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Shabbat Recipes --> Shabbat Recipes --> Cholent
Status as a holy day

The Tanakh and siddur (Jewish prayer book) describe Shabbat as having three purposes:

To commemorate the Israelites' redemption from slavery in ancient Egypt;
To commemorate God's creations of the universe; on the seventh day God rested from (or ceased) his work; As a "taste" of Olam Haba (the Messianic Age).

Judaism accords Shabbat the status of a joyous holy day. In many ways, Jewish law gives Shabbat the status of being the most important holy day in the Jewish calendar:

It is the first holy day mentioned in the Bible, and God was the first to observe it with the cessation of Creation (Genesis 2:13).
Jewish liturgy treats the Shabbat as a "bride" and "queen" (see Shekhinah).
The Sefer Torah is read during the Torah reading which is part of the Shabbat morning services, with a longer reading than during the week. The Torah is read over a yearly cycle of 54 parshiyot, one for each Shabbat (sometimes they are doubled). On Shabbat, the reading is divided into seven sections, more than on any other holy day, including Yom Kippur. Then, the Haftarah reading from the Hebrew prophets is read.
A tradition states that the Jewish Messiah will come if every Jew properly observes two consecutive Shabbatot.
The punishment in ancient times for desecrating Shabbat (stoning) is the most severe punishment in Jewish law.

Reciting blessing over Shabbat candles

 

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