Customs
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Britt Jacobson 19: Shabbat

“When my grandma lights shabbat candles she puts a white lace shawl over her head and she lights a candle for each of her children. She has seven children so seven candles for them and she also lights two different candles for each of her two dead parents. She does this every friday before sunset, and any female members in the house will do the blessing with her.”

Context: Britt is an American Jew from Los Angeles California. Her family celebrates Shabbat every Friday night (a tradition in which candles are lighted to commemorate Gods day of rest). This variation of the tradition is not typical, but still integrates the typical practice into the mix. Also, lighting candles is pretty typical for deceased family members, so that part is not surprising. I heard this from her during our Folklore class. I personally think the notion of all the girls lighting candles can be thought of as a sort of bonding experience, in which all the females connect with each other to say a blessing. Also, I think this combines the tradition of Jewish candle lighting on Shabbat and the universal practice of lighting candles for the deceased into one tradition.

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