Traditions, Tips and Trends

These days, when it comes to Shabbat, tradition is the new trend. That’s because more and more of us are looking to our rich heritage for ways to enrich our everyday lives. And what better way to do it than to celebrate Shabbat, a most wonderful way to unwind after a week of hard work.

Sharing the Shabbat Meal

Shabbat traditions make it an ideal opportunity to gather friends and family around for a meal. Since the menu typically consists of dishes you make in advance to avoid cooking on Shabbat, you’re finished with meal preparations and relaxed by the time the guests arrive––a great tip for stress-free entertaining, anytime.

For a creative dish that can be made a day in advance and reheated in time for Shabbat, try Susie Fishbein’s Beer Braised Brisket & Root Vegetables.

And because the Shabbat table should be fit for a visit from a queen, you’ll be using all your guest-worthy linens, dishes and silverware already (Out of silver polish? Try using toothpaste on your silver candlesticks or Kiddush cup. For help staying prepared, review our shopping list of Shabbat items).

Guests Know Best

Make sure you check with your guests ahead of time to see if they have any special dietary requirements. For example, some people who observe Kosher laws are fine with combining fish and meat at the same meal. Other people? Not so good. There’s also a growing movement today toward vegetarian Kosher eating (try: Oriental Eggplant Casserole with Manischewitz Matzo Farfel [dairy]).

Perhaps the most important thing to remember, however, is to slow down, simplify, and take a moment to appreciate all the blessings in life. If you keep these things in mind, in the spirit of Shabbat, you’re sure to please everybody––including yourself.


Shabbat Shopping List

  • Candles
  • 2 loaves of Challah (or ingredients to make own, such as yeast, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, salt, flour)
  • Grape juice and/or Wine
  • Gefilte fish
  • Horseradish
  • Salad and salad dressing
  • Ingredients for first course, such as soup mix
  • Ingredients for main course
  • Side dishes
  • Ingredients for dessert
  • Condiments
  • Cooking spray
  • Tea and coffee
  • Flowers for centerpiece