There are many different views on the practice of
Shabbat (the Sabbath) amongst Messianic Jews and
Israel Today posed the following question
to believers who live in the Land of Israel: How do
you and your congregation observe the Sabbath?
Here is how they responded:
Michael Decker – Attorney
I work fulltime as a lawyer and often
work 12-hour days. For me the Sabbath is
something that I look forward to week to
week. I shut my cell phone off and have
focused time with my wife and children.
It is a blessing in Israel that the majority
of shops are closed and the streets are
To me the Sabbath is part of the pattern
that God has given us, to work six
days and rest on the seventh. It is not
just a spiritual idea that is fulfilled in
Jesus but also a reality in life that we
need one full day off each week.
leader – anonymous
Most people in our congregation
enjoy and appreciate the gift and the
traditions of the Sabbath. This is carried
out with a festive meal, traditional
prayers, and candle lighting on Friday
night with family and guests at home.
On the morning of the Sabbath we
worship using the Siddur [Jewish prayer
book] and read the Torah, Haftorah
[passage from the Prophets], and New
Testament portions of the week. Most
of us live a lifestyle which honors and
appreciates Jewish tradition but we do
not claim to live strictly Orthodox lifestyles.
Everyone in the congregation has
to make their own decision as to how
much of a traditional lifestyle they want
Tibi Frank – Deacon in a
I believe that God designated the
Sabbath for rest. He wants us to cease
from our weekly business in order to
occupy ourselves in the worship of Him.
Relationship with God is true rest.
On the Sabbath we invest all of our
time in studying the word of God and in
relationship with the body of Messiah.
We worship corporately together in the
morning and then continue into the afternoon
as we spend time together over
a meal and enjoy conversation. Our time
ends in the evening with a study from
the Word of God or with an informal
gathering with prayer concerning the
week ahead. We base this practice on
Eddie Santoro – Messianic
leader in a Jerusalem
Life in Israel is very frenetic and we
love the transformation that occurs Friday
afternoon as the Sabbath approaches;
the stores close, people return home
to be with their families, and a blessed
quiet descends upon Israel. The nation
stops to honor God’s commandment.
Our congregation meets on Friday
afternoon which enables us to welcome
the Sabbath corporately. After the meeting,
my wife and I host a traditional
Erev Shabbat [Sabbath eve] dinner with
family and friends.
On Saturday we devote the day to
resting and often invite friends to join
us for dinner. For us the Sabbath is a
blessed gift from God. It gives us an opportunity
each week to stop and enjoy
the presence of the Lord together with
those whom we love.