Why Shabbat?

At OneTable, we invite you to hold Jewish 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. We’re guided by our organization’s Core Values — joy, welcoming, and elevation — and we’re here to help make ancient Jewish practices work for you now, starting this Friday.

  • Joy/Oneg

    Shabbat is a weekly opportunity to create and share joy in community.

    Light, wine, nourishment, fellowship — Shabbat is a reminder to delight in life; to pause and punctuate the week with a regular sense of warmth and wonder.

  • Welcoming/ Hachnasat Orchim
    הכנסת אורחים

    Shabbat is an ancient communal wellness practice, and an antidote to loneliness in our modern world.

    We express radical hospitality, welcoming guests or graciously being welcomed, while honoring the essential value in all human beings (kavod ha’briot).

  • Elevation/

    Shabbat is an invitation to explore holiness, a sense of “sacred Otherness” by elevating time, space, food, and relationships.

    We balance established custom (kevah) and personal intention (kavanah) to welcome the weekend with an ever-evolving practice and experience of ritual.

What’s Shabbat?
A way to end the week with intention
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?
Shabbat is the ultimate freedom and creative act
You can find the groundwork for Shabbat practice in ancient texts (including the Torah, the Jewish Bible), and then delight in how modern Shabbat feels today as a way to end the week with intention.

Shabbat is guided by two foundational Jewish narratives. The first being the creation story: the divine created our world in six days and finalized that work by taking one day to rest. The second is our redemption narrative from the Book of Exodus when the Israelites are freed from Egyptian slavery.

With these two narratives, Shabbat is the ultimate freedom and creative act.

According to Jewish law, Shabbat begins just before sundown on Friday night, and spans a restful 25 hours until after sundown on Saturday.

At OneTable we focus on Shabbat dinner. Why? Because connecting and building community over good food, good wine, and with good people at the end of the work week is good for you. Shabbat dinner is all the things to which Jewish law guides us — counting our blessings, rejoicing in delight, opening our home and ourselves to others, getting to the heart of what matters to us, connecting to our values, and elevating sacred time.