The medley of songs in this video is a sample of the typical melodies sung as we bring in the Shabbat on Friday evenings. Tradition teaches that songs are expressions of the actual harmony of creation and mark monumental transitions in history. True songs are oracles or foreshadows of things to come that have helped all generations find their way back to the LORD. It’s been said that the most direct means for attaching ourselves to the LORD, from this material world, is through music and song. That is why we sing on Erev Shabbat!

Erev Shabbat Blessing: Lighting the Shabbat Candles

Hebrew Liturgy:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melech ha'olam,
Asher kid-shanu b'mistzvotav ve'tzvanu,
le'hadlik ner shel Shabbat.

English Liturgy:

Blessed are Thou, Lord our God, King of the universe,
Who has sanctified us by Thy commandments and commanded us
to kindle the Shabbat lights.

Erev Shabbat Blessing: Blessing for the Shabbat Challah

Hebrew Liturgy:

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheynu
Melech ha'olam,
hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz.

English Liturgy:

Blessed are thou, LORD our God,
King of the universe,
who brings forth bread from the earth.

Erev Shabbat Blessing: Blessing for the Shabbat Wine or Juice

Hebrew Liturgy:

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheynu Melech ha'olam,
Boray pri ha'gafen.

English Liturgy:

Blessed are thou, Lord our God, King of the universe,
who creates the fruit of the vine.

Erev Shabbat Blessings: Blessing over the Children

To sons and daughters:

Yevaraechecha Adonai ve'yishmerecha
Ya'er Adonai panav eleicha vichunecha
Y'sa Adonai panav eilecha ve'yasem lecha shalom.

May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace.

Then place your right hand upon their forehead and hold them close, cheek to cheek and say:

To the daughters:
Y'simcha Elohim ke'Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, ve'Leah.

God make you like Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah.

To the sons:
Y'simcha Elohim ke'Efraim Ve'Chimnashe

God make you like Efraim and Manasheh

The earliest understanding given us regarding Shabbat is in KJV Genesis 2:2: "And on the seventh day God ended His work, which He had made and He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He had made." The Word is describing His response to His own efforts and we get a glimpse at our Father's behavior, not just His majesty and power. It appears that He not only ceased (Ref: Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #7673), but He celebrated: for it was good! It was very good!

We also learn in Exodus 16:29. KJV: "See, for that the LORD hath given you the Sabbath." He gifted it to us. (Strong's definition #5414 for given is added, appointed or bestowed.) Our Father celebrates on the seventh day and He extends an invitation for us to join Him! Sounds like a wonderful cause for celebration! When the Lord spoke to Moses in Leviticus 23, again He said to appoint to the nation the set Feasts of Adonai, to proclaim them as a gathering (or rehearsal according to Strong's Dictionary definition #4744 for "miqra") but what 7th day are we rehearsing for? The first thing we might recall is that the word states that "a day is like a thousand years". Perhaps we are rehearsing the 8th day, which could be a reference to the Millennial kingdom. Shabbat is always included in the listing of the appointed times or festivals from the Father. These appointed times were to be set aside as a festive holy celebration for us from Him. Our Father appears to be very endeared to the first of everything: the first fruits, the firstlings of the flocks, the firstborn of the womb, and as said in KJV Romans 8:29 "to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."

Are you festive in your celebration of Shabbat, His FIRST of appointed times? It is the first holiday given to man and the most often seen of His Feasts? Our Shabbat celebration starts before the sundown of preparation day: the 6th day or Friday. Since we want to make it a celebration, during the week we need to be planning for it. What are our favorite foods? Do we want an intimate celebration or should we invite friends over this Shabbat? Do we have everything that we need? How much preparation can be done ahead of time? Here are some suggestions you might want to start with: two candles in some kind of candleholders, a Kiddush cup (goblet) and wine or juice, Challah (bread) and a meal.

As time goes by and you are able extend your "rehearsal merriment", you'll be adding to your traditional celebration decorations and dishes. Some families have a special dish and cloth covers for the bread, a special tablecloth reserved for Shabbat, flowers or other decorations and a book of Shabbat blessing and songs.

Remember... Celebrate!