Rebecca Ann Sasdlk;jfa (again, not her last name; we are just avoiding her dad getting a Google Alert) is going through a conversion to Orthodox Judaism.
Rebecca's faith and her religious practices are of great interest to me and to the other researchers, and she is always willing and happy to share with us.
Orthodox Jews observe the Jewish Sabbath, or "Shabbat" from sundown on Friday evening to sundown on Saturday evening. During that time, they do not perform tasks that are associated with the construction of the Tabernacle (e.g. starting a fire (using electricity)).
On two occasions, Rebecca has hosted the researchers in her home for Friday night Shabbat dinner. Those two nights have been some of the most fun and fulfilling evenings of my time here in New York so far. She prepares a wonderful meal, and we all eat and have a great time of fellowship, playing games and visiting about the week.
The phrase "Shabbat Shalom" is customary to say as a greeting once Shabbat has come. I usually say it way more frequently than is probably appropriate (the first time I usually say it is on Friday morning, about nine hours before Shabbat. But it's always respectful and in the "spirit of Shabbat."
From all the researchers, we thank you, Rebecca, for inviting us into your home, into your life, and into your faith.