play Biblical games like Bibleopoly or Apples to Apples Bible Edition or maybe do crafts that we can give to others. Some days we just embrace the “”rest” part and lounge around all day if we have had a particularly hard week. The main thing is we try to stay focused on Yahweh throughout all we do and not do things that are just all about us. We are still on our date with our Bridegroom and He wants us to spend time with Him, not distracted with things of the world.

I hope this helps you understand what we do and why we do it. I also pray in encourages you to spend some time with your Creator on the day He set apart for us as His gift to us. It is truly a blessing.

Shabbat Shalom
Sabbath Peace to you all!!
~Becky

 

© Becky Husband & OhHappyDaze.net

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