Sunday, October 10, 2010

Combine a Kibbutz Rosh Chodesh Custom with Shabbat Rosh Chodesh and You have the Makings of a Wonderful Kaballat Shabbat

A good friend of mine used to live on Kibbutz Sa’ad – a B’nei Akiva kibbutz located in Israel’s southern region. Sitting next to her in synagogue yesterday on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, I asked her if the kibbutz had any special Rosh Chodesh customs. She longingly licked her lips, remembering the yummy fresh rolls given to each kibbutz member for the Rosh Chodesh meal. My mind immediately began to hyper wander. First to my Rosh Chodesh post last year, where I mentioned that in days of yore Rosh Chodesh was celebrated through a delicious feast. Then I thought of the numerous specialty rolls sold on today’s market – seven-grain, plain, seeded, tomato herb, onion, marble and so much more, each topped with an equal amount of unusual seeds and grains. Many rolls are even braided. Finally, I started thinking about Kabbalat Shabbat and how to integrate this custom into the classroom. The answer came on Motzei Shabbat when I Googled Rosh Chodesh, only to discover that in many Sephardic communities there is a custom for women to light candles without a blessing. “There it is,” I said to myself. Combine the Kibbutz custom of a mouth-watering roll with the Sephardi candle lighting custom and you have the ingredients for a wonderful classroom Kabbalat Shabbat Rosh Chodesh. After all, the next Shabbat Rosh Chodesh is only four months away. Adar Aleph (this is a Jewish Leap Year, with two months of Adar) starts on February 5th – another Shabbat Rosh Chodesh. Add some hot chocolate for the winter weather and you’ll be set.
Chodesh Tov…Tami

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