Shabbat Shalom
Acharei Mot/K'doshim |12 Iyar 5775
This Shabbat, Inez Okrent shares 
Shabbat Sleepovers

My Shabbat story begins sometime in the summer of 1971. Our daughter, Arika, had just been weaned, and we thought it would be fun if she slept over at my mother's house one Friday night. When we picked her up the following morning, both she and my mother were smiling, so we decided this was definitely a win-win situation. By the summer of 1978, all three of our children were sleeping at grandma's almost every Friday night. My mother was observant, so lighting and blessing the candles was always part of their stay. She did not, however, object if the kids wanted to turn on the TV. So this particular Shabbat ritual came to include episodes of The Dukes of Hazard and Tom and Jerry along with candles and blessings. The sleepovers continued until the kids were well into high school.


Fast forward to the summer of 2014:  Arika, along with her husband and two children, moved back to Chicago after eight years in Philadelphia. We unanimously decided that reinstituting Shabbat sleepovers would be a good thing. Hours before the first one was to begin, I came out of the Whole Foods in downtown Evanston and was greeted by two young boys dressed all in black, standing in front of a "Mitzvah Mobile."


"Excuse me miss," one of them asked, "Are you Jewish?"


"Yes I am," I answered.  He then handed me two little candles and asked me to light them that evening. I did, and I have continued to do so ever since. Now I use my own grandmother's candlesticks, which seems to make the whole experience even a little sweeter. When I say the prayer as my grandchildren light the candles, six year old Louisa asks, "Why are you singing that funny song?" I know that if I stopped doing it, she would ask "Grandma, why AREN'T you singing that funny song?"  Rituals are like that - easy to get used to. Lighting candles on Friday night is easy and sweet and deep.

Shabbat Shalom.


Inez and Larry Okrent have been members of Beth Emet since 1980.  Inez was an art teacher in Evanston for 20 years and has been a docent at the Art Institute for the past 12 years.

Each Friday during 5775, we are featuring writings from you, our congregants, sharing reflections on Shabbat. We hope you will be inspired to share your reflections with the community. If you are interested in contributing to this project, please contact Stacey Zisook Robinson
This Shabbat at Beth Emet

Friday, May 1
6:30 p.m. (5:45 p.m.  Reception)
FIAT Shabbat Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act with Services and Shabbat Dinner in the Sanctuary including a D'var Torah by Martha Holstein.
Saturday, April 25
9:30 a.m.  Kahal in the Weiner Room with Torah Reader Stacey Robinson and Torah Discussion Leader Nisan Chavkin, followed by a vegetarian potluck lunch 

:30 a.m.  
Shabbat Minyan in Room 208 
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