Cultivating Calm in a Busy World

Shabbat is a sacred time in Judaism, spanning from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, lasting a total of 25 hours. It’s a day of rest where we take a break from work and focus on spiritual and communal activities. The observance typically begins with a Shabbat meal, where families come together to light the Shabbat candles, bless the wine, and enjoy special challah bread. If you’re looking for challah, Pastries by Randolph delivers on Thursdays, and you can also join Growing Jewish Families for Tot Shabbat celebrations across Northern Virginia.

Many people choose to attend synagogue services on Shabbat, further enhancing the communal aspect of the day. And it’s not just adults – even our preschoolers celebrate Shabbat every week, learning about its significance from a young age. Overall, Shabbat is a time for reflection, connection, and rejuvenation, enriching our lives with spiritual fulfillment and community bonds.

Freshly Baked for You

Visit Guest Services every Thursday to purchase a delicious Kosher challah from Pastries by Randolf.

Challahs are sold for $8.00 each while supplies last.

Shabbat Prayers

The songs and blessings before the Friday night meal include: blessing for lighting the candles, blessing for the children, Shalom Aleichem (welcoming the Sabbath angels), Eshet Hayil (Woman of Valor), Kiddush, Netilat Yadayim (a blessing for washing hands), Hamotzi (blessing for the bread).

Blessing over the Candles

The lighting of candles as sunset approaches on Friday is the traditional sign of the arrival of Shabbat. After lighting the candles, it is customary to cover one’s eyes and recite the following:

בָּרוּך אַתָּה ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם אַשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶל שַבָּת

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat.

Blessed are You, God, Ruler of the universe, who sanctified us with the commandment of lighting Shabbat candles.

Kiddush – Blessing over Wine

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ,
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּֽפֶן.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen.

Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

Hamotzi – Blessing over the Bread

Prior to eating the bread, the following blessing is recited:

בָּרוּך אַתָּה ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם הָמוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הַאָרֶץ

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has brought forth bread from the earth.


Havdalah, or “separation” in Hebrew, is Shabbat’s closing ritual, when three stars appear on Saturday evening.

challah, bread, traditional

Host a Shabbat Connections Meal

Invite friends and family to gather for dinner and conversation!