THE SABBATH IN ART
By RACHEL WISCHNITZER-BERNSTEIN
"Black am I during the weekdays, but I am beautiful on the Sabbath."
(Cant. Rab. 1)
IT is regrettable that there is no Sabbath Haggadah, no single book containing both the complete Sabbath service and the pictures depicting its ceremonies. To obtain an insight into Sabbath ceremonies and usages of the past, it is necessary to refer to various types of illustrated prayer books and Bibles, to non-Jewish publications which portray Jewish rites and customs, and to ceremonial objects dedicated to Sabbath use.
The ceremonial aspect of Sabbath observance, as it has evolved in the course of time, gives a conspicuous part to the wife and mother. She ushers in the Sabbath with the rite of kindling the Sabbath lights. She recites the blessing over the lights and invokes God's blessing upon the family. This scene of the woman kindling and blessing the lights on Sabbath eve is familiar from a much reproduced woodcut