Basic Class 17 - Shabbat - What - Why - How

This class will be in two parts. Today will be an overall discussion while next week will be a discussion of the different rituals.

Here is a metaphor that is also reality about Shabbat.

You are sitting in a 747 along with 400 other people. This 747 is at the end of a runway getting ready to take off. You are thinking about your family at home, your day at work, your plans at your destination, the excitement of the trip and many other levels of consciousness.

Now the plane starts to speed down the runway. It is rolling slowly at first and then it goes faster and faster and faster until it is starting to approach lift off speed. Yet it is still attached to the ground until the moment of lift off. Then it sails away into the atmosphere and eventually into space (in the future of plane development).

Inside the plane all of those thoughts go away with the sounds of the bump bump bump of the plane traveling down the runway and at the moment of lift off silence along with the serenity of the end of the week and a joy of being home.

This metaphor describes the gift of Shabbat. What actually happens?

At the moment of the entry of Shabbat which is the moment of liftoff - the physical world rises out of itself and arrives at a place of unity with the spiritual world. This unity happens automatically at the moment of Shabbat coming in the frame of time. As long as one does not disconnect with an action that separates one from the spiritual consciousness then they stay connected to Shabbat and the higher level worlds. If one does an action that separates one from this consciousness of spirituality then one literally falls into this empty space made by the rise of the physical. This is why it is referred to as guarding Shabbat - Shomer Shabbat. One is guarding the empty space to make sure people do not fall to their harm.


One meaning of the word Shabbat is word week. Shabbat also relates to space. Shabbat also relates to Holiness. In modern world science speaks of space time. That is a good translation for Shabbat although that is not yet acceptable to the Religious people.

Preparation for Shabbat is not necessary or is it?

Preparation for Shabbat enhances the Shabbat joy. Preparation for Shabbat also enhances the joy one will feel after Mashiach. This statement is repeated in the writings of many Sages.


Shabbat has many rituals and many levels of consciousness.

The Zohar explains there are 10 items that people need to do (perform an action) to connect to the energy of Shabbat. They are:

1. Prepare a table that gives honor to the ‘King.’ It means that it should be special and better than the one we prepare during the week days.

2. Washing our hands before the meal. The two hands have ten fingers for the Ten Sefirot and the ten sayings of the action of Creation. “And God said let there be…”

Washing Hands is an action of Purification in Preparation for Connecting to the energy of Creation.

The fingers have 14 joints each and together 28 as the number of letters in the first verse of the Torah and the numerical value of the word Coach which means כח ‘force’ or 'power' which is what energizes Creation.

During the blessing of the hand washing, called “Netilat Yadayim,” we raise our hands to the level of the eyes to connect to the upper realm especially the level of consciousness of Chochmah and draw from that special ‘force.’

The above is from DZ 1291.

3. The cup כוס for the blessing of the wine is called ‘Kiddush.’ The numerical value of ‘cup’ כוס is 86 the same as אלהים, ELoHYM.

Step 3.1 Psalms 116:13

“כּוֹס-יְשׁוּעוֹת אֶשָּׂא; וּבְשֵׁם יְהוָה אֶקְרָא”

Cos Yeshuot Ehsah; Uvshaim HaShem Ehkra

“I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of YHVH.”

Step 3.2 We fill the cup with wine to the top, bringing total fulfillment to the vessel.

Step 3.2 Deuteronomy 33:23

” וּמָלֵא בִּרְכַּת יְהוָה”

Umaleh Bircat HaShem

“full with the blessing of YHVH"

We hold the cup with five fingers connecting the five Sefirot of the cup (Chessed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach and Hod) to the fifty gates of Binah. The blessing and drinking connect the five to Yesod and Malchut.

Please see an alternative process below if there are two people available - One to fill the cup and one to lift the cup.

The wine cup by itself requires 10 actions that will be explained below and the following commentaries.

Step 3.3 Wash with water from the inside.

Step 3.4 Wash with water from the outside.

The cup is a tool to draw the light of Binah and purifying it with water is very important.

Our soul (inner) and body (outer) should be pure. Our heart and mind (inner) and actions (outer) should be equal and pure in order to have affinity with the light and draw it down to our lives.

The above is from DZ 1292.

Will be continued in the next DZ.

Continuing the subject of the ten actions related to the cup of wine. The cup of the Kiddush by itself is one of the ten things related to the meals of Shabbat.


3.5 The Sages explained that decoration is with students and the Zohar reveals that the secret of decoration is the letter Yod. The cup is the aspect of the letter H of the name. When the letter Y is added to the cup, then it becomes decorated.


3.6 The letter Yod from YHVH was ‘wrapped’ in Light אור and became אויר, ‘Air’. This is the light God wrapped himself with when he created the worlds.

Psalms 104:2

" עֹטֶה-אוֹר, כַּשַּׂלְמָה”,

Oter Ohr, CaSalMah

” Who covers himself with light as with a garment”

When God said “Let there be Light…” he let the Yod of Chokmah get wrapped around the Light and created the physical ‘Air’ אויר and without it there is no life. The strongest level of Chokamah in the air is in Israel where Creation began. That is why Israel is a source of wisdom and innovations for the whole world.

Live חי , ‘Life,’ 18

3.7 The wine should be pure and strong as if it comes directly from the original barrel. It should be undiluted. We pour the ‘live’ wine into the cup but we can add water to balance it. Most wines sold today already come diluted with water. We add few drops of water to ‘soften’ and balance its energy.

The requirement of ‘live’ wine also forms a connection to Yesod that is the aspect of righteous that connects us to Binah, which is Life force and the entire Tree of Life.

3.8 There are 70 words in the Kiddush prayer and with the two aspects of red and white wine it adds up to 72. It is also the numerical value of the first word of the Kiddush ‘ויכלו’. 72 represents the name of the world of Emanation, Atzilut, יוד-הי-ויו-הי. It signifies the connection between the upper and lower levels that is made on Shabbat evening with the Kiddush.

The wine cup should be filled, מלא.

Deuteronomy 33:23

” וּמָלֵא בִּרְכַּת יְהוָה”, “full with the blessing of YHVH“

3.9 The person holding the cup should be ‘filled’ with the ‘wine’ of the Torah. Wine is יין in Hebrew, with the numerical value of 70, same as סוד, secret, referring to the secrets of the Torah. They have 70 ‘faces,’ meaning inner levels of revelations. We connect to them with the study of the Zohar and especially the Tikunei Zohar.

The opposite of מלא , ‘filled’ is אלם, ‘mute,’ meaning that a person who is not filled with the Torah secrets, that is the Zohar, is considered as mute and can not make proper spiritual connection.

The wine should be received with two hands and transferred to the right hand.

The Torah was on two tablets with five utterances (commandments) on each side. One person holds the cup with two hands, five fingers on each side and the host, who recites the blessing, receives the cup with two hands, one from the top and one from the bottom, then leaves the cup held by the five fingers of the right hand.

3.10 The Host should hold the cup in his right hand as explained earlier and look into it. The cup is the vessel and the aspect of the Land of Israel where the energy flows to the entire world. The eyes are the aspect of Chokmah and that is the Light that is revealed in the Land of Israel.

Looking into the wine draws the light of Chokmah and Binah to the cup that is Malchut.

Deuteronomy 11:12

” תָּמִיד, עֵינֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּהּ”

” the eyes of YHVH your God are always upon it”

The wine cup should be raised about 4 inches (10 cm) above the table and the energy and blessings from the cup is ‘broadcasted’ as gifts to the wife, family and to the people assembled for the meal.

In previous DZ study we studied the ten things we need to do with the Kiddush cup. It was the third element of the ten things recommended to us to do in relation to the Shabbat meals.

4. The dining table should have Torah study.

The table is the aspect of the left, which is judgment and the Torah brings Chesed from the right. The process of eating is like bringing sacrifices to the Altar to create a spiritual opening and draw light. This should be done with spiritual connection by studying the secrets of the Torah. The Zohar quotes Isaiah 28:8 to describe tables where people eat without study of Torah.

Isaiah 28:8

" כִּי כָּל-שֻׁלְחָנוֹת, מָלְאוּ קִיא צֹאָה, בְּלִי, מָקוֹם”

“For all tables are full of filthy vomit, and no place is clean.”

This is a terrible picture and to avoid it always have a Zohar on the table to read/scan before and during meal.

5. Doing Tzedakah by sharing the food with poor people. Tzedakah adds days to a person’s life. The soul enjoys longer life from the study of Torah in this world and the world to come. It is the same with giving Tzedakah to the poor. Sustaining others by supporting their physical and spiritual life merit the soul of the giver to stand at the time of the resurrection. Before a person comes to enjoy a meal, he should think and share his blessings with others in need.

6. The sixth is about eating the food properly. Food should be grinded thoroughly between the teeth. The 32 teeth we have are the aspect of the creation of the world. From the ‘mouth’ of God came out the 10 sayings of ‘Let there be…’ using the 22 letters of the sacred Hebrew. We should eat by grinding the food and not by swallowing it.

Genesis 25:30

" וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, הַלְעִיטֵנִי נָא מִן-הָאָדֹם הָאָדֹם הַזֶ "

” And Esau said to Jacob: ‘Let me swallow, I pray thee, some of this red, red pottage... “

Esau could not have proper spiritual connection because he was swallowing his food.

Our study should also be done by the method of ‘grinding’ and not swallowing. The Daily Zohar ‘grinds’ the Zohar paragraph by paragraph without skips. We may not be able to get to the depth of each paragraph, but we are always progressing systematically by the sequential order of the Zohar paragraphs.

7. מַיִם אַחֲרוֹנִים, “Final waters”

The Zohar and the sages teach that the process of ‘First waters’ is related to the washing of the hands before the meal. It is a precept, which we do with the blessing of “Al Netilat Yadayim.” ‘Middle waters’ is optional and it is done when we eat dairy followed by meat (The other way around is not Kosher). It is better to wash hands in between so we won’t mix the two types of energy on our hands. It is also recommended to wash hands between eating fish and meat.

‘Last waters’ is a must and it is the process of washing the fingers before making the final blessing of the meal.

In this case we remove the negative energy of the Klipot that is connected to our hands when we eat the physical food to satisfy our physical desires. After washing the fingers we can proceed to make the final blessing, ‘Birkat Hamazon’.

Leviticus 11:44

“וְהִתְקַדִּשְׁתֶּם וִהְיִיתֶם קְדֹשִׁים, כִּי קָדוֹשׁ אָנִי”

“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy; for I am holy.”

The instruction above to be holy is constructed from three words with the same root of ‘קדש’, ‘Holy.’

Another aspect of ‘final water’ is revealed in the Zohar. When a man releases semen from his body into the woman’s ‘vessel’ it is considered as ‘first waters.’ This action connects to the precept of “Be fruitful and multiply…”. The woman’s vessel reacts with ‘final waters.’ The Holy one Bless be He produces the ‘middle waters’ and ‘freezes’ them to form the body of the child.

Job 10:10

“הֲלֹא כֶחָלָב, תַּתִּיכֵנִי; וְכַגְּבִנָּה, תַּקְפִּיאֵנִי”

“Hast Thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese.”

Milk is the aspect of semen produced from the body. ‘Cheese’ is גבינה in Hebrew and it has the word בינה ,Binah and בניה, which means building.

8. Three men sharing a meal should have a cup.

When one eats alone he doesn’t make a Kiddush but three or more should make the higher connection with the Kiddush. The Zohar explains that Binah is the third of the ten Sefirot counting from top to bottom. Because of that, less than three do not require a cup.

Isaiah 6:3

“וְקָרָא זֶה אֶל-זֶה וְאָמַר, קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת; מְלֹא כָל-הָאָרֶץ, כְּבוֹדוֹ”

“And one called unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory”

‘Holiness’ is expressed in three as we do in the prayers of Kedusha that we recite daily and Keter on Shabbats and Holidays.

The Torah requires three types of people to read it in holiness, כהן Kohen, לוי Levi and ישראל Israel. Their initials make the word כלי, meaning vessel and they also represent Right, Left and Center columns of the Tree of Life. The Bible has three parts, Torah, Prophets and writings. The Torah was given on the third month, Sivan (Gemini).

9. A cup of blessing is the aspect of the last H ה of the YHVH name. The quantity of wine should be no less than רביעית לוג , ‘fourth log.’ Log is the volume of 4x4x4 fingers. There is no exact measurement and the average of the common known estimation is about 100cc.

10. When 10 or more people share a meal they make the blessing of the food adding “נְבָרֵךְ לֵאלֹהֵינוּ” “we shall bless our God” at the beginning. The explanation is that with ten we express the ten letters of the name of God יוד-הא-ואו-הא. When we do that then we need to add the name ‘אלֹהֵינוּ’ ‘Our God’.

Basics before the above

Shabbat is a weekly 25-hour observance, from just before sundown each Friday through the completion of nightfall on Saturday. Shabbat is more than just a day off from labor. It is a day of physical and spiritual delights that is meant to illuminate certain key concepts in the traditional Jewish perception of the world.

Why is it 25 hours and not 24 hours? Or why is a day not 25 hours in length?

In the advanced classes the first series of classes is called the 4 phases. In this series of classes we discuss 5 worlds. 5 x 5 = 25. Another reason; HaShem delights in Shabbat and when we lengthen Shabbat to be more than one day (25 or 26 hours or even longer) we share an energy which HaShem feels as Nachus. Nachus will be defined and discussed by chanoch as writing it down will never be truly understood.

Shabbat is portrayed in the Torah as the pinnacle of the creation of the universe, and its observance can be seen as a reminder of the purposefulness of the world and the role of human beings in it. Shabbat also serves as a memorial to God's act of rescuing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt by setting aside a day for personal autonomy and freedom from the harsh demands of labor. The traditional Shabbat is portrayed in Jewish liturgy, song, and story as a day of joy, a sanctuary from travails, and even a foretaste of the perfected world that will someday be attained.

Shabbat, like many important facets of Judaism, has its origins in the Torah, where it is most notable as a day of complete cessation of labor. The prophetic tradition portrays it as a day of pleasures as well. The Rabbis spelled out their understanding of the forbidden 39 aspects of "labor" in a complex series of restrictions on productive activities of many sorts.

The 39 forbidden activities relate to the 39 actions of Creation performed in the Temple Service when the Temple existed in the physical world. By limiting the 39 actions of Creation one changes the consciousness of the human being.

They also prescribed festive meals and ceremonies for every part of the day. The varieties of Shabbat observances and customs over the ages and around the world illustrate the adaptation of Jews in many societies to new realities and modern ideas.

One constant theme in Shabbat observance across time and territory is the centrality of home life with family members and guests. Preparation for Shabbat begins as early as mid-week in some households, and its arrival is marked by the spiritual illumination of a candle-lighting ceremony. Rabbinic tradition mandates three Shabbat meals, two begun with a special kiddush ("sanctification") recited over wine.

Family meals are occasions for singing, studying, and celebrating together, as well as for consuming distinctive Shabbat foods. Shabbat observance in the public sphere is focused on the synagogue, from the lively welcoming service, Kabbalat Shabbat, to the pensive farewell ceremony, Havdalah. The daily round of prayer services is augmented and endowed with a unique atmosphere. Special melodies and liturgy are used, and the familiar prayers are supplemented with passages in prose and poetry extolling God for the divine gift of the Shabbat and its delights. At the major worship service on Saturday morning, a portion of the Torah is read aloud as part of a year-long cycle, supplemented by a passage from one of the prophetic books (called a haftarah).

Other Rituals

Whatever we do not discuss this week we will discuss these rituals next week.

Candle Lighting

This marks the formal initiation of Shabbat. This is a polite way of saying that there is a process to call down Shabbat which is true with the Holidays but not Shabbat. It also marks a separation of roles in orthodox judaism.

In Orthodox Judaism and the Kabbalists teach that women are closer to the Light and therefore should light the Candles. Candle lighting times are actually 18 minutes prior to sunset. When a woman lights the candles she has accepted Shabbat. Men accept Shabbat during the Kabbalat Shabbat prayer service.

The Kabbalists also explain that women are a better choice to light the Candles since women are connected to the Sefira Binah. That is the meaning of the code words Build from Adam's Rib is actually the additional energy given to Eve/women that connect them directly to the Sefirah of Binah.

Whether it is a man or a woman who lights the Candles the Kabbalists recommend the following Kavenah:

i am drawing the Light of Binah down to the Malchut represented by this Candle that i light.

There are different minhagim for the number of candles to light. Some light two relating to the number of days of Manna that was received on Friday for the Shabbat. Another Minhag is to light one for each member of the family. Another Minhag is to light two or three with the last candle representing any Shabbat that this person lighting the candle has missed doing the Mitzvah.

Kabbalat Shabbat - Receiving the Shabbat

In the Orthodox minhag people walk to the Synagogue for the Mincha prayer leading into Kabbalat Shabbat service. Kabbalat Shabbat means to receive the Shabbat. Many people walk as a family with their small children and speak to them about HaShem and the stories of the Torah as they walk. Others sing various Niggunim to establish the moon for their prayers and the Joy of Shabbat.

Shabbat without joy is not Shabbat no matter what one does in physical actions. SHABBAT IS A FREE LUNCH GIFT There is no adding to bread of shame as there is every other moment of every other day.

If this is not understood please ask me questions about this subject.

Kabbalat Shabbat starts when the Friday evening sky is streaked with fading sunlight. and Shabbat is welcomed. And in synagogues, the Friday ma'ariv service begins with a series of hymns, Psalms, and blessings collectively known as Kabbalat Shabbat/ Welcoming the Sabbath.

In Orthodox congregations, Kabbalat Shabbat consists of Psalms 95 through 99, Psalm 29, the hymn L'khah Dodi/Come my beloved, Psalms 92 and 93, a lengthy reading from the Talmud passages governing the Sabbath, placed here to separate Kabbalat Shabbat from Ma'ariv, and both the Mourner's Kaddish and Kaddish de-Rabanan, a Kaddish said after learning in a group, in honor of our teachers. In Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist services, the Talmud passages and the two versions of Kaddish may be omitted, often re placed by a half-Kaddish that separates the Kabbalat Shabbat from the Ma’ariv service proper.

Shabbat is a time of joy, and the six Psalms that make up the bulk of the Kabbalat Shabbat are celebratory, corresponding to the six days of creation; but it is L'kha Dodi that many feel is the true centerpiece of this portion of the Shabbat evening service. In the sixteenth century, the small town of Safed, located in the mountains of Galilee in northern Israel, was a center of Jewish mysticism. Solomon ben Moses Halevi Alkabets was one of the many mystics who lived and studied there. On Friday nights, Alkabets and his colleagues would dress in white like bridegrooms and joyously dance and march through the fields outside town to greet the Sabbath, which is depicted in both Talmud and in mystical texts as a bride and queen. Around 1540, Alkabets, a poet, composed a beautiful ode to the Sabbath Bride, L'kha Dodi, urging Jews to greet the Sabbath and extolling her virtues. The poem quickly became an eagerly awaited part of the Friday night service, adapted by German Ashkenazim within less than a hundred years. Today, with more than two thousand musical settings of Alkabets' Hebrew text, it is recited or sung in virtually every Synagogue in the world as the Sabbath is ushered in. In many congregations, when the final verse is sung and the words "Enter, O Bride," are said, the worshippers will turn to the entrance of the sanctuary and bow in honor of the Sabbath Queen. (Incidentally, the initial letter of each of the first eight verses of L’kha Dodi form an an acrostic spelling of Alkabets' name, one example of the linguistic cleverness or a poem that is full of biblical allusions, puns, and wordplay.)

The Kabbalists follow a different minhag in which they turn to the west at the last verse of L'ka Dodi. The west represents the Malchut which is the Shechina. This can be applied to the previous minhag since the door of the synagogue represents Malchut as well.

The Kabbalists also use the Ana Bekoach as a break between the Kabbalat Service and the Evening Service.

After Kabbalat Shabbat, the basic shape of the Sabbath evening service closely resembles that of its weekday counterpart, up to the recitation of the Amidah, with the Barekhu, the Sh'ma, and the b'rakhot that precede and follow it. Just prior to the recitation of the Amidah, however, worshippers recite an injunction to keep the Sabbath, known as V'shamru.

Moreover, the Sabbath version of the Amidah is considerably shorter than the daily version. On a day of joy, a day that reaffirms the covenant between God and the Jewish people, the rabbis thought it rude to ask for special favors. Hence the middle blessings of the Amidah, the blessings of supplication, are committed. The Sabbath Amidah consists of the first three and last three blessings of the daily prayer, with a middle blessing that thanks God for the institution of the Sabbath. The middle blessing includes the biblical verses that refer to God's creation of the Sabbath, in order to fulfill the rabbinic understanding of the command to "remember the Sabbath Day," which appears in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). The rabbis interpreted this verse to include the necessity for verbal testimony to the holiness of the Sabbath, which is done twice on Friday night, during the Amidah and again during Kiddush, each time with the same verse from Genesis. At the end of the Sabbath Amidah, a short prayer, "the essence of [the] Tefillah," called Magen Avot/Shield of Our Fathers, is read.

Although some members of a congregation will have already made Kiddush over wine at home before coming to the evening service (or will do so upon returning home afterwards), at this point in the liturgy the prayer leader will recite the Kiddush again. The historical evidence is unclear as to which came first, the home ceremony or the communal one. However, the rationale behind the duplication is believed to have its roots in the early days of the Synagogue as an institution, when it doubled as a temporary place of lodging for traveling Jews; being on the road and away from home, they could count on making Kiddush and having a sip of Sabbath wine in the Synagogue. The rabbis saw no reason to eliminate either recitation of the prayer and, indeed, in our busy workaday world of the late twentieth century, for many Jews Kiddush in the Synagogue is the only one they will have a chance to experience on a given Friday night.

With Kiddush completed, the evening service moves quickly to its conclusion, with Aleinu and the Mourner's Kaddish, and a final hymn, usually one of the many settings of the hymns Adon Olam or Yigdal, a hymn based on Maimonides' Thirteen Articles of Faith.

First Prayer - Extra Soul - First Meal - Songs - First Sleep

From Daily Zohar Pinchas Verses 711-713

Genesis 29:11

“וַיִּשַּׁק יַעֲקֹב, לְרָחֵל; וַיִּשָּׂא אֶת-קֹלוֹ, וַיֵּבְךְּ”

Vayishak Yaakov LeRachel; Vayisa Et Kolo, Vayavch.

“And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.”

Jacob is the Central Column and Rachel is Malchut. When he raised his voice and cry he actually created a bridge from Malchut to Chokmah and Binah. The secret of the voices are concealed in Psalms 29 that we sing every Friday night when we elevate ourselves with Malchut, the ‘Bride’ to Binah through the 7 voices that are the rungs of Zeir Anpin to Binah.

Shabbat’s Angel Companions In the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), Rabbi Josi the son of Judah is quoted as saying: On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel represents the positive forces and one angel represents the negative forces. When the person arrives home and finds the candles lit, the table set and the house in proper order [in other words, a house prepared for Shabbat], the positive angel says "May it be thus for another Shabbat!" The negative angel must affirm this and say "Amen." If, however, the house is not ready for Shabbat, the negative angel says "May it be thus for another Shabbat!" The positive angel must affirm this and say "Amen." This Talmudic reference is the source for the singing of Shalom Aleichem when one returns home from synagogue (or just before one begins the Shabbat meal). These two angels remind us of the importance of the Shabbat atmosphere. Shabbat is more than just a day of resting from work, it is a day infused with holiness. Throughout rabbinic literature, one finds Shabbat referred to as both the “Shabbat Queen” and the “Shabbat Bride.” The accompanying angels are like royal servants who have come to make certain that everything is prepared for the arrival of the Queen. So grand is the arrival of Shabbat, that even preparing for its arrival brings extra blessings to one’s home.

Second Prayer - Extra Soul - Second Meal - Songs - Second Sleep

Third Prayer - Extra Soul -Song - Third Meal - Songs - Immune System

4th prayer - Havdalah - Melavah Malka - Melavah Solomon