Shabbat, or Shabbos, is about connecting with God and basking in His greatness. This is done, among other things, through ceasing from the weekly pursuit of livelihood and enjoying lots of Shabbos food. The latter comes hand-in-hand with the Shabbat table, which is such an integral part of this holy day that it becomes a quasi sanctuary at which we eat, drink, sing, talk and learn Torah. Before the various centrepieces, the most important thing on the Shabbos table is the tablecloth. There are numerous types from which to choose, such as linen tablecloths, velvet tablecloths and more. When it comes to colour, although one is free to use whichever colour ones desires, there is a general consensus on one colour: white.
White has always been symbolic of purity, and it is no surprise that many have the custom of wearing white on Yom Kippur, reminiscent of the ministering angles. On her wedding day, the bride wears all white, and in some Ashkenazi sectors the groom will wear a Kittel, which is a white robe worn over the clothes. Even in religions other than Judaism, white is perceived as the colour of purity. An immaculate, white tablecloth, most admit, adds to the already-festive and holy ambience on Shabbat. Oftentimes, people opt for a white tablecloth embroidered with Biblical passages or floral designs.
For those who love to have Hebrew passages written on the Shabbat tablecloth there are many options; for instance, you can have passages such as “Remember the Shabbos", a passage from the book of psalms, and more. Some white tablecloths also incorporate images of the holy city of Jerusalem, such as the Western Wall, the old city, and more. Others may bear the name Jerusalem, either in English or in Hebrew. In addition to images of Jerusalem, many tablecloths incorporate themes pertinent to Judaism in general, such as Stars of David, the Menorah, Candlesticks with a Kiddush cup and more.
Shabbat tablecloths make for excellent wedding gifts
, for multiple reasons. For one, they vary in prices, so you can always find an appropriate pick. Secondly, they can be custom-made; you can ask the artist to embroider the names of the bride and groom, their wedding date, and more. If you do purchase a Shabbat tablecloth as a gift, it would be wise to find out the type of table the gift-receivers have prior to purchasing the tablecloth; do not assume they have a rectangular table, because their table may have oval, circular, et cetera.