Here are some practical hints for observing the Sabbath:
Attitude is important. The Sabbath is a queen whose coming changes the humblest home into a palace (Talmud, Shabbat 119a). The Sabbath is the greatest gift given us by God, so we should rejoice in the coming of Sabbath. If the expectation of a special guest would cause us to prepare with great care, how much more so should we act when the guest is the Sabbath bride.
Preparation is important. Simple acts of preparing for the Sabbath aid in the development of a new consciousness. The simple act of putting a white tablecloth and two candles on the tables on Friday night, is a way to ensure that we fulfill the minimum requirement of “Remembering the Sabbath day.” If you are planning a Sabbath meal, consider using the ideas under “Sabbath Table Liturg.y”
Planning the day is important. Planning the celebration of the Sabbath day adds to its embellishment. Each family must choose how to cope with the demands and the pressures of living in today’s world. The tiniest desire to celebrate a day of rest and refreshment is a major step forward. While prayer, study and reflection are important, so is joyful activity. The criterion for what is conducive to the Sabbath spirit is that the activity is relaxing. Activity appropriate for Sabbath is not activity that is performed ‘in order to’ accomplish a task for the sake of productivity.