Friday, September 28, 2012

Preparing for Shabbat

Shabbat begins just before sunset on Friday and ends at nightfall on Saturday. Nightfall is when 3 stars are visible in the night sky. Because of the work restrictions for Shabbat, many people will take Friday to prepare for Shabbat... and there are a lot of preparations to be made.

Friday is particularly busy in my home. It begins with getting the kids up early so we can all start cleaning. Once I have assigned cleaning chores to each of the older kids, I start making challah. Challah is an egg based bread that we eat at our Shabbat meals.

Two loaves of challah - the left topped with sesame seeds, the right topped with poppy seeds.
Since the kneading, rising and baking of the challah is time consuming, I start that nice and early in the day. While the dough is rising I will go about other Shabbat preparations.

Next I check on how the kids are coming along with their cleaning projects. If they are going well, I will start my own cleaning. Once a week my house gets a complete and total scrub-down! It is like a mini-spring cleaning every week. Windows get washed, floors get scrubbed, walls are de-handprinted, carpets are vacuumed, toys put away, dishes washed and laundry gets put away.

Why so much work crammed into a single day? Because I prefer to go into Shabbat with a sparkling clean house. It makes it much easier to observe the Shabbat rest when I am not surrounded by clutter and dust. :-)

My favorite day of the week is Shabbat. It is a day when we focus on G-d and family and Torah. Every have a holiday where you don't have to work and you can relax and enjoy your family? THAT is what Shabbat is, a weekly holiday!

Speaking of Shabbat, I have taken a break from my hectic cleaning and baking to tell you a little bit about what it is like to get ready for Shabbat, but now I must continue to prepare for Shabbat... back to work for me!

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