Chapter: 05 – Torah Study and Prayer on Shabbat

01. Studying Torah on Shabbat

01. Studying Torah on Shabbat It is a mitzva to study a great deal of Torah on Shabbat. The Sages stated: “Shabbat and Yom Tov were given solely to study Torah on them” (y. Shabbat 15c). The Sages also stated: … Continue reading

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02. What to Study on Shabbat

Torah study on Shabbat should be a joy and a pleasure. Therefore, some poskim advise against studying difficult and complicated subjects, because when one does not understand what he is studying he becomes tense and aggravated. Therefore, it is proper … Continue reading

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03. Sleeping on Shabbat

Included in the mitzva of oneg Shabbat is sleeping soundly, as the popular proverb has it: “Sleeping on Shabbat is a pleasure.” But it is not proper for one to sleep on Shabbat in order to work Saturday night. Doing … Continue reading

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04. The Shabbat Sermon

It has long been customary for rabbis to deliver important derashot (sermons or homilies) on Shabbat, in which they deal with halakhic and theological matters. These would be attended by the entire community. This important practice has its foundation in … Continue reading

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05. Women and Torah Study on Shabbat

There is a fundamental difference between men’s and women’s obligation to study Torah. Men, even after they have learned all of halakha and the fundamentals of faith, are still obligated to set aside time to study Torah and to review … Continue reading

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06. Reading the Torah on Shabbat

An ordinance tracing back to Moshe mandates that Jews read from holy Torah scrolls written in ink on parchment every Shabbat, Monday, and Thursday (BK 82a). Due to the holiness and exaltedness of Shabbat, the Sages instituted that seven people … Continue reading

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07. The Haftara

The Sages instituted that in addition to the Torah reading, there should also be a public reading from the Prophets on a topic related either to the Torah reading or to the time of year. One berakha is made before … Continue reading

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08. Torah Reading at Minĥa on Shabbat

In addition to ordaining the reading of the parsha on Shabbat morning, Ezra the Scribe also instituted that the Torah be read at Minĥa. Three people are called up at Minĥa and the beginning of the next parsha is read. … Continue reading

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09. Shnayim Mikra Ve-eĥad Targum

In addition to the communal Torah reading in shul, the Sages also mandated that each week every man should read shnayim mikra ve-eĥad targum (lit. “twice Scripture, once translation”), that is, the parsha twice and the Aramaic translation once. He … Continue reading

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10. Different Customs Relating to Shnayim Mikra Ve-eĥad Targum

Some customarily read shnayim mikra ve-eĥad targum on Friday and try to do the entire reading without stopping (Arizal; Shlah; Kaf Ha-ĥayim 285:3; Tur). Others follow the custom of reading one aliya each day of the week, so that on … Continue reading

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11. Shabbat Prayers

The Amida on Shabbat is made up of seven berakhot. The formulation of the first and last three berakhot is identical to their weekday versions, but in place of the thirteen berakhot in the middle we recite one special berakha … Continue reading

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12. Va-yekhulu

In the Amida of Ma’ariv on Friday night we recite the “Va-yekhulu” passage, the three verses that recount the first Shabbat of creation: The heaven and the earth were finished (va-yekhulu), and all their array. On the seventh day God … Continue reading

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13. Magen Avot – A Concise Recap of the Amida

The Sages ordained that the ĥazan recite the berakha known as “Me’ein Sheva” on Friday night. This berakha is like a ĥazan’s repetition, as it is a synopsis of the seven berakhot of the Shabbat Amida. The reason for this … Continue reading

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14. Kabbalat Shabbat and Other Additions to the Prayers

More than 400 years ago, kabbalists in Tzefat began to usher in Shabbat with the recitation of psalms and liturgical poems. Since Jews desire to give expression to their neshama yeteira, this custom was accepted throughout the Jewish world; this … Continue reading

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15. The Custom of Wishing One’s Rabbi “Shabbat Shalom

“R. Yitzĥak stated: One must visit his rabbi on the three pilgrimage festivals” (RH 16b). This is in order to strengthen his connection to the rabbi, as a result of which he will strengthen his commitment to Torah and mitzvot. … Continue reading

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