In Exodus 20: 8-11, God Speaks with Moses… ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, for in 6 days you shall labor and do all your work… but the 7th day is a Sabbath to the Lord-your-God’. On it you shall do no Work, neither you, nor your sons or daughters, or your male or female servants, or any visitor residing in your homes. For in 6 days, The Lord made the Heavens and the Earth, the Seas and all that is contained therein; then He Rested on the 7th day. Therefore, The Lord Blessed the Sabbath day and made-it-Holy'. Please note that these words were Spoken by GOD and written on stone tablets that were eventually placed inside The Ark-of-the Covenant. This was one of a few times that GOD spoke directly with Moses on Mt. Sinai, delivering the 10 Commandments, (the ‘Messianic Law’). Do not confuse God’s law with the 603 additional ‘Mosaic laws’ given to the Children-of-Israel by Moses and the Sanhedrin, (Jewish hierarchy). These 10 Messianic Laws ordered by God, were to be kept in force for all time, while the Mosaic Law was in force until it was superseded by ‘The New Covenant’… that took effect after Christ’s Crucifixion on the Cross.
Traditionally, Orthodox Jews people keep the Sabbath from ½ hour before sundown on Friday evenings, till at least 3 stars can be seen on Saturday evening. During this period, families eat a traditional ‘Shabbat’ meal when the Sabbath begins, Friday evening; a 2nd meal is eaten for lunch on Saturday, with a final meal eaten at the end of the Sabbath day. During the Sabbath, family members are encouraged to focus on family activities, to study scripture, thank God for His Guidance and Provision over the past week, and to pray for God’s Blessings in the coming week.
Growing up in a Jewish family, I well remember the 4 ‘High Holidays’; Rush Hashanah, (the New Year) Yom Kippur, (the Day of Atonement) Hannukah, (the Festival of Lighting Candles), and of course Passover; to commemorate the miracle, when God led the Hebrew children through the Red Sea while destroying the Egyptian army by drowning them. It should be noted that in addition to the 4 ‘High Holidays’, there are a number of lesser important Jewish holidays that kept us out of school on a regular basis. It’s also important to note that these holidays mentioned occur on the same dates every year on the Hebrew calendar, which is a ‘Lunar calendar’, having 13 months. This calendar is based on the cycles of both the sun and the moon, while the Gregorian calendar that we follow in the United States is based on 12 months; this does complicate things from time-to-time. And due to the variations in timing, Christmas eve and the 1st day of Hannukah, have fallen on the same day, only 4 times since 1900 (120 years). So, I trust that you have learned a bit more about Orthodox Judaism; so many holidays, terrific food, and lots of ‘schmaltz’ (that’s chicken fat).