But while that might be true for the pilot, it isn’t, really, for the passenger. After all, if I’m sitting in coach, I’m not literally flying the plane, much less turning it on or off. (Although some make the case that the additional weight of each passenger causes the engine to consume more fuel.) The reason observant Jews abstain from flying on Friday night and Saturday is because Jewish law prohibits traveling too far outside a city (essentially, from wherever one intends to spend the 25 hours of the Sabbath) on Shabbat.
As evening descends, we greet the holy day with Kabbalat Shabbat (“Welcoming the Shabbat”). In most congregations, this service starts with six psalms (representing the six days of the week), followed by a deeply mystical song to joyously welcome the Shabbat Queen, Lechah Dodi . This is followed by another two psalms that relate to Shabbat. Next comes either a selection from the Zohar that discusses the mystical dynamics of Shabbat’s entry, or the recitation of a chapter of the Mishnah comprising some basic Shabbat laws—depending on custom.
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