Saturday, March 01, 2003

between rehashings and fallout from tuesday's seminar drama and other unforeseen events, i didn't get the clean break from discussing judaism/israel that i expected. which is not to say it was all bad. maybe it makes more sense that it lasted a week, that it was a theme for a week even. now it's done.
last night eliz and stef invited a group over (including danny who made post-its appear in fairy godmother style) to their apartment for majority-goyish shabbes. cheerfully adorably domestic, they proferred hummus and drinks ("coke or water?"), let us lounge and watch lock, stock. the only difficult point came at the celebration. expectantly, everyone looked my way. at the end of a different week, blessing unkosher candles might not have made me so uncomfortable: but i couldn't do it. before it could become too awkward, we moved on, one hostess blessing the kosher, lovely challah that the two of them had made by hand. although it was huge, it circled the group again and again until nothing remained.

i could have probably been chiller about the candles thing also if i hadn't grown up taking shabbes seriously. friday nights are a ritual unto themselves in my family. either we join my grandparents at their apartment or they join us. i set everything up in the dining room, leaving the blinds open. hebrew from start to finish, sung, standing. my mother hovers over tarnished candlesticks. someone prays and we drink manischewitz from old silver cups. my grandfather blesses his homemade challah and distributes it. salt, and it's over. one by one we kiss each other, murmuring good shabbes.

it's -- it's, what can i say, tradition. facing squat encased candles from pier one, i had no confidence that i'd remember the words.

on a lighter but also religious note, this is wonderful:
The altered ruling will take effect in the nine western states of the 9th Circuit on March 10 unless opponents win a court order blocking it. It would ban teacher-led recitation of the pledge by 9.6 million schoolchildren in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

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