sabbath manifesto

Sabbath Manifesto


sabbath manifesto

Drink Wine.

Yes, the rabbis of the Talmud gave you permission to get your drink on. Or, at least, to drink 3.07 ounces, the minimum amount of wine that the sages required in order to say kiddush on the Sabbath (although more is welcome, if you’re in the mood).

The Ten Principles

1. Avoid technology.

2. Connect with loved ones.

3. Nurture your health.

4. Get outside.

5. Avoid commerce.

6. Light candles.

7. Drink wine.

8. Eat bread.

9. Find silence.

10. Give back.

Drinking wine is one of just two commandments associated with the Sabbath–to remember the day and to observe it. Kiddush is meant to fulfill the “remember” part. Traditionally, before the wine is drunk, a paragraph from the Torah is sung–the part in which God, having finished the work of Creation, rests.

But why is wine specifically linked with remembrance? According to the medieval philosopher Maimonides, it’s a way of creating a sense-memory. By both beginning and ending the Sabbath (and other holidays) with something pleasant, we associate the metaphysical act of sanctifying the day with a positive physical taste–and with the mental sensation of getting buzzed.

The medieval work Sefer Hahinuch goes a step further, suggesting that wine helps to deepen the experience of Sabbath itself. “We were commanded to perform this deed [blessing the Sabbath] with wine, for a man’s nature is greatly stirred by it, as it sustains and gives joy. And I have already told you that to the degree that a man is moved and inspired by his deed, so is he always influenced.” In other words: personal and spiritual transformation can be achieved through being under the influence.

Though religion is often associated with asceticism, Judaism is no fan of the proverbial wagon. The Talmud asserted that “there can be no celebration without meat and wine.” Today, this might disturb the vegetarian and the straightedge amongst us–but we can all raise a glass to the sentiment.

Discover More

Sabbath Manifesto

The Sabbath is a day of rest, which lends itself to spending quality time with our nearest and dearest.

Sabbath Manifesto

So much of Shabbat is focused on resting, and by association, not working. You’d think that the idea of avoiding commerce on Shabbat is directly connected to this idea, but it’s not that simple. After all, rabbis go to work on Saturday morning.

Sabbath Manifesto

Many people give a few coins to charity, or tzedakah, just before lighting candles at sunset on Friday.