Sabbath, the Day of Delight

By Abraham E. Millgram | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE SABBATH IN THE HOME

We go slowly homewards, our hearts full of grace, The table is spread there, the candles give light, Every nook in the house is shining and bright.

H. N. BIALIK


THE JEWISH HOME ON THE SABBATH

WE associate the Sabbath primarily with the home. Even the Jew who has deliberately severed all ties with Jewish life frequently recalls with longing the "mystic sweetness and spirituality" that reigned in his home when the Sabbath lights were kindled by his mother and the Kiddush was recited by his father. Even the renegade cannot free himself from the sweet recollection of "the dim religious light" of the late Sabbath afternoons in winter, when his mother piously recited the prayer "O God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." These and other Sabbath observances not only hallowed the Sabbath but also sanctified the Jewish home, making it a Miḳdash Me'aṭ, a miniature sanctuary, in which the parents were the priests and the family table was the altar. Such Sabbath observances exerted a powerful influence on the family as an institution, and on its individual members. They strengthened those domestic virtues and graces which to this day distinguish

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