Friday, 18 December 2009

Tradition, Tradition



Boka Tov:
My mother gave Mark and I a piece of advise just after we were married that has bore us well over the pass four and a half years.
Actually, it began with our wedding.
Because Mark and I are Messianic Jews, this meant a Jewish wedding. Since most we knew had never been to a Jewish wedding, and those who have been, but not one with a Sephardic touch, it proved be a bit unerving for quite a few people.
(See our blog, We Made Our Own Huppah)
I'd been married before, so why a big wedding?
A Jewish wedding?
What do you mean your not wearing a garter? Etc.
Our wedding was a clear statement; we set the standard and the traditions in our home.
The next challenge was Thanksgiving. With who's family would we have supper with?
Mark and I decided that what we would do instead was host a Thanksgiving Dinner for the elderly in our congregation. This turns out to be our favorite Thanksgiving yet. Mark's family joined us and the next day we visited my mother.
This led to the discussion about what to do about Christmas. Mark prefers Hanukkah and we agreed that for us, since Christmas was based on pagan celebrations, as Messianic Jews this wasn't kosher for us.
Now note; I said for Mark and I.
But what about the rest of our family who does keep the Day?
We decided that on the 24th and the 26th we would visit family. The 25th was PJ Day. We would louge about in our PJ's and enjoy old movies, play games, cuddle, etc.
We are supporters of World Vision and we give in our families names. I still make cookies and send. And my aim is to make a tapesty for each family for their family celebrations.
Hanukkah.
We spend days scubbing and decorating in white and blue for the Festive of Lights. I finally found blue lights to go with my white ones.  Mark brings home pine branches for that fresh, clean smell only pine can bring. And of course the dancing Dreids I break out the cookie cutters; dreids and jewish soldiers, torahs and menorahs, lions and stars of David, huge hebrew letters that will form almond cookies.
Like all of our Holy Days, we open our home to guest to enjoy and celebrate.
.Each window that faces the street has a menorah set in it. Each night for eight nights, a candle is lit.
The 8th. The house is ablaze with lights and it breaks through the darkness of the night. The air is filled with the scents of latkes fried fish and sweet wine. Apples and almonds. Stories of hanukkahs long ago and the Hanukkah story itself.
And how during on one of these nights, an angel appeared to a jewish teenage girl, just engaged and announced that the Holy One of Isreal had chosen her to be the mother of the Messiah.
Miryiam (Mary) said yes and in her womb was concieved He would was to be called Yeshua HaMessiah, the one our people had waited so long for.
We have celebrated Hanukkah twice with our familes. Because my mum and Mark's dad can no longer manger stairs, we will be looking for a home that would be easier for them to enter and thus have our family over more often.
In the meantime, we visit them.
This year, with Mark in Afghanistan and me getting over the flu, it has been a quiet celebration. I'd lit the candles, eaten my jelly doughnut and tonight, fried fish and latkes.
Mummie was right; we had to find our own tradition as a family. As every family must. But not just for tradition sake, but with reasons behind them. To teach our young ones the truths, values and morals that are important to us.
It is one of the things I love about this time of the year. I love walking through Holiday homes; the ones that are so decked out. And so many of my friend's blogs are decked out as well, giving me a peek into their homes as well.
Next year, G-d will, my house shall be a hanukkah house.
I have a full year to make it happen.
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