Terry, our son Nate, and I moved to Calgary from Toronto about a year ago. We knew that because we were moving to a smaller Jewish community, we would have to more actively seek out Jewish opportunities and connections. When I heard about the opportunity to host a mini-gathering sponsored by PJ library, I immediately thought of Havdallah.
Nate is 2 years old. Friday nights are always a little rushed for any kind of Shabbat celebrations and on Saturdays we are always looking for something for both adults and kids to enjoy. Days are short in the Calgary winter, so what better way to bring a little light into our home than with Havdallah?
We invited three other families. Each had a baby and a toddler and were equally as happy to have something kid-friendly to do on a Saturday evening. We ordered in a meal, printed off kid and adult versions of a Havdallah service, dusted off the Havdallah set (courtesy of my bat mitzvah), and enjoyed an evening of song, play, conversation, warmth, and light.
The next day, the emails flew around as we congratulated ourselves on an evening well-enjoyed, and someone suggested we make it a monthly tradition. Since then, we have had a Purim-themed Havdallah hosted at one of the other family’s homes, where a bumble bee and a giraffe were amongst those wishing everyone a shavua tov [good week]. Our next gathering is scheduled and much anticipated by the kids who now see the braided candle come out and start a round of “lai lai lai lai” to say good-bye to Shabbat and usher in a new week.Thanks PJ Library for helping us build our community!
JANA ZALMANOWITZ, PJ LIBRARY PARENT