I can’t believe it’s been a week since my last post. And what a week it’s been! I’ll get to that later.
Today is Friday. Jewish people celebrate Shabbat every Friday evening, signifying the start of the seventh day of the week, the day of rest, which goes from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday.
My kids love celebrating Shabbat. They enjoy singing the songs, saying the prayers, and drinking grape juice and eating challah bread with their friends at preschool (William) and at Sunday school (Zachary).
At home, I haven’t been good at keeping up with the tradition of lighting Shabbat candles. A few years ago, I purchased a lovely little candle holder. I used it frequently for a while with Zachary, and then, probably after William was born, I stopped. Having two kids made things crazy, and often times, I wouldn’t remember that I’d wanted to light the candles until it was way too late. Or, until the next day. I would mentally chastise myself and try to remember the next week.
About a week or two ago, there were several terror attacks against Jews. Between France and then Belgium, I felt the need to light the candles and explain to my kids (well – to Zachary – since William isn’t quite old enough yet) that it’s important for us to keep our traditions alive even though there are people out there who don’t like us and want to hurt us.
Just like Judah Maccabee and his small army of Jews didn’t give up when the Greeks destroyed their Temple… they kept Judaism alive. I told Zachary that we would start lighting the candles again at home every Friday, to keep our own traditions alive and to remember those who could no longer light their own Shabbat candles.
I just read this piece by Mayim Bialik, and saw that she told the same thing to her own children. Her article is well worth reading.
As for this crazy week… I’m just looking forward to lighting my Shabbat candles and saying a prayer of thanks that the week is over. After getting Zachary through one of the worst stomach viruses ever and me through one of the most awful sinus infections ever, I’m just glad to say that we are on the mend. Lighting the candles tonight will mean saying goodbye to all the stress from the past week and starting fresh. That’s one thing I really like about Shabbat. I am also thankful that my parents are here; they drove in to help out since we were so sick. I am glad to have extra time with them, too.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Friday to all!