What's Shabbat?

In Jewish tradition, the world is created in an evolution of seven days: six days of work that culminate in the seventh day, Shabbat, a day of rest. Shabbat is not a postscript, it is as important a part of bringing the world into being as any of the days of active creativity. Judaism teaches that we, human beings, are responsible for continuing the work of creation to make the world a better place, day after day, week after week. That work requires Shabbat.

Why Friday Night?

You can find the groundwork for the traditional practice of celebrating Shabbat in ancient texts (including the Torah, the Jewish Bible) but its implications are modern: a way to end the week with intention. According to Jewish law, Shabbat begins just before sundown on Friday night, and spans a restful 25 hours until after sundown on Saturday. While technically Shabbat lasts throughout Saturday, we at OneTable focus exclusively on the beginning: Shabbat dinner. Why? Because we believe that connecting and building community over good food, good wine, and with good people at the end of the work week is just good for you. The essence of Shabbat isn’t about what you can’t do on this one day, it’s about what you can do on the other six if you take the time to truly restore and replenish yourself.

Tradition and Innovation

At OneTable, we invite you to hold tradition in one hand and your beliefs, experiences, and passions in the other. Every week, Shabbat dinner and ritual offers a chance to be present and connect with yourself and others. While we’re guided by our organization’s Jewish Core Values, we’re here to help make ancient Jewish practices work for you now.

If you’re interested in hosting, apply to host here. Want to find a dinner to attend near you? Check out your city’s dinner page. Questions? Read our FAQ. Want to learn more about the traditions and rituals? We made you a guide.

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