Jewish Cakes

in the
Venetian Tradition
Maria Agostini

The Shabbath

" Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it " (Exodus 20, 8-11).

Saturday, named in Hebrew Shabbath (i.e. "seventh" day), is a day of rest both for the body and the spirit. It begins on Friday's eve and lasts untill the stars appear on Saturday evening. The table is laid in a different way and the house-keeper lights two candles to honour and to hallow this day; on the table we lay two breads to remind the miracle of manna, which was gathered twice as much on Friday, and we lay some salt where we dip the bread to remind the salt which was spread on sacrifices in the Temple of Jerusalem. Again to honour the Shabbath the bread baked on Friday has a more attractive shape and a pleasant taste.