Remembering the Sabbath

"'And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.'

"So ends the work of creation; and with nightfall, a new world is about to begin. A world of holiness and tranquility. A world within a day, the seventh day. For on the seventh day, God rested, and God blessed the seventh day, and God sanctified it."

-Yarda Hashabbat (the Sabbath descends)

Challah

We've received a number of requests for us to share more about how we observe the Sabbath. The Sabbath is the highlight of our weeks, and we are so blessed and refreshed by its observance! :)

While I don't plan to make this a doctrinal debate of any sort, I will clarify that we observe the Sabbath in a way which we view as Biblical (not "Jewish"). We believe that a day of rest is a blessing, not a burden, and that the Sabbath was set-apart for us by our Creator. :)

The Sabbath is our day of rest. Friday evening (and sometimes Saturday evening, too!) we go to bed early. It is a wonderful reward after a long week -- to head to bed at 8 or 9pm! :) Our children don't have to go to bed early though -- in fact, often they get to stay up a little later than usual with us.

We spend the Sabbath together as a family. We read Scripture, listen to Bible studies/lectures, sing Psalms, play games, have company over, play outdoors, take afternoon naps, or watch part of a Bible movie.

We usually have no trouble filling the whole day with fun and laughter! :) Joshua and I also enjoy the extra time to talk and discuss things together, as our week days tend to be so very busy! :)

Now, a day of rest sounds nice -- but as a mom, I know a "day off" doesn't just "happen"! ;) It takes, of course, planning and preparation.

Before we had children, I did all of my Sabbath preparation on Fridays. I cleaned the whole house (all 600 sq. ft. of it!), made food for Friday evening, and made food for Saturday. Often, we had guests over for dinner on Friday. Friday has always been a busy day here -- I avoid leaving the house for errands and such (though garage sales always tempt me in the summer time!). Grocery shopping gets done on a day other than Friday or Saturday.

Yehoshua stirs the challah...
Yehoshua stirs the challah dough...

Now that I have little helpers, I find it's easiest to use two days to prepare for Sabbath. Here are my general checklists for Thursday and Friday, with Sabbath in mind.

Thursday

•Plan meals for Friday and Saturday -- Ideally this would/could be done even earlier in the week, before the week's grocery shopping trip, but if it's not done by Thursday, I do it then.

•Catch up on general cleaning -- I usually clean the bathroom, vacuum and mop the floors downstairs, and do any other cleaning or tidying that needs done. On Fridays, I only have to do touch-up cleaning if necessary.

Challah!
Braided challah, ready to rise.
I have so much fun braiding with 6 strands!

Friday

•Make challah -- We love challah (it's tasty whether you keep the Sabbath or not!) and when I do make it for Sabbath, I start it early in the morning so it will be done in plenty of time.

•Wash diapers/laundry -- I always wash a load of diapers on Friday morning, so we'll have clean diapers for the weekend! :) I also do any other laundry that needs washed, since I don't do any laundry on Sabbath.

•Make Friday evening's dinner -- This is usually something nice, and I try to do most of the preparation early in the day.

•Make Saturday's meals -- I usually make something that can be baked (in the winter) or eaten cold (in the summer). Sometimes, if it's just us (no guests!) I'll serve leftovers for lunch.

Yehoshua sweeps...
Yehoshua does a quick-sweep of the kitchen floor...

•Wash the dishes -- After making two days' meals, there are always mountains of dishes!

•Do any touch-up cleaning needed -- This should only take 10-15 minutes, if I got everything cleaned the day before!

•Baths/showers for everyone

The Friday list should be done by dinner time, since Sabbath starts at sunset. :)

We don't do all of the traditional Sabbath prayers or light candles, but when we have challah and juice/wine, we do sing the Hebrew blessings for the bread and wine. :) I enjoy meaningful traditions, but obviously they are not Scripturally commanded, so we don't feel as though we must observe them. :)

Delicious challah... so beautiful, too!

Sabbath Meals

There are different ideas of what is permissible on the Sabbath when it comes to cooking. My general "rule" is to have food prepared the day before, so that on the Sabbath I am just re-warming/baking what has already been made. Since I cook from scratch, I find that a good portion of our dirty dishes are from actually making the meal -- which all gets done during the day on Friday. :) Crock pots are also very handy for Sabbath lunches. :)

It's also okay to keep things simple! :) Like I mentioned above, sometimes I serve leftovers on Sabbath. I really really prefer to have a nice meal on Friday evenings ('erev Shabbat), but truly -- resting is more important than feasting. If my Friday is getting crazy and "nothing" is getting done, then we have simpler Sabbath meals. :) I do find, though, that with forethought and preparation, things don't usually fall completely apart... :)

There are, of course, a few things that don't cease just because it's Sabbath. There are still diapers to change, hands and faces to clean, and crumbs to wipe up from the table. I like to stack the dirty dishes in the sink, so they actually fit (rather than being stacked randomly all over the counters and stove). We use our normal dishes, but if you can't bear the thought of a whole day's dishes to wash after Sabbath, you might find that disposable dinnerware is worth the expense. :) Since I already have all of the dishes washed from making the meals, I don't really mind dirty plates/bowls and a baking dish or two. :)

So, that's really it, I think! :)

If you have any more questions for me, feel free to ask them in the comments. :)

And, if you observe the Sabbath in your home, I'd love to hear what you do to make that day special for your family! :)

Comments

Hi Tammy,

Thank you for this post. It was very interesting. I would love to introduce my family to observing the Sabbath.

I don't think we'd be able to leave the dishes unwashed though - we don't have enough!

Thank you for explaining this...I definitely think that you should rest on the Sabbath, but I don't really do it like I know that I should. You're story is encouraging though, and it makes me want to give it a shot. Anyway, I just have one question, and maybe I just didn't catch it in your explanation, but when exactly do you celebrate Sabbath? I have been raised in a Baptist church, and we always celebrate it on Sunday.....just curious. Thanks so much for all of your great recipes by the way. :-)

I really enjoyed reading this....

I do also do everything I can so I can TOTALLY rest and relax with family on Sunday.

To do it on Saturday and Sunday would be HEAVENLY!! ;)

Something to think about.....

I enjoy your blog so much.... I read regularly...just don't often comment!!!

Thanks for all the great information and recipes you share!!!

Denise
http://homeschoolblogger.com/mominpa

Thanks Tammy for sharing this wonderful family tradition with us. My husband and I have never really thought about observing the sabbath but I can see how it could be a really good thing to help get in tune with God for a whole day.

Hi Tammy,

I really enjoyed reading how you plan for the Sabbath. Before George and I married, we talked about taking one day a week of rest which has worked out beautifully!

We work so hard during the week, that we really appreciate one "take it easy" day. The Lord sure knew what he was doing!

We take Sunday as our day of rest and over the last year have developed a comfortable routine. We go to church & bible study class, then come home to a big dinner, read the paper, take naps and then relax upon rising. Sometimes we read, go for a walk, putter around the house, or call his folks for a visit.

I know the big meal part doesn't sound like rest, but when all the preprep is done the day before and usually the main course is cooked on Saturday night it makes Sunday pretty easy.

We look forward to Sunday all week. I can't wait to read what the other commenters write!

Take Care,

Trixie

Thanks for sharing Tammy! I've never met anyone who is a 'Messianic Jew' and practiced the Sabbath and such as you do. I still have a few questions I'm hoping you can explain or elaborate on. I'm not trying to argue you down :-) I'm just confused still.

1) Do you not gather together with a body of believers at 'church'? You only mentioned doing family things at home... not going out to 'church' at all.
My support verse would be Hebrews 10:24-25:
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

2) Why do you still observe on the 'Sabbath' (Saturday) rather than what the New Testament talks about as the 'Lord's Day' (Sunday - the day Christ arose)? We believe that when Christ died on the cross and the veil in the temple was rent in two it signifies the passing of the 'old covenant'. Would be intersted to hear what your convictions are for holding to the old 'feast days' and Sabbath, etc.

Those are my questions. I think our views on the Sabbath / Lord's Day is fairly similar in that it is a day of rest and worship to our God. We too try to do as much as possible for preparation on Friday & Saturday so that our Sunday is truly a day of rest.

I was very surprised to see the Psalm book you use! We use that one in our church and it's nice to see someone else who uses the same one. I love the book becaues it's so close to the actual book of Psalms. I love it that the numbers are in correlation to the Psalms themselves (ie: 84A, 84B etc). I've sang out of other Psalm type books before but the numbers just kept going up and I couldn't remember what Psalm I was singing. Now I can easily know where it's found.

Sorry for the lengthy comment. I look forward to hearing your responses.

I appreciate the explanation. Have you ever attended a Church fellowship. I wondered if you went to a church and listened to a minister.

Hi Tammy,
We also keep the Sabbath (from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) and I must admit it's always a bit of a challenge to be ready on time... We enjoy the peaceful feeling of the Sabbath and to do things (like nature walks) as a family. I have two little boys like you (4 and 2) and it makes it harder to keep everything clean but they enjoy participating in the cleanup process. I also have a 15yo girl who is a BIG help. We share the tasks to be done. I schedule very little homeschooling work on Fridays so we can concentrate on the preparation. It's great to hear about your experience. And you make a BEAUTIFUL challah!
Helene

That picture of the bread in the fading light is so pretty. You are really good with the camera. :-D

Thanks for sharing about the Sabbath. We have gone back and forth over the years. It has been an uphill battle to try to observe the Sabbath in our house.
:-(

Thanks again! :-D

In Christ,

Ginny
http://randvfarmstead.blogstpot.com

It seems like a lot of work getting ready for and then getting through with all the cleanup you fastedfrom. I guess if youre used to it its not though. my husband usually works 6 days a week so we just try to hang around and enjoy sunday.

I was going to post a comment that was the same as "Question," posted by Anonymous. So instead of repeating, I'll just say that I'm also interested in knowing your answers to those questions.
Kindly,
Amber

Hi Tammy,

I have a question that's sorta-unrelated to this post... but as I was reading it, I was suddenly hit with the realization that you frequently use Hebrew words in your posts --- maybe you know ancient Hebrew!!! Do you? I've been searching for a good program/curriculum to learn ancient Hebrew, but to no avail. Do you have any suggestions? I would like to learn it primarily for Bible studying.

Your post about the Sabbath was interesting. I think you and Joshua have a good balance. I've met families that are super-legalistic about it, and then of course most Christians who don't regard it at all. I think you and Joshua do a good job of keeping the focus on Christ and remembering that the Sabbath was designed for US, not us for the Sabbath! It doesn't need to be laborious to keep! God bless you for your desire to please Him and raise your children in His ways.

Personally our family meets with other Believers on Sunday, and so we keep Sunday as our Sabbath. We try to take the day easy and truly have a day of rest. (We believe the Believer's are not under the law and we are free to have our Sabbath as any day we choose - we could rest on Tuesday if we wanted to! But since our fellowship meets on Sundays we choose to make Sunday our day of rest.)

May God bless you abundantly!
Katie

We have talked about celebrating the sabbath off & on, but didn't really have a clear viewwof how to do it. Well we started our preparations today & I think my husband said yes mainly because of the challah! So hopefully it all goes well! Thanks!

Hi Tammy! We celebrate from Saturday night over to Sunday night. We would like to start at sunset, but we often don’t (especially in winter) since we never seem to get everything done and ready on time. We do lots of prep work on Fridays and Saturdays through the day (cleaning, cooking, wrapping up the week and trying to get in all that needs to be done!). We always make a big pot of soup or stew that we enjoy, and have it for dinner on Saturday and Sunday. Then we have fresh bread and a salad, too. We light candles during the meals. I also make matzoh every Saturday. With our evening meal on Saturday, we pray as a family, and then my husband and I have communion (with juice and matzoh). Then we eat our meal. Sometimes we sing at the table. Shabbat Shalom! That’s how our Sabbath begins.

The next day is a day of rest, but my husband prefers that things get cleaned up generally. Our dishes get done and the basics picked up in the morning. We have a late breakfast that serves as lunch, too. The rest of the day is free. My husband leads with regard to spiritual matters. Sometimes we just rest and play or go for a ride or a walk. It is always a nice time for my husband and I to talk. Sometimes we read books together as a family –related to our faith. In the evenings we have our meal again, and afterward there is sometimes a treat. Then we read from the Bible or sing or both. Right before bed we pray as a family for forgiveness, and have a quiet time for remembering and confessing our sins from the week to the Lord, and any other prayer on our hearts. Then it is bedtime. I always wish the Sabbath was even longer. We, too, look forward to it all week.

I will have to show my husband your link to the book of Psalms to sing. We love the Psalms. My husband has gathered our favorite hymns, including many songs based on psalms and written them down for our family.

We also do not attend a church, though that is not our preference.

Thank you for sharing your Sabbath with us. I have found myself with time on my hands today (trying to rest) so this gave me something nice to think about. Sorry this got so long!

Hi, Krista!

No need to apologize -- I loved reading your thoughts! :)

We also do not attend a church, though that is not our preference.

I should probably clarify that we agree -- while fellowship can happen outside of a building, it can also happen inside -- and we would love to have even more fellowship and friends nearby! :)

Thanks for all the comments and input! :) The Sabbath is a huge topic, warranting much more study than I could ever put forth in my blog posts/comments, particularly since the focus of this website is to help us in our walk as homemakers rather than to discuss doctrine. :)

One commenter asked: ...maybe I just didn't catch it in your explanation, but when exactly do you celebrate Sabbath?

We observe Sabbath from sunset on Friday evening until sunset on Saturday evening. :)

Trixie, I agree with you about the big meal not really being too much work when all of the preparation is done before-hand! :) I do love having a nice meal on Friday evenings as we start our Sabbath, though I usually stick with a baked dish (i.e. everything else has already been washed!), some homemade bread or challah, veggies, and maybe fruit/dessert. :)

Someone else mentioned all the work before and after Sabbath -- I do keep very busy on Fridays in preparation, but honestly the only "catch-up" work after Sabbath is the dishes (which I keep to a minimum). :) We do make our children pick up their toys before bed (even on Sabbath)... if we play a game, we put it away afterwards... that sort of thing... :)

An anonymous commenter mentioned Hebrews 10:24-25 as a commandment for attending a weekly service at a church building.

We don't believe that there is a command to physically visit a church building in order to fellowship. As the verses say, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another..."

Which of those things cannot be done outside of a building? (I don't say "church", since we as believers are the "church"!) And were not the believers at that time meeting together in homes? :)

We do, as I mentioned, frequently open our home to other believers, and we absolutely love fellowshipping together with the Body of Messiah!! :) We also listen to recorded sermons/Bible studies/lectures at home, and... we occasionally darken the doorway of a brick-and-mortar church building... even on Sunday at times! ;)

The idea of Sabbath being abolished, or changed to Sunday, is also a huge topic, so I will just be simple here.

About 10 years ago, I started searching for a Biblical basis for Sunday-keeping. I had been raised in an Independent Fundamental Baptist church, and my family did/does attend church very faithfully. I could not find solid Biblical support for the idea of Sunday being instituted as the new "day".

I know there are a handful of "proof text" verses, but textually I just didn't (and don't) see Sunday instituted in place of Saturday. Email me with specific questions, and I may have time to get a little more in-depth -- but again, I am not here to convince anyone that we are "right", but rather to be an encouragement and blessing to those who desire to keep the Sabbath in their homes. :)

Helene, we do the same with our homeschooling! :) I try to do school/piano with Yehoshua Sundays-Thursdays. :)

Katie, Joshua does know some Biblical Hebrew and is constantly learning more about the language. :) (I only know a tiny bit, enough to read but not comprehend much unless I already know the passage!) Why don't you send me your email address, and I'll see if he has any suggestions for you? :)

There are lots of different doctrines out there about what exactly "happened" to the Sabbath day, if anything did indeed happen regarding it.

Some believe that it was changed to Sunday (this used to be a more common belief -- as an anecdotal side note, when Yehoshua and I were reading through the Little House series, the Sabbath was observed quite strictly, and on Sunday, which seemed to be the common understanding) and others believe that the 4th commandment doesn't apply at all, period, since it is not reiterated word-for-word in the NT (for the record, neither is the 3rd commandment...).

I know Baptists who take different stances on this topic -- so don't assume that certain groups/denominations all believe exactly the same about this! ;)

Like I said, it's a big topic and this website isn't meant as a forum for exegesis. Thanks for keeping it kind. :) 

Tammy,

Thanks for answering our questions on how you observe the Sabbath. I think it's wonderful that you and your family take advantage of the blessings that come from observing the Sabbath (even though we know it's not mandatory for us). May I ask, where did you learn to sing the blessings? I have the words for them but I haven't the slightest as how to sing them properly!

I would like to make the Sabbath observation a part of our weekly routine but it seems that everyone has something going on either Friday night or Saturday morning. Makes it really hard to observe it all the time. But even on the weekends when I don't have major plans it still is a bit difficult to remember to observe it. I usually end up doing either the Friday night or the Saturday meals and blessings, but I have only once done both the same weekend. ::blush::

One of the things I love about observing the Sabbath is that it's such a great learning/teaching tool. There is so much symbolism in the traditions that point towards our messaiah and reveal the Lord's nature. What a great reminder! And then to be able to celebrate the fulfillment of the promises on Sunday; I think we have it good as believers! :)

One of the things that I like to do when I remember to observe Shabbat is to try the find the first evening star. I bet that would be a fun thing to do with children. Alas, I have none yet. :)

Tammy, your challah looks really, really good! I'm going to try your recipe this weekend. I've never braided with six strands, but I'm going to try it. I believe you have instructions on how to do it on your recipe, right?

If you don't mind sending that info on Biblical Hebrew to two people, I'd like it also. :) ruizbe82 at yahoo dot com.

Beulah

--
But you shall be called Hephzibah [My delight is in her], and your land be called Beulah [married]; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married [owned and protected by the Lord]. --Isaiah 62:4

Beulah, If I remember correctly, Joshua taught me the melody for the blessings. I think he learned it from someone else... maybe at the congregation he attended in Tacoma, Wa, near where he grew up. :)

You can find a link on the challah recipe page which will take you to someone else's video about braiding with 6 strands. It is not difficult, though I did watch the video a couple of times before I did one the very first time. It makes a lovely loaf!! :)

Hopefully this weekend I will have a moment to ask Joshua for Biblical Hebrew learning recommendations. :) 

Hi Tammy!

Thanks for letting us step into your home for a while. I find your take on the Sabbath refreshing. Although our Sundays are definitely filled with the Lord, sometimes they become so busy that we fail to rest. I like your purposeful approach. I have a totally unrelated question which you may or may not want to answer. ; ) How did you and Joshua meet? I love to read courtship/dating/marriage stories, and I'd realy like to read yours in particular. I bet it would be interesting and one in which we can really see the hand of the Lord!

Thanks!

Amy @ http://hopeistheword.wordpress.com

Joshua is from the Seattle area, and I am from Ohio. We corresponded through the mail (my parents didn't -- and still don't -- have internet at home!) and then through phone calls. Joshua visited me/my family a couple times, and then we got married! That's the short version, anyway. :) Maybe some day I'll share more thoughts on that topic. We'll see. :)

Tammy, I saw where you said you were raised as a baptist, ( so was I) what was your husbands religious upbringing? also, just as a personal note , you are familiar with the Baptist views on baptism, do you still belive that way, or I guess I mean now, what do you think about salvation? thanks for answering questions from the curious! I love your blog!

Joshua's parents were Seventh Day Adventists during some of his growing-up years. I'm not exactly sure how to describe Joshua's religious background, other than that he started reading the Bible very seriously when he was in his teens...

The Baptist view on baptism? Well, I agree with immersion and "believer's baptism". :) I wouldn't say that my view/doctrine of salvation changed from the beliefs I held as a Baptist -- we believe that salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9!), that it is Yeshua's blood which atones for our sins,and that our obedience to God is a result of true repentance/salvation, and not a means of justification. :)

We also observe a Saturday Sabbath, and reading how your prep has been a lot of fun & great learning for me. Much of our Sabbath celebration is quite similar to yours, Tammy, and knowing that you can indeed do all this work with one more than one little is so nice to know, as I hope to be honoring Sabbath with more littles under foot someday. :D

Your challah looks gorgeous! I just learned to make challah last year, both gluten & gluten-free varieties, but have not yet mastered making loafs quite a beautiful as yours. With time hopefully!

~Much Love~
Mrs. Brigham
http://inclotheslinealley.blogspot.com/

My question has nothing to do with the Sabbath, but how in the world do you keep a 600 ft. house clean and feeling 'uncluttered' with three children!? Our house is 1000 sq. ft. and I also have three children, though two of mine are a bit older (9 yo, 5 yo, and 7 week old). We homeschool and are home ALL day long, and it always feels so cramped and cluttered.....how do you do it?

Okay, I guess I should have made that part a little more clear! :) When Joshua and I were first married, we lived in a 600-sq. ft. apartment. We lived there until Yehoshua was about 2 months old. Then we moved to a house which is just under 1,000 sq. ft. That's where we live now! :)

I'm not sure how clutter/things will work when our children are older... right now, they have few possessions (or share a lot of things).

Also, I have minimized my personal belongings. I have waaaayyy less stuff than I did when Joshua and I were first married. I have pared things down a LOT, keeping only the books I really treasure, not keeping decorations or nick nacks unless they are truly precious to me, keeping only clothing that fits (I have a small amount of clothes and I wear the same items frequently until they wear out completely and are replaced with thrift-store finds), etc...

Anyway, I am brutal with clutter and junk!!! :) 

I have 2 homeschooling kids and we live in a home that is 1170 sq feet with 1 bathroom my kids are 13 and 11 and we love it.

You are right about keeping things to a minimum you have to. But it is also liberating.

We have china stored in the top of our bathroom closet. Its a pain to get up there so this is perfect. I stockpile only so much non food items. We turned a coat closet into a pantry/school/craft closet. I use a wooden trunk for our sewing machines and sewing supplies. We built a book shelf at the end out our hallway in a dead space so we have books/games floor to ceiling and they are all books well loved.

But we love our small house the kids rooms are crammed pack with stuff and that bugs me but it is their space and I respect that. When they were younger I didn't though :0)

Erika

Our house is 1160 sq ft, 3 bed 2 bath, partial basement (adequate for some storage, but not for playing or anything), and a 1 car garage for storage. Our children are 6 1/2, 4 1/2, 2 1/2, and 9 months.

One thing that's helped us is to leave one bedroom available for play area. Our older three share a bedroom (6.5 x 13 ft) with a bunk bed and a toddler bed. The oldest is a boy, but as they dress separately and only sleep in there, we have no problem with it. The baby is in our room in a pack 'n play and will be until she can move in with her siblings.

We keep stuff to a minimum, most especially toys! I have a couple small toy drawers units (together about 5 ft long, 1 ft deep, and 3 ft tall) that almost all of their toys fit into, with a duplo block container on top. Children are required to pick up throughout the day as they use stuff. Clothing is kept in reign, though at 6 dresses/jumpers for girls, and 3 pairs of pants and 8 tops or so for our son, many families do pare down more.

I was a load of laundry as soon as I have enough stuff for one, and put it away immediately. And I try to clean up as I go along.

Look for additional storage places. Under beds, on the floor in closet, in garage (maybe park the car outside instead), etc. But, really evaluate how much you need.

I like having less house to take care of, and think it's good not to be getting used to having tons of space. However, with this 4th child, our house is seeming more cramped than when we had 2 :-) We would like to be in a bigger house before our 5th (Lord willing as we're not expecting yet), but that's a preference and not a need.

Heather

Thanks so much for sharing! :)

I especially liked this part:

Look for additional storage places. Under beds, on the floor in closet, in garage (maybe park the car outside instead), etc. But, really evaluate how much you need.

I really dislike having to store stuff everywhere... I like to see some empty space and clear spots, so my solution has been to have less stuff! :) It is nice to be able to vacuum without moving tons of stuff. :)

We also celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday. As that is the day we go to church. We tend to either have friends and family over or go to someone's house. (pre-planned of course) Sometimes we go out for our Sunday dinner, but that is usually a nice treat.

~Jules

PS: I wanted to send you an email and say thank you for the beautiful thank you card. I have the thank you card on our breakfast bar. You have a great creativity. And many visitors to our home have commented on how pretty it is.

You are quite welcome, Jules. :)

I saw a documentary on how a Challah was made, I think it was on the History channel. But for the life of me I can't remember what I learned!! It was a few weeks back, and I happened upon it. And of course I thought of you and your family! :-)

~Jules---having some issues w/this laptop!

Tammy,

My family is KJB Independent Baptist and we have been studying scripture in our home lately regarding the Sabbath. We have find no where in scripture where Sunday is the Sabbath. My husband has actually found an article on WorldNetDaily where this topic has been studied out by many different believers with differing doctrinal beliefs and all have agreed that the Sabbath throughout the Bible refers to Saturday. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=57978

If God rested on the seventh day then why have the Sabbath on the first day of the week.

Also if you look very close at the Jewish feast Jesus had to have died on a Wednesday. Sunday Sabbath worship was started by the Catholic Church. It's my personal belief that most Christians have never studied the Jewish feasts closely to have a clear understand of when Jesus was crucified.

I just loved this post! I have felt a desire in me to celebrate the sabbath since I was saved, around 10 years ago. I didn't know how, in a practical sense. This post is a beautiful picture into the home of someone who is sincere and devoted in keeping the sabbath, and such a great picture of what that day might look like! Thanks so much Tammy.
-Liberty
www.healedofdepression.blogspot.com

Nice to see so many ladies being kind even though there are differences!

Tammy,
In studying the N.T., it seems the believers met in homes, not a specific building. Does that have anything to do with your observance? (In this day, I think that could be a great thing to return to! For many reasons! ...And after a move several years ago, we had 'home church' for a long while, several years in fact.)

My question is:
I would like to teach more to my children about Jewish feasts and customs. Do you have any suggestions on a good place to start? A book maybe or web site?

I know you are busy...so just whenever you can get around to answering is fine!

Thanks so much for this post! It encourages me over something that I was studying, just last night!

Oh, I wanted to know the meaning of your boys' names too, if you would!

momsfrugal.blogspot.com
-Donna-

In studying the N.T., it seems the believers met in homes, not a specific building. Does that have anything to do with your observance?

Well, that's just one reason why we don't believe that there is a commandment about attending "church" in a building, but we don't believe that it's wrong to meet in a building. :)

Here's a website that's geared towards teaching children: http://www.akhlah.com/

It is a Jewish site, and I haven't explored it fully, so, see what you think. :)

We haven't used any books or special teaching materials for our children... we just read the Biblical accounts. :) Like I've said before, we don't really observe very many Jewish customs! :)

Celebrating Biblical Feasts by Martha Zimmerman.

I'd like to suggest a book for you, Donna, that has helped me get a clearer picture of some of the Biblical feasts. It also has great ideas for teaching kids the meaning of the feasts. It's called Celebrating Biblical Feasts In Your Home or Church. The first chapter is on the Sabbath, too. Anyway I linked it to the book on Amazon, in case you wanted to know where to get it.

A word on Sunday worship:
Although we are not scripturally commanded to worship on Sunday, there is nowhere in the Bible where it says we cannot. Since we are under grace, we are free to worship on any day, and if we wish to worship on a Sunday to commemorate the resurrection, then we are free to do so. That said, the OT does command a Sabbath worship although now that we are under grace we are not required to do it (Acts 15). Does that mean we shouldn't? I don't think so. There are blessings promised to the gentiles who keep it (Isaiah 56:6-7).

Just my thoughts. :)

Beulah

--
But you shall be called Hephzibah [My delight is in her], and your land be called Beulah [married]; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married [owned and protected by the Lord]. --Isaiah 62:4

Ah, looks like someone beat me to it. :)

--
But you shall be called Hephzibah [My delight is in her], and your land be called Beulah [married]; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married [owned and protected by the Lord]. --Isaiah 62:4

good time to start! look into the passover feast it's coming up in a couple weeks & it is the perfect holiday to celebrate with kids. It's always been my favorite & doing it with the kids is awesome. Find a jews for jesus Haggaddah, some recipes and you are set. Your family will love the yummy food too.
God bless,
Heather

That it's really nice to see everyone so open and friendly on what is typically a 'hot' topic. It's so interesting to read everyone's take and how/what they do within each of their families.

Thanks for posting! I have really enjoyed reading it.

Well, on a much lighter note......

Tammy, how do you keep a big loaf of bread like that challah fresh? My homemade bread is always hard the day after I bake it, and inedible the next day. I can't imagine you eat a big loaf of challah in a day, so how do you keep it fresh?

Actually, challah doesn't stay soft and fresh very long! (The 4 eggs contributes to this fact. ;))

But we have no trouble using it up in challah pudding, french toast, or the baked french toast recipe I just shared! :) 

Thank you Tammy, and you too ladies, for the book ideas and web addy.... they all sound just like what I've been looking for!

God bless!
Donna

hello,
we made our first challah last night it was little dry, is this normal? But it was still wonderful & the baked french toast is perfect for our first sabbath breakfast as I did the work ahead of time & just had to stick it in this morning.
We like to have bread for snacks & with dinner, but I only have enough time to bake once a week.
So we freeze it in ziplock freezer bag & leaving it out to defrost for a couple hours & baking it a few minutes makes it taste fresh. I'm sure challah would be the same hope this helps.
God bless,
Heather

Heather, thanks for sharing! Yes, the challah does get dry fairly quickly (maybe within 12 hours or so), partly due to the 4 eggs. I'm sure that adding some dough conditioners to the recipe would help it stay softer longer! Re-warming it like you suggested does help, too. :)

On Friday and it turned out beautifully!! We took it to our neighbor's house and it was seriously gone in like 15 minutes. You wouldn't even have guessed that I forgot to put in the 4 eggs! haha. It's by far the best challah recipe I've made. Thanks!

PS: Once you get the pattern down on the six-strand braiding, it's really not that hard! :)

--
But you shall be called Hephzibah [My delight is in her], and your land be called Beulah [married]; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married [owned and protected by the Lord]. --Isaiah 62:4

Thank you for sharing this. I usually just hit your blog up for recipes but have enjoyed browsing around to get to know you and your family a bit better tonight!

I enjoyed your comments on how your family keeps the Sabbath. I think you asked what others do...

In the past year, our family has begun adding some special "traditions" to help Sabbath be a meaningful special time to our family. We loosely borrowed from Jewish customs (we share Joshua's background).

Every Friday, I bake a 6-strand Vegan Challah that I found in a recipe book called "Jewish Vegetarian Year". I make a Spinach Dip (also from that recipe book), or another dip, depending on the week, to eat with the Challah.

We have a standing invitation with our friends and family to come join us for Friday night supper to welcome the Sabbath. They come with a soup or a light dessert. Some weeks it is quite a crowd! We never turn anyone away, we just keep squeezing in!

I have a 5 branch candlestick, which I light, then we read together a text from Psalms. My husband offers a special thanks for the meal and the Sabbath. We do use our nicest dishes for the occasion, and find that most of the year since sundown is actually after our supper, we can make quick work of washing them together. (usually 15 minutes or less).

After supper, we have a simple Bible study or devotional. Usually fairly short.

Our toddler already LOVES these traditions, and begs for the opportunity to put the candles on the table. There is a special energy in which he puts away his toys "for Sabbath!"

While some Fridays it does take some effort to make sure everything comes together, we have found that these little family traditions help us make a defined change of pace from the rest of the week, and helps us change our focus to God for the Sabbath hours. In the future, I would like to incorporate some music, and make some little invitations we can keep with us to invite more people when we have the opportunity.

Sabbath morning, we attend church, and sometimes we fellowship with family or friends in the afternoon. Often we go for a walk outdoors. Our meals on the Sabbath day are simple. We enjoy honoring God by keeping His eternal commandments. We pray that we will learn to rest more fully in Him!

Sorry its so long... guess I need to start my own blog. ;)

Shabbat Shalom from Oklahoma,
It's great to have found your blog. A friend recommended it to me.
Your challah is beautiful. My dd makes the challah and my ds does the braiding in our home. It's part of our homeschooling to prepare for Sabbath.

We have been Messianic for about 7 years, and we truly love following God's Ways. We also observe the Sabbath in our home, but, on ocassion we attend a Messianic Congregation in OKC.

Our family traditions include the Blessings, dinner, Bible study, and a crock-pot meal on Sabbath. This week it's easy lasagna.

Well, I'm off to prep for tonight, just wanted to lend some support.

Oh, wait, on the subject of Challah. When making french toast, blend a banana into the egg mixture. It's marvy! Also, you can make a mixture of cream cheese, honey, and cinnamon to use as a spread on the Challah instead of butter.

Mary in OK

The challah looks wonderful! an i bet it smell even better

Thank you for your advise on Sabbath keeping with children, but it seems hard to teach them to put the toys aside, and really enjoy Sabbath day. Most parents I know take their kids to the church on Sabbath morning but allow them to play freely the rest of the day, as they feel that kids need freedom to play any game and when they are older they will understand. How do you manage with your kids? What Bible games do you play?
Thank you for your help.
Lilian

Hi Lilian,

We do allow our children to play a lot on Sabbath... there are certain games we wouldn't play -- like Monopoly -- but most games we allow. :) When we go to church, we usually spend a good part of the day there, and in the afternoon the kids get to play with their friends... :)We love using our day of rest to get outside and enjoy creation while walking or playing games with the kids. :)

We don't have any kids' Bible games (we hope to get "Moses Knows the 10 Commandments" someday!) but we sometimes watch Bible movies together as a family -- we love the Visual Bible's Matthew, Acts, and John! :)

If anyone else has good Bible games for kids, I'd love to hear some recommendations! :)

Thank you for sharing with us about your experiences. It is refreshing to see how you try to carry out with your responsibilities at home cheerfully before the Lord, and I am sure there are other mothers (like me) in your church who also need some encouragement, so pls keep attending church!

I wrap the challah in a clean, dry tea towel (is that 'dish cloth' in American? The kind you dry dishes with!) Place the loaf near one corner, and roll it in the cloth, folding the side corners of the cloth in as you go, so the loaf is completely wrapped up. One cloth for each loaf (we make 4 each Friday). Then they are still pretty fresh the next day, and are unwrapped for lunch, when we eat them as sandwiches (cut in two horizontally) in the summer, or with soup in the winter. In the rare case that any is left on Sunday, I cut up the loaf into cubes, toss in a little olive oil and garlic, and bake in the oven for 15 mins. Pop them into an air-tight container, and you have croutons for eating with soup during the week! :)

As for Sabbath on the Saturday, and church on Sunday, for me this is perfect :) We rest all day saturday, and then enjoy church on sunday. When we used to celebrate the sabbath on sunday I felt that I missed all the resting - getting 4 kids ready for church and then feeding them afterwards was sooooo not restful!!! This way I can truly rest :D

Blessings!
Vicky

Hi Tammy,
I really like your site! I'm a religious Jew so I found it fascinating to read about your Sabbath observance. I basically do the same as you, Friday is a day to prepare the meals and clean the house for Shabbat. And on Shabbat I just reheat food on an electric hotplate. And aside from going to synagogue, our Shabbat sounds a bit like yours - a true family day; a day to talk, to rest, to play games that don't involves screens!!!
Although I must say, keeping Shabbat in America is probably easier than in Israel because here in Israel we go right back to work on Sunday... ;-(

Rachel

We haven't intentionally "kept" the Sabbath, but in reading your post and all the comments, I think we've almost accidentally fallen into it!

We are Catholic, but attend Mass on Saturday evening. We then come home to a simple meal of homemade soup and bread. Saturday evening is bath night, which actually is pretty relaxing for all of us, since it starts shortly after dinner and really helps the kids relax before bed. Sunday morning is the one morning of the week when no alarm clocks get set. I make something simple like crustless quiche (mixed up the day before and baked that morning) and muffins, then we all sit around in our pjs. DH and I drink coffee on the couch and listen to Sunday Morning Baroque on the classical station while the kids play in the living room. Our rule is no computer use until at least after lunch (we don't own a TV). We talk about the stories from the readings at Mass the night before, we sing lots of different songs (some kids' songs, some more religious since the only music book I own is an old Breaking Bread hymnal from my parents' church!), we enjoy each others' company, we play games like dominoes together, and if the weather's nice, we'll go for a walk over to the park.

We try not to plan anything on Sundays - no grocery shopping, no working from home, etc. Very occasionally we'll have friends over for Sunday "dinner" (a meal that occurs around 2pm), but usually we just spend the day with the four of us.

I'd love to learn how to braid challah! I make almost all of our bread from scratch - cheaper, tastier, and I know what goes into it.

Hi Tammy,

My family and I just started having a Sabbath dinner w/ some other believers (we regularly attend a Calvary Chapel). We're still thinking/praying about observing the Sabbath. It's quite new to us! Anyway, I have allergies to gluten and eggs, so I was wondering if you had any ideas for making a gluten & egg free challah. :)

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