Last Friday, the Largest Shabbat dinner ever took place in Berlin, Germany, when an incredible 2,322 people gathered together to share a delicious Kosher meal and join a successful Guinness World Records title attempt.
In Jewish households the Shabbat Friday night dinner is the main meal of the week and is celebrated all over the world.
This festive event was organised by the president and vice-president of Maccabi, Germany, and was part of the 14th European Maccabi Games – Europe’s biggest Jewish sports event – with more than 30 different nations taking part in both the sport and the feast.
2015 is the first year that the European Maccabi Games has taken place in Germany. Jewish athletes were excluded from the 1936 Olympic Games during World War II, but here thousands of people from all over the world have spread a message of acceptance and inclusivity at this record-breaking event – as an Italian guest said, “We are all distant cousins”.
Each guest was given a numbered bracelet so that the huge number of attendees could be counted, and an official Guinness World Records adjudicator, Mr Pravin Patel, was on hand to verify the attempt.
There was an excited atmosphere as many different Jewish traditions were carried out, such as blessings and the breaking of bread, and later singing and dancing.
Shneur Volfman, a rabbinical student at the Shabbat dinner, said, “It was a beautiful scene. Some people were celebrating Shabbat for the very first time and others had celebrated for every week of their lives, but everyone was talking, laughing, sharing and singing.”
The huge dinner impressively broke the previous record of 2,226 people which was achieved by White City Shabbat (Israel) in Tel Aviv, Israel, a year ago.