Tonight many of our friends will be celebrating Shabbat using special Shabbat bags they've brought home from school. The bags come equipped with two mini challot, grape juice, a kiddush cup, candle sticks, candles, a story book, and reflection pages. Before the end of the year, each child will get a chance to bring the Shabbat bag home.
In thinking about what we hope each family will take away from this experience, I could only think of the 'family prayer' we say at my house every Friday night:
We thank You, God, for enabling us to welcome this Shabbat day together.
We are grateful for the happiness of our home and for our caring and loving family.
We are thankful for the blessings of the past week: for life and health, for laughter and friendship; for the opportunity to work, to learn, and to grow.
Where these have been lacking, may the coming week be better.
We pray that the peacefulness of Shabbat will refresh and inspire us so that the week ahead will be one of blessing and accomplishment for each of us. (Emphasis added at my house!)
(from Siddur Sim Shalom)
I was so excited to hear about this tradition when I first started working here this year. What a lovely way for the children to bring home what they've been learning at school, and what a lovely way for families to share a meal together. Whatever your family's faith tradition or level of observance, we hope you find this tradition as meaningful as we do. Shabbat Shalom!