Making guests feel comfortable is my primary goal at any dinner party I host. On Shabbat, that can be a little tricky. On top of the typical considerations — things like food allergies and guest compatibility — there is just a lot of stuff that happens during Shabbat dinner that can be confusing to people who have not experienced it before.
Of course, every Shabbat dinner is a little different. Some folks are very traditional and follow all the rules; others, not so much. Meanwhile, each family develops its own customs and special touches. If you are heading to your first Shabbat dinner, don't be afraid to ask questions about what is going on! Your hosts will be thrilled to fill you in. But if you want a little leg up before you go, check out this pocket guide for a crash course in Shabbat dinner 101.