This is my post for Preparation Day Link up #2. Click here to join us.
There are a lot of traditions regarding Sabbath and how one should prepare for it. Traditions are not necessarily all bad, but we need to be careful in how we approach them.
For instance, Sabbath traditions would be lighting two candles, making challah, having a challah cover, using a pure white tablecloth, making cholent so you have food for the next day, saying the traditional prayers. (Cholent is a type of stew that uses beans and meat and served on Shabbat afternoon).
I know we have people fairly new to keeping Shabbat and I want to say that you do not need nor have to do any of these traditions. Do them if you like, but you do not have to. And we should not feel guilty or let others make us feel guilty because of which traditions we follow and which we don’t.
I do light candles because I like it, but it is not a command. My challah cover is a flour sack towel that has designs on it. I have never used an all white tablecloth…sometimes I don’t use one at all. Other times I use place mats, or a table runner, or leave the table bare. Whatever floats my boat or what I have time for that day.
In the summer I don’t bake challah or anything else in the oven for that matter-it’s too hot. That’s what the bread machine and slow cooker are for!
I do not get special Shabbat candles, nor do I care if they burn for one hour after lighting. I use what I have on hand whether it be tapers or votives or tea lights. The point is this-do not let the fact that you may or may not have all the accouterments tradition says you need. If you want some of those things, great…if not great. Do what you want to make Shabbat for you.
Usually my Shabbat meal is lasagna-becuase it is quick and my blessing likes it. Works for me! It is supposed to be a joy for us-that means all of us, women included. Tradition should never carry the same weight as “Thus the Lord said” even though many people treat it that way. Don’t let that stop you from doing, preparing, enjoying Shabbat.