Erev Shabbat


Evening Sabbath

Gen 1:5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.  NASU

Rabbi’s throughout history have read the first verses of Genesis and declared each 24 hour period we call a “day” or a day/night cycle, starts in the evening and ends the next evening.  This idea of the start and finish of a day goes back as far as recorded history allows.  Because of this fact it can be inferred Abraham or Noah both used this convention.

Go outside at evening, look up into the sky, when you can see three (3) stars in view, this is the beginning of the next day on the Jewish calendar. This was true at the time of Yeshua.  When Sha’ul (Paul) talks about preaching into the night on the first day of the week, he is referencing what we would call “Saturday night”, NOT Sunday night.  This explains some of the misconceptions people today have when reading the Brit Chadashah ( the New Testament).

Medieval Europe still followed this tradition, known as Florentine reckoning: in this system, a reference like “two hours into the day” meant two hours after sunset.  The time reference after evening pertains to the previous day.  Days such as Christmas Eve and Halloween actually were remnants of the older pattern when a day started at sunset.

One of the “Friday Evening” (Erev Shabbat) events our family look forward to is lighting the Shabbat Candles.  This tradition goes back possibly 3,400 years when Israel came out of Egypt.

The blessing over the Shabbat Candles is found under “Shabbat Candles” (click on link).


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