Shabbat

Matzot and shabbes candlelights

Shabbat, Shabbos – a Danish idiom says, that a “child who is dear to you, has many names”.

Anyway, Shabbat (the Hebrew term) or Shabbos (Yiddish) is a day of rest and reconnecting with family and friends.

To observant Jews Shabbat marks that after God created the world in 6 days, this 7th day is prohibiting doing mundane things (like cleaning your house, doing garden work etc.) while obligating us to do certain things (such as saying Kiddush – a prayer over wine) and lighting Shabbat candles.

This weekly reminder is perhaps more than anything central to Jewish culture and remains to play an important role – even today.

Personally, perhaps Shabbat (whether you are observant or not) more than anything plays a very important role in our now “almost always online” life.

To me this is a precious day, where you can relax, go to the synagogue and “download” the past week’s events, if you like, not work – turn of your computer, reconnect with family and friends, eat good food and just enjoy the world as it is. As simple as that.

Preparations for Shabbat often starts Friday afternoon, baking Challah and preparing for the Shabbat meal Friday evening – and sometimes also for Saturday, where pre-cooked, reheated food can add to the joy.

One of our reoccurring talks (especially when we have non-Jewish guests over for dinner) at the Shabbat dinner is the question, we ask every guest at the table – “tell us, what you enjoyed most about the week, that just went by?”. It involves everybody and creates a feeling of “Shabbat is for all”. That matters more than the servings at the table, however tasteful they are.

Tomato, squash and walnut soup

Tomato, squash and walnut soup

Some people say you have to be born in Scandinavia to able to survive here during the dark winter months. I disagree. Although I am born here, I will never get used to this crazy climate. Perhaps my DNA has it’s own explanation for that…. (some of my ancestors would probably agree). Anyway, a way not […]

Etrog - a Lemon of it's own

Etrog – a Lemon of it’s own

  Ever heard of an Etrog? Maybe as a part of the Sukkot ritual? Well, the Etrog is rare in Scandinavia, that is true. However if you have good connections to Israel – or to your greengrocer he or she will most likely be able to get it for you. The Etrog is excellent in marmelade […]

All you need is…… Challah

All you need is…… Challah

One of the last things immigrants leave behind is their eating habit. Being a former “immigrant” in both Nepal and in the United States, good bread has become nothing less than a domestic obsession to me. I bake. Almost no matter where I am on the globe and I love it. Challah is often difficult to get, but […]

Flowers is nature laughing

Flowers is nature laughing

Poetic, isn’t it? Or at worst a text you will find carved into a “stone” in the kind of store filled with things for costumers, that have everything, but still need to get their shop-fix. Anyway, lavender is a flower, which can make me daydream about summer days in France or just “inhale” the smell before crushing […]

Let’s break some bread – sourdough if possible

Let’s break some bread – sourdough if possible

  In many cultures sharing a good meal is the beginning of a friendly welcoming ceremony. Breaking bread is a “let’s have peace and share some bread” gesture. I would like to add – please let it be…. sourdough bread. Don’t get me wrong, making and eating bread might seem like a peaceful act, but in […]