North Shore Temple Emanuel
a Progressive Jewish Congregation
I observe Shabbat every Friday night. Well, kind of. I mean, I try to. I’d like to. But with four kids and all the summery stuff we try to pack into three short months, it can get pretty tricky for a busy, modestly observant family like mine.
You have to love that our most ancient ritual, Shabbat, starts with a most contemporary aesthetic: dining by candlelight. In Jewish tradition, lighting candles at sunset on Friday is the last act of the workweek, the literal spark that carries us into Shabbat.
Shabbat is the greatest parenting tool. It’s a day of connection, 25 hours of media blackout that can help create a radiant home with deep, unbreakable relationships. The Shabbat table can become a highlight of a family’s week, but it requires preparation and strategy. Having the forethought to create an inspiring and stimulating Shabbat table takes work, but it’s worth it. There are few opportunities more conducive to reaching our children and transmitting our values.
Here are some nifty ideas I’ve collected for creating an exciting, kid-friendly Shabbat meal.
Relay races (pair older kids with younger). A candy in a spoon or wheel barrow or leapfrog can work without too many supplies.
Apples to Apples Junior (this is always a BIG hit)
Human Checkers (for this all you need is 2 different color sheets of construction or copy paper and lay it out on the floor
The following rules apply to any year on which Tisha B’Av is observed on Sunday—whether it originally fell on Sunday, or whether it fell on Shabbat and the fast was postponed until Saturday night.
On Shabbat, all public displays of mourning are strictly prohibited. On this day we eat, drink and rejoice as is customary—and even more so.