When the Sabbath is treated as a weekend (with or without synagogue attendance), it feels like the secular weekend: too long, too boring, and too frequent.
When the Sabbath is not distinguished from the weekdays — set apart as a special time with a special mindset — it is meaningless.
If we view the Sabbath candles as decorations, they will be superfluous.
If we light the candles in an effort to welcome holiness, however, they will give off a special radiance.
If we call up some friends to arrange the next golf outing, we will have just another weekend
If we can connect our shared conversation at our Sabbath table with holiness, however, we will experience oneg, the delight that our tradition extols.
If we overload our day with too much food or too much empty chit-chat, we will gain nothing.
But if we accept God’s invitation to share His day with Him and allow a bit of the world-to-come to waft into our world, we will treasure life with a feeling of wholeness and contentment.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From an essay, "The Sabbath," Oct 15, 2002