Wednesday, July 22, 2009
i didn't follow much blogging for the last week, and missed out on the 7:45 pm photo sessions over the weekend. but i'm not going to miss another corner view.
so i am using these - 7:45 pm (or pretty close), thursday a couple of weeks back. the kabbalat shabbat, which means "receiving the shabbat". most kindergartens in israel do a kabbalat shabbat with the kids on friday mornings. two of the kids are chosen as ima and abba shabbat (mom and dad) and will bring the challa bread. then they do the traditional prayer, light candles, drink the kiddush wine, and pass a piece of bread out to each child, everything followed by singing and dancing.
sometimes my boys play kabbalat shabbat at home. sitting with kippas doing the whole thing. i think it's adorable.
israel is a very polarized country when it comes to religion. there is an unfortunate mix of religion and state. you cannot marry civil here. it must be religious - either jewish, muslim or christian. or you'll have to go abroad. like we did. and the common interest in what religion you belong to is overwhelming for someone who grew up in an extremely secular country like denmark. where, if you are religious, you most likely keep it to yourself, and it's considered a private matter.
i was not baptized, but i grew up with christian culture and traditions. religion has mainly been like a cultural phenomena to me. like visiting amazing catholic churches in sourthern europe. or experiencing a buddhist prayer in thailand. and here in israel there are the most sacred historical and religious sites. there's just something about walking down via dolorosa in jerusalem for example - even for a non-religious person.
many secular jews in israel are very anti religion. probably because it's being imposed on them against their will. like no public transportation on shabbat. or very investigative questioning into intimate details of their life when they apply for marriage in israel (which is through the orthodox rabbinut only). just to mention a few. some end up despising the religious people. others are absolutely relaxed about religion, but would still feel very bad - for historical reasons - if they were to celebrate christmas (where they would have no problem participating in a buddhist celebration, for example). and then there are all those who are not considering themselves religious, but still don't eat seafood, bacon or mix meat and milk. because it just doesn't seem right to them. and there are quite a few who never practice judaism except for one day a year, when they participate in the yom kippur fast.
so, beyond being partly responsible for the mess and insanity going on in the middle east, religion is also a very present issue among all the jews living in israel. it's present in the public institutions as well as in many of the private choices and considerations most people make on a daily basis. and it is present in my childrens play at home.
we're not religious. not keeping kosher or keeping shabbat. we do appreciate traditions, though. so these boys are celebrating easter and pesach, rosh hashana and new year, chanukka and christmas. like last year, where we had chanukka candles, chritmas tree, kippas and santa's hat - all in one merry mess:
more 7:45 pm corner views: