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27. Chapter 8l: Jewish Geography: Shabbos: Morning / Day Meal

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          Shabbos Morning

          After a good night's sleep, people awake, put on their Shabbos clothes and head off to shul. The Shabbos morning services are comprised of three basic parts and can be somewhat lengthy (anywhere from 2 to 3 hours).  Besides the morning service, the additional sections include the public reading of the Torah and a service called mussaf.  If possible, secure a siddur which includes an English translation and try to recruit a more experienced synagogue goer to help keep you apprised of what's happening.  (Without these two aides the morning can seem interminable.)  In most shuls, it is customary for the rabbi to speak on Shabbos morning.  At best this can be a real Shabbos highlight or at worst will help you to get even more Shabbos rest.


          Shabbos Day Meal

          Upon returning home, the family reconvenes at the center of most Shabbos activity, the dining-room table.  The procedure is similar to that of Friday night.  A shorter version of Kiddush is recited, hands are washed ritually, hamotzi blessing over the challah is made and, once again, an array of delectable Shabbos dishes is consumed amidst intermittent singing and Torah discussion.

          One such delicacy traditional for Shabbos day, unique to the Jewish people, cholent, constitutes the main course and the piece de resistance.  It mostly resembles a stew, as it is composed of meat, potatoes, beans and barley; and is spiced and or flavored by innumerable other ingredients indigenous to the family serving it.  Its main characteristic though, is that is has been left warming since sunset of the previous night.  This unusual method of preparation, not only accounts for its distinct and recognizable flavor but is also a practical illustration of Jewish law.  Shabbos is intended as a day of pleasure, which means a hot meal.  Since cooking on Shabbos, however, is prohibited, Jews prepare this dish so that it is already cooking before sunset, and then leave it warming until it is served the next day.  Perhaps it is the cholent's origins in the complex laws of Shabbos that give it such a lofty and revered place on the Shabbos table.

          Birkas Hamazon (grace after meals or ‘Bentsching’ in Yiddish) follows the meal.

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COM_EASYBLOG_GUEST Saturday, 21 October 2017
Last updated on: 10/21/2017
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