On May 23rd, blogger HomeShuling tagged me for her meme: a word I had to look up and still don’t know what it means. Basically, HomeShuling sent six Shabbat-related questions out to several Jewish Mom Bloggers and the world at large, with a view to the construction of a virtual Shabbat. To me, the method constitutes an online chain letter, which I normally shun (having been raised to think they are always suspect) but this time happily answered. No secret agenda here, just community.
My answers are below. Feel free to add your own in a comment. They really are good questions, and I’d love to know the answers from many a mom.
1. Challah – home baked or bought?
“Challah is taken” here in Nashville, but the bakeries churn out loaves lacking that certain Jewish something. We actually have one certified kosher challah source, but I never remember to get over to the Ortho shul in time to nab one. So we bake. If I run out of frozen extras, I bake cornbread in an iron skillet (and pretend it qualifies for a motzi).….
2. Favorite shabbat meal:
Fried chicken, mashed potatoes (not whipped), overcooked spinach, fresh Bradley tomato slices, iced tea.
3. Any creative shabbat rituals?
We sing the kiddush super loud and bang on the table during the latter part. Having dinner together is the real ritual, as it doesn’t happen every day. We wear our special kippot and use the kid-generated challah covers (on a rotating schedule).
4. Shul? With or without the kids? (yes, I know some of you are rabbis)
Never on Fridays unless there is a special kid service. On Saturdays we go if one of us is reading Torah or if we are feeling particularly guilty about the Toddler missing shul. He loves synagogue and would go all day every day. I am allergic to sermons.
5. Traditionally shomer shabbat? If not, what’s your definition/style?
Our style is always changing, but our ideal is a proper Shabbes dinner, sticking with the family and keeping the computer OFF for 24 hrs.
6. Favorite shabbat story/book
Friday nights get Shalom Aleichem (the song, not the pseudonym) and Jewish books….even holiday books half a year off schedule. I would LOVE to have a toddler-friendly Shabbat book. A real story. Like Mrs. Moskowitz (by Amy Schwartz), but for shorter attention spans. As it is, we make do with things like DK’s My First Shabbat Book, the old See Smell and Touch Shabbat (so old it no longer smells), and the aforementioned holiday books.