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Letting G-d In

June 2, 2009

I was so excited to have four followers I almost fell off my chair. I love writing Midrash and I felt that I did not do my best this Friday, but sometimes life intrudes. My dad, who is kind of losing it and lives with us now, decided to cook for me. It was a simple dinner, but it takes him a long time. I really wanted to go to Temple Friday, but I couldn’t leave and dinner wasn’t ready. And so we celebrated the Sabbath the way Jews always did before there was Friday Temple. Around our dinner table, candles lit, a little bread and wine; in our case Matzo and grape juice because I hadn’t prepared for this. My son’s very teenage friends sat in. They had started asking questions about Judaism. My son seemed a little embarrassed by this. When I explained the Shabbat rituals one of them piped up and said “can we light the candles” (he was a little upset when I told him he couldn’t light them, that was my job as the woman and mother). I am sorry to say we have always been pretty faithful about the candles but as our son is home less and less and we are pulled every which way, we have slacked off. It was lovely to settle into the familiar ritual, I forget sometimes how much pleasure it gives me. Even the embarrassed teenaged son raised his glass and led us in the prayer for the wine, long his part. I am not the old fashioned Jewish mama. I am a career woman. On Fridays my home is not gleaming and there is no special dinner cooked. Often the best I can manage is a pizza. But in the sacred candlelight nobody can see the dust in the corners and nobody cares what we eat. For that brief hour, we invited G-d into our home to sit with us at the dinner table and share what we believe with children who have no spiritual life. Perhaps that will one day inspire them to invite G-d into their own lives. My son will be gone so soon, I hope he will remember the shabbat lights and all the Friday nights, I hope he will honor them in his own home, will seek and find them as he travels the road from our home to his.

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