Five Ways to Make Shabbat Special on Vacation

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Traveling to new places can be exciting yet maintaining important traditions – like observing Shabbat – can be challenging.

Here are five ways to help you to seamlessly blend Shabbat observance with your vacation itinerary and transform your travel experience into a deeply meaningful one:

  1. Plan ahead: Research the area where you’ll be staying and find out if there are any local synagogues or Jewish communities that you can join for Shabbat services. This can be a great way to connect with the local Jewish community and participate in collective prayer.
  2. Pack Shabbat essentials: Make sure to pack any items you’ll need to observe Shabbat, such as candles, candlesticks, Kiddush cup, Challah cover, and a prayer book (Siddur). If you’re unable to bring these items, check if there’s a local synagogue that may provide them for visitors.
  3. Prepare a special Shabbat meal: If you have access to a kitchen, prepare a festive Shabbat dinner. Look for local ingredients and traditional Jewish recipes to infuse a taste of the destination into your meal. Don’t forget to bless the Challah and the wine or grape juice (Kiddush) before the meal.
  4. Explore nature: Take advantage of your vacation spot’s natural surroundings. Plan a walk or hike in a nearby park, beach, or scenic area on Shabbat day. Enjoy the beauty of creation and take time to reflect and appreciate the wonders of the world.
  5. Be present: Use Shabbat as an opportunity to focus on meaningful connections with those around you. Given the distance from everyday distractions that vacation affords you, Shabbat while away is the perfect time to fully engage with your family or travel companions. Take time to have deep conversations, play games, or simply relax together.

Remember, Shabbat is a time for rest, rejuvenation, and spiritual connection. By combining the traditions of Shabbat with the unique aspects of your vacation destination, you can create a truly special and memorable experience.

Learn More: Federation