Here are some answers to the question, "What is the best thing about Shabbat?"

It's so much less distracting, so you can focus on what you really want to do.

The nights ... they are so contemplative.

Coming home Friday night, seeing the candles burning, singing "Shalom Aleichem," and giving the blessings to my children. It's so beautiful.

The relaxation. As soon as Shabbat comes in, I relax. That feeling Friday night really gives me a taste of what rest is really all about.

Family. Friday night is the one night that we're all together, and the meal is so special because we all take our time eating!

The feeling you get after lighting candles: Whew! I made it! Now it's time for 24 hours of peace -- 24 hours where I'm the queen, ready to enjoy what I've worked for. You know, I don't even remember that I cooked the food!

We get to see so much of each other. There are no meetings, no phones, no appointments. Just us.

The nap... not the physical sleeping, but the idea of what it represents -- I don't have to go anywhere!

Sitting around the table and discussing things for hours, interrupted only by the singing.

It's a holiday!

It subtracts you from the rest of the world for one day, and gives you enough energy for at least three.

Shabbat carries the week; the week does not carry Shabbat.

I feel so much closer to community; there's a real "togetherness" about it.

I really feel I'm in another world on Shabbat. It makes me feel separate, in a very positive way, from everyday life. Not an escape in the running-away sense, just, well ... an oasis.

It's the focus of my life that leaves me completely charged.

Friday night. It's the time I feel most protected.

When Shabbat comes in, I feel an opening to something much more spiritual.

We take long, long walks on Shabbat. It gives me a feeling of control over my environment and an appreciation of our own physical resources.

You can eat and sleep ... and it's a mitzvah!


Adapted from "Friday Night and Beyond" by Lori Palatnik (Jason Aronson Pub.)