Shabbat Essentials for Beautiful Friday Nights at Home


Growing up, my parents would religiously (heh!) gather all 5 of my siblings and me together for a weekly Friday night meal, followed by services at our local temple. With so many kids, there were always a million different reasons why we couldn’t eat together as a family throughout the rest of the week -- basketball practice, play rehearsals, dance class, piano lessons…so Friday was actually the only night of the week that we were really able to sit down eat together as a family. It was beautiful and lovely and always accompanied by my mother’s fabulous homemade meatloaf, which is another matter entirely.

Truly, that meatloaf deserves its own blog post.

ANYWAY. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to translate this age-old tradition into one that not only satisfies the 21st-century attention span, but is genuinely beautiful and earnest to boot. It’s fun, absolutely, but it’s also a weighty tradition steeped in heritage and history, and we don’t want either aspect to be lost on our guests -- many of whom have never experienced Shabbat before.

I’ll be sharing some of that thinking over the next couple months right here on the blog, but I’ll start with the most fun part: the things. After all, if you know your kitchen is stocked with the chicest of entertaining staples (think: marble challah boards, pink taper candles, and the kind of bread knives you should really have saved for your wedding registry) can you resist inviting people over every week to check them out?

I’ve compiled my absolute favorite finds below, and I sincerely hope this guide proves helpful for anyone out there hoping to start his/her own weekly tradition. Because the truth is, celebrating Shabbat shouldn’t require you to dig into a musty cedar closet at your Great Aunt Sasha’s house to find a suitable pair of candlesticks.