to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jewish 101

We were invited  to participate in celebrating the third night of Chanukkah with Greg who figures he's one of very few Jews in this part of our country. We were thrilled that he invited us over as we don't even really know him. But he was excited to find out that we know and are respectful of things about Jews because when our daughter Rauchelle was invited to his place one Friday for a bbq and a ceildh (celtic social usually with music with/without dancing) she presented him with a loaf of fresh challah I had baked especially for him. So that birthed an excitement in him to get together with us. Thus, the invite for Chanukkah.

Who's Who?

L to R: Dawn (Greg's girlfriend), Greg (the host), Robin (Dawn's sister)

Rich (aka Richard, dh of Robin)

Ingrid (& dh Gordon, not pictured) knows all about James Harriet, & Danaka and her had a wonderful visit! And beside her is Ken (Dawn's dad).

And Marilyn (Dawn's mom) and Laars, fascinated with the bowl that held a collection of ceramic and wooden dreidels.

Yarmulke vs Kippah

Both words refer to the same object, the yarmulke, er... the kippah you wear on your head. Yarmulke is a Yiddish word. Kippah is Hebrew. Now you know.

Here Gaelyn is quizzing Greg about the thingy on his head. He explains about it symbolizing how Jews try to be mindful and respectful at all times of the presence of God. Wikipedia says:

"Reasons given for wearing a kippah today include:

* Recognition that God is "above" mankind;
* Acceptance of the 613 mitzvot (Torah commandments);
* Identification with the Jewish people;
* Demonstration of the "ministry" of all Jews."

Here Gaelyn gets a chance to try Greg's yarmulke on, and amazingly the colors go with her already busy sweater!

And here's my sunny Everette donning a yarmulke.

Things We Did

Greg told a little Jewish history especially for the children, about the root to the Chanukkah Festival of Lights.  He lit the menorah and recited in Hebrew the blessings  (I love the little I hear of Hebrew) and gave a little 'toast'.

We were treated to latkes that Greg spent the afternoon shredding potatoes to make freshly for us. He served them up with sour cream, apple sauce, and cranberries, along with finger desserts. The latkes were a hit, and the children are asking me to make them at home.

Greg showed the children how to spin the dreidel. (And I learned its pronounced dreydl whereas I've been calling it a drydl.) This is a gambling game played with a square top.  The traditional explanation of this game is that during the time of Antiochus' oppression, those who wanted to study Torah (an illegal activity) would conceal their activity by playing gambling games with a top (a common and legal activity) whenever an official or inspector was within sight. (Judaism 101)

After the children were done gambling away their chocolate coins (Maret got the biggest loot) and they ate too many of them, Mitchell and Rory (Robin & Rich's son) had fun playing with the gold wrappers.

It was such a hit at Greg's that Gaelyn said "When we come back tomorrow....."

But honestly, I think Greg is enjoying his quiet house  with just his 2 cats (and maybe Dawn)!

Question for You:   Do you celebrate Chanukkah, or any of the Feasts of the Lord?


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