An exclusive look at a Hassidic Friday night Shabbat meal as a non-Jew

by Leah Rosenberg

Shabbat is a special time for the Jewish people and G-d. It is a time to disconnect from the world and connect with G-d in a unique way.

Non-Jew Spends Shabbat Dinner with a Hassidic Family

What a fascinating video. It is not the norm to have a non-Jew filming a Shabbat dinner with an Orthodox Jewish family. But under the guidance of rabbinic authority, this video was made. And for those who have never experienced or seen a Friday night dinner with Jews, this is quite unique.

Not only is the dinner unique, but the entire image that is given off of this sect of Hassidim; of these specific Hassidim. The world has a view about all Hassidim. In fact, the world has a view about all Jews. But the thing is, every Jewish sect is different. Every Jewish family is different. Actually, every Jewish individual is different. And that is an extremely important lesson to learn. It is important never to make assumptions about anyone or any religion.

Another important aspect that comes up in the video is equality in the relationship between husband and wife. Although each has a different role in the family according to Judaism, there is equality. And that is interesting and crucial to note. Despite the differences between men and women, both feel like they give an equal part in the relationship.

The Holiness of the Sabbath

Peter, the non-Jew who filmed the dinner, was able to capture the way Jews feel about their special time with G-d. The Jews can and should connect with G-d all week. But there is something special and different about the Sabbath. It is a specific time to strengthen relationships- with family and with the One Above. G-d gave this special gift of Shabbos to the Jewish people.

Those who don’t know much about Shabbos are shocked to learn that it is true – religious Jews do not use electricity. They take time away from their phones, social media, their jobs, and more.

And it is truly a gift. People who do not keep Shabbos ask how it is possible to survive for 25 hours without being connected to the outside world. But as one of the Hassidic women said in the beginning of the video, “Sometimes I wonder how people do without Shabbos…there’s never a stop. We have this hard stop. And we can regroup, and we can reconnect.”

Peter left off by saying that the Hassidic community gave off a lot of love and warmth and did not make him feel inferior. If only the whole world knew!

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