What is Shabbat?

Shabbat (Sabbath) is the weekly day of rest as told in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. It starts on Friday at sunset and finishes on Saturday at nightfall with the lighting of two candles. This is a day of worship, celebration and family. The majority of Jews, whether religious or not, will celebrate Friday night together over a festive meal.

Shabbat starts with the lighting of two candles. This is followed by a blessing over a cup of wine, and the sharing of bread together. 

The blessings and prayers, which are said around each of these rituals, highlight the religious Jew’s awareness that these gifts come from God. In addition, they are carrying out ancient commandments from the Bible. Shabbat is a regular reminder that, according to the Torah, God created the world and rested on the seventh day.


In this part of Joel's Journey, a Blue Peter special, Joel goes to a family home where he takes part in a re-enactment of a Sabbath meal and learns more about Shabbat.