Sabbath Resources - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Sabbath Resources

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Sabbath or Shabbat is the weekly "rest" and "reset" that the Jewish people use to reflect on our purpose and the role of the Divine in our busy mundane lives. While the traditions and customs of how Sabbath is celebrated have changed dramatically over time, the core belief and goal are constant. The various resources at the Library cover the basics of Sabbath observance across the religious spectrum and explore customs from around the world.


Books IconBooks

You can search under the subject heading SABBATH, but this is a very general subject heading and will yield thousands of results. For greater specificity, use one of the following subject headings. Note that you can also limit your search by campus, language, or date.

For Shabbat in halakha, use: SABBATH (JEWISH LAW)

For common Jewish practices, use: SABBATH--CUSTOMS AND PRACTICES

For traditional Jewish liturgy, use SIDDUR. For siddurim from the liberal movements, use the name of the movement followed by “—liturgy—texts”. Thus, for a Conservative siddur, you would search CONSERVATVE JUDAISM-LITURGY-TEXTS, for a Reform siddur, REFORM JUDAISM-LITURGY-TEXTS, and so on. Also, for Sephardic siddurim, you can use the heading SEPHARDIM-PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS.


For Shabbat in the Mishnah, Talmud or Midrash, use: SABBATH IN RABBINICAL LITERATURE.

For Sabbath in the Bible, use: SABBATH-BIBLICAL TEACHING.


Most works on the Sabbath as Jewish practice are located in BM 685.

Sabbath liturgy is located in BM 675 S3.

Extensive sections on the halakhot of Shabbat can be found in the Talmud (BM 499; commentaries on Masekhet Shabbat can be found in BM 506 S2.7), and works of halakha (e.g. Mishneh Torah by Maimonides, BM 520.84, and Shulhan Arukh, BM 520.88).



Tikkunim are located in the folio (oversized) reference section in BS 1222. To find out which parasha is being read on a given week, you can refer to

To find the special Torah, Haftarah and Megillah readings for holidays and special Shabbatot (e.g. Shabbat Rosh Hodesh, Shabbat Hol HaMo’ed etc.) you can refer to the ArtScroll Tikkun in the above section (Ref. f BS 1222 2001). These can often also be found in traditional siddurim and Chumashim.


Sample Texts:

Heschel, Abraham Joshua, 1907-1972 The Sabbath, its meaning for modern man / New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c1951.

Hirsch, Samson Raphael, 1808-1888 The Jewish Sabbath  Newport : Mullock and Sons, 1911.

Shapiro, Mark Dov, Gates of Shabbat: A Guide for Observing Shabbat,  New York: CCAR Press, 1991.

Elkins, Dov Peretz, A Shabbat Reader: Universe of Cosmic Joy, New York: UAHC Press, 1998.

Levy, Richard N., On Wings of Light: The Hillel Siddur for Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat Evening,  Hoboke, KTAV, 2000.

Siddur Lev Shalem for Shabbat and Festivals: First Fruits: Erev Shabbat,  New York, The Rabbinical Assembly 2013.


Music IconMusic



Recipe IconRecipes

While there are few cookbooks devoted entirely to Shabbat recipes, many cookbooks do contain recipes for traditional Shabbat dishes as well as sample menus for Shabbat meals. Search on the shelf in section TX or browse the catlaog under JEWISH-COOKING.


Study materials iconStudy and teaching materials

Search the catalog under SABBATH--STUDY AND TEACHING or check with the Tartak Learning Center for more educational materials (


Recommended websites


Music for Motzei Shabbat/Havdalah at the National Library of Israel

This collection of streamable music includes selections of Jewish folk traditions from around the world.

Sabbath at My Jewish Learning

This site has an overview of the history and practices of Sabbath.

Sabbath at Reform Judaism

In addition to the history and customs of Sabbath, this site contains the liturgy with mp3 files so that you can hear the prayers, a guide to home observance, what to expect at services,  project ideas for families and children, and Sabbath recipes from around the world.

Torah Portion at Chabad

Includes texts and commentaries on the current Torah and Haftorah portions.

Torah Study at Reform Judaism

This site includes commentary on the current week's Torah portion as well as a calender of readings.