Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Shabbat Meal and Time Together

Rebekah continued, “Typically the father says a blessing over his children at this point. He would say something like this to his son”, as Rebekah looked at Heinrich. ‘Y’simchah Elochim ke’Ephrieim v’chiMenasheh. God make you as Ephraim and Mannaseh. And for the daughters (she now looked at Sarah): Y’simaech Elocheem k’Sarah Rivkah Rechael v’Lea-ah. God make you as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah. You could say that God has already made you like Sarah.”  She smiled at this little bit of humor.“

“There is a blessing for the Shabbat as well, “Baruch Atah  Adonay  Eleoheinu  Melech  ha-olam, asher bidvaro ma’areev ‘araveem. Amen.
Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who at your Word brings on the evenings.”

Freyda rose, picked up a wine bottle and prayed: “Baruch atah  Adonay  Eloheinu  Melech ha-olam, borey p’ree ha-gafen. Amen.
Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. Amen.”

Rebekah said, “We are now going to wash our hands. Baruch attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam asher kiddeshanu bemitvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments and has commanded us about washing our hands. 

Now we say a blessing for the Challah bread”, as Freyda removed the covering over two loaves. Heinrich noted the braiding on the bread and its golden color. She continued, “Baruch atah Adonay Eleoheinu Melech ha-olam, ha-motzi l’chem min ha’eretz. Amen. Blessed are thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. Amen. When we break the bread we will do so without cutting it with a knife.”

“Next comes the Shema; let’s all repeat this together. Shema Yisrael,(Shema Yisrael) Adonay Eloheinu, Adonay echad (Adonay Eloheinu, Adonay echad) It means: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. 

Finally we pray for the meal. Baruch atah Adonay Eleoheinu Melech ha-olam, borae meenay mazonot. Amen.
Blessed are thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of all kinds of foods. Amen.”

And so the meal began. It included some food from last night, but a few new things as well. It was tasty and enjoyable with some pleasant small talk. When it was over Rebekah said, “It is customary to pray after the meal as well, so I will say one more prayer, ‘Father, thank you for this special time together, not only today, but all week. Thank you too for this time of rest and may our lives have your shalom as well. Amen’ 

There was a little cleanup but not so much as to call it work. Freyda whispered something to Sarah and she stayed with her in the kitchen while Rebekah and Heinrich went into the living room. Heinrich tended to the fire as he thought about what he wanted to say with this window of privacy that his mother had given him. 

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