Shabbat starts 18 mins before the sun goes down. Why 18 mins? Because you need to light the candles before Shabbat starts. We do not do Shabbat as Orthodox Jews. We will still turn lights off and on, use the car, and possible spend money.
The first Shabbat we made a nice dinner and had everything ready in time. Then the kids were angry and didn't want to eat so it sucked. The next one we did it rushed then the kids left for the weekend. Every week we are getting better.
We do not work for sure. We will have a meal and light the candles, the kids will come to the table for the candles and challah bread but then we let them leave. We feed then ahead of time so we can eat and take our time without them crying to leave the table.
We play games with the kids or do craft projects ( which I am sure is breaking the rules on what you are allowed to do but we have to do it our way). We read the Kids Torah and talk about it with the kids.
So each week it gets easier to give up the hassle of the outside world and relax.
The first Shabbat
Now we make it a weekly holiday
We use the Waterford China, a white table cloth, and cover the
Challah bread with the same Linen each week.
It gets better every week.
Now we really do look forward to Shabbat each week. It is crazy because when we started I thought "How can we do this every week" But we look forward to making it special. The kids now eat with us even though they eat cheese pizza and we eat a nice dinner. We read Torah and on Saturday they play outside. We don't drive anywhere or spend money any more either. We have enough food left over from the dinner to feed us on Saturday also. My husband and I watch movies and relax. The Temple near our home only have services on Shabbat (friday night) we haven't started going because we don't want to give up this great time together to drive and be with other people. I wish they had a service on Saturday night when Shabbat ends. But I don't know if any synagogues do that. The best part is when people come by my daughter tells them Happy Shabbat. When she plays tea party now she says it is a shabbat party. It is so nice to see them embracing the changes so well.
We use 5 candles. 2 Candles are the Shabbat candles. One for Remembrance and one for Observation The other 3 candles are used because we have 3 kids.
The cover for our Challah bread.
Challah bread - We buy ours online because there isn't a baker to buy it from close to us.
The shipping is about $10 so we buy 4 loaves at once and vacuum sealing them and freezing them.
Do not vacuum them tight so the bread starts to lose shape. Just enough to get the air out. To unfreeze just put it out on the counter on Thursday night. I cut off the vacuum seal first before thawing.
This video is great on learning how to do Shabat
This one will also say the blessing instead of singing it.