By Avery Novitch
On Friday, Nov. 31, 2014 approximately 150 members the Union community gathered at 5:30 p.m. in Hale House to celebrate Shabbat.
Organizations including Chabad, U for Israel, Union Hillel, Alpha Epsilon Pi and Zeta Beta Tau collaborated to sponsor the fourth annual Shabbat dinner for 150 students.
While Union offers weekly Shabbat dinners at Hillel at 6:00 p.m. and Chabad at 7:00 p.m. every Friday evening, space limitations often prohibit such high attendance.
This event gave the members of the Union community, both Jewish and non-Jewish, the opportunity to observe the weekly Sabbath through a traditional dinner, all together in unity.
The Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday evening and ends at nightfall on Saturday night.
The Jewish Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, and is therefore a day of rest. The traditional Friday night dinner, which marks the arrival of this restful day, is a custom that transcends all denominations of the religion.
Because Shabbat is a tradition relevant to all degrees of Jewish observance, it served as the perfect culturally and spiritually familiar event to unite the entire community.
For the event, members of all religious and cultural backgrounds came together to partake in a festive Shabbat dinner led by leaders of Chabad Rabbi Shmuli and his wife, Laiky Rubin, and Director of Hillel Bonnie Cramer. The dinner began with the ceremonial Shabbat customs and prayers for candles, wine and bread, followed by a traditional dinner and time spent with friends.
Shabbbat 150 united students and staff not only spiritually, but also through cultural traditions in a setting that was relaxing and enjoyable.