Shabbos doesn’t start until you say it does.
Well, sort of.
Shabbos officially starts at sundown Friday night. But you don’t enter the ZONE until you say, “It is Shabbos.”
Saying Kiddush puts you in the zone.
It is easy to make Kiddush. Take a glass of wine (or grape juice). Say, “It is Shabbos” (you say that with a special blessing). Drink. Eat. And enjoy.
Why make Kiddush?
Good question. I mean, Shabbos starts whether you say, “It is Shabbos” or not. So why bother?
The reason you make Kiddush is simple: Shabbos – the day – happens automatically. But making Shabbos Shabbos is up to you. It is your responsibility to shabbosize Shabbos. Kiddush is how you do that.
Think about football (and I mean a high school or college game, pro ball is different). Think about all the things you do to get pumped for the game. You show up with pompoms (colorful pompoms). You wear an official team jersey. The band plays pep music. The cheerleaders jump up and down and get you to holler along. Dudes walk around selling hot dogs. By the time the game starts, you are ready. Pumped. You are in the zone. Even if your team gets slaughtered you will manage to have a great time.
Kiddush is the same. It is pompoms and fight songs. It is songs, wine, and candles that set the mood. You enter Shabbos psyched. Even if it is a normal, average Shabbos you are focused and ready for it.
And it is your responsibility. You have to make Kiddush. You are the cheerleader. Kiddush is your fight song. When you make Kiddush, you are really saying, “I am responsible to make this Shabbos great. It is up to me.”
That is not just true about Shabbos. It is true about everything. But Kiddush is a reminder you get once a week: I am responsible to enjoy Shabbos. I am responsible to be happy.
Make Kiddush. A great Shabbos is your responsibility. Start with a glass of wine. Keep it alive all week. It’s up to you.
But you can do it.