25. Chapter 8j: Jewish Geography: Shabbos: Arrival / Candle Lighting and Sunset


          What will happen?

          In order to maximize the Shabbos experience that awaits, it is wise to be familiar with the Shabbos routine.  Although, intended as a day of rest and pleasure, it can prove a little wearing to the uninitiated.  The following sample itinerary represents a "typical" Shabbos.  Undoubtedly, different places will follow a somewhat varied schedule, but this example is universal enough to allow the beginner an idea of what to expect.


          Let's begin even before the beginning.  A guest should be careful to arrive at his host's home anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes before Shabbos starts.  Earlier than that and you're in the way; later than that, can cause anxiety.

          When you do arrive at your hosts, be aware that erev (time preceding) Shabbos at many homes can resemble a cyclone.  Everyone in the family is involved with some type of Shabbos preparation and they're all frantic to finish and be ready before all work ceases at sunset.  For this reason, it is most preferable that you arrive at your host's home already showered, dressed and ready for Shabbos.  Coming with your own preparatory needs will just add to the general pandemonium; we strongly recommend against it.

          Welcoming the Shabbos: Candle Lighting and Sunset

          Shabbos begins officially when the women of the house bentsch licht, light and make the blessing over the candles.  This typically happens 18 minutes prior to sunset, and at that time all work ceases for the women of the house; the men may still do work until sunset. At sunset all work must cease for all and the home becomes "Shabbosdik"; a perceptible calm begins to pervade the house.

          Around this same time, the men head off to shul for the afternoon service, kabalos Shabbos (welcoming the Shabbos) and finally, the evening service. Women usually do not attend shul Friday night but there is certainly nothing wrong with them going if they wish.  Each of these services are relatively short (15 to 20 minutes) and easy to follow.  It is highly recommended that the novice try to arrange for the use of an English prayerbook in order to follow what's going on.




COM_EASYBLOG_GUEST Wednesday, 08 April 2020
Last updated on: 04/08/2020
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