Shalom brothers and sisters,
I thought I would put up an example of what we do on a weekly basis as part of our Sabbath service to give you an idea of what to expect if you happen to be in our area and want to fellowship. Also, I though it would be beneficial for someone who is unable to attend and would either like to follow along or start a fellowship in their area. We follow the Parashah reading schedule and the companion scriptures and always end up with great conversations doing so. You can find a link to the schedule here. I believe that Yah is raising up his people in this time and is bringing them back to small home fellowships where everyone can discuss Torah together and grow together, instead of sitting silent is a building being told what to think.
We are pretty fast and loose with the times on this agenda, but it helps to have some sort of structure to keep things moving and a motivation to move on (there are a lot of rabbits on them trails). Everything is pretty static on this agenda. Songs are based on whatever we are in the mood for, psalms we are just progressing by one each week, and we read the Shema each week and somehow always have a good conversation about it. The Torah portion changes each week according to the schedule. The weekly discussion topics are based on conversations we had the previous week that we wanted to get more information on or based on upcoming feast days or anything I am particularly interested in that week. A lot of the time it is just a printed article that has some good information. We close with the reading of the priests' blessing, another song, and a closing prayer.
When we are done I feel like we have accomplished something, it feels like a complete three course meal. You might be wondering at the length of time our meeting takes, at three and a half hours it is a lot of fellowship. I put in an intermission for food and discussion which helps break it up; but after you have been doing the Sabbath for some time, really, what else do you have to do on this day? Things that fill up my Shabbat are a blessing, especially when you have great people to fellowship with.
I hope this information blesses you and helps you with your walk.
Hello friends, here is a quick run down on how to keep the Shabbat holy. What are the requirements that our creator made for us? Thou shalt eat challah bread? Well, there are traditions associated with this weekly holy day that run very deep. Traditions have a place and they definitely make the day more special, but it is important for us to realize that these are just traditions and not requirements. It is when we elevate tradition to the level of commandment that we can be in err.
Here are the hard and fast, low down, carved in stone, nitty gritty, bare bones, meat and potatoes, nuts and bolts, absolute bare minimum requirements for keeping Yah's Shabbat holy in your home for your consideration.
1) Don’t Work
Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to יהוה your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days יהוה made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it. (Exodus 20:8-11)
Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy Sabbath of solemn rest to יהוה; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. (Exodus 35:2)
2) Don’t Buy, Sell, or Trade
If the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year’s produce and the exacting of every debt. (Nehemiah 10:31)
In those days I saw in Judah people treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys; and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; and I warned them at that time against selling food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of merchandise and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I remonstrated with the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your ancestors act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates, to prevent any burden from being brought in on the Sabbath day. Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once or twice. But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:15-21)
3) Don’t Cook
He said to them, “This is what יהוה has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to יהוה; bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.’” (Exodus 16:23)
You shall kindle no fire in all your dwellings on the Sabbath day. (Exodus 35:3)
4) Assemble Together
Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work: it is a Sabbath to יהוה throughout your settlements. (Leviticus 23:3)
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
5) Don’t do your own pleasure
If you refrain from trampling the Sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of יהוה honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in יהוה, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of יהוה has spoken. (Isaiah 58:13-14)