For the first time in forever my baby Ocho is spending the night without me. I'm overwhelmed with nerves. But this isn't really about Ocho, it's about EG and the fact that she wants to celebrate shabbat with her cousins...her Christian cousins. And my wonderful sister in law are going to do it for her.
When EG first asked about shabbat I was a bit out of sorts because this was the first time I've had to tell her that her cousins don't celebrate shabbat like we do. I never really hid this fact, but we are celebrating people who do Easter and Christmas with them and yet it doesn't really come up that they are different. Until now.
So I talked with my sister in law and she said she was happy to share shabbat
with EG. Next I googled 'jewish child celebrating shabbat with non-jewish inlaws'. And nothing...at least nothing good.
I'm amazed at how apparently infrequently families move beyond their comfort zones to make others happy. There were some scary things that people talked about using that search criteria...
So here's to inclusive families. And the fact that shabbat is easy to do at home without much fuss.
Is your child staying somewhere and wants to do shabbat? Here are the easy directions and prayers to send along.
1. Send along at least two candles, though in families with kids I prefer to do one candle per person. That way everyone feels represented and included.
2. Send some challah. This is likely the only thing that someone wouldn't have that they would need. Plus it's nice to send bread anyways... just a lovely hand-made hostess gift.
3. Remove the stress and prep your child. It's so important to have a conversation with the hosts about how the essence of the holiday is enjoyment, relaxation and rest. It shouldn't be something that's hard, it should be fun. By the same token, prep your child. It's likely that you lead shabbat at home and here it will be up to your child to take a larger role. Afditionally it won't be like shabbat at home is, it will be different.
4. Send these easy instructions:
Shabbat at home:
Transliteration: Baruch a-ta Adonoi Elo-hei-nu me-lech. ha-o-lam. a-sher ki-di-sha-nu. bi-mitz-vo-tav. vi-tzi-va-noo. li-had-leek. ner shel Shabbat.
*light candles first then say prayers. It's typical to cover your eyes as well.
Prayer over childrenMay God Bless you and guard you. May the light of God shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the presence of God be with you and give you peace.
*this is usually said while holding your hands on the heads of your children.
Prayer over wine. Baruch Ata Adonoi Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam borei porei hagafen.
*Any wine, or grape juice, will do.
Prayer over challah: Baruch Ata Adonoi Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha olam hamotzi lechem min ha aretz.
*It's tradition to put some salt to remember the temple, and honey for a good sweet shabbat.
Here's to a good shabbat, and a restful one for you and everyone.