The following excerpts from a Secular/Humanist Shabbat Service emphasize both universalistic concepts and the importance of rejoicing in Jewish heritage. Although the traditions of Shabbat are often seen as purely religious rituals, many secular Jews around the world see Friday night as a perfect time to gather together with friends and family to reconnect after a busy week. While some may not partake in any traditional religious rituals, others perform those that are culturally meaningful to them, oftentimes lighting candles, reciting Kiddush, or eating challah. Some choose to create their own personalized versions of these rituals, based on religious, national, and philosophical texts and themes, as can be seen in the texts below. The entire service, written and compiled by leaders of the Secular Humanist Jewish movement, can be viewed at the bottom of the post
1. Naomi Prawer Kadar’s Kiddush
In the warm glow of the candles’ shine, we lift the brimming cup of wine. As Jews for centuries before, sharing Jewish life and lore. In praise of harmony and rest, ideals of justice, freedom’s quest. A world of brotherhood and peace, where poverty and hate will cease. At our Shabbes celebration, we renew our dedication, To all that’s Jewish/Yiddish, in this, our special Kiddish.
2. Rabbi Judith Seid’s Kiddush
We rejoice in our heritage which has given us the cup of wine [grape juice] as the symbol of our happiness. We rejoice in our heritage which has given us the Sabbath, a day of rest. It is first among our holidays and a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt.
Hebrew: Ashreinu bi’yerushateinu she’masrah lanu kos pri hogofen l’mo’adim u’l’simkha ki samakhnu b’khageinu. Ashreinu bi’yerushateinu she’masrah lanu et ha’shabbat., yom-mnukha, reisheet bamo’adeinu zekher litsi’at mitsra’im.
3. Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine’s Kiddush
Borukh shalom baolam. We bless peace in all the world. Borukh shalom baodam. We bless peace among all people. Borukh shalom bashabbbat. We bless the peace and joy of this Shabbat.SecularHumanist-Shabbat-Service
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