Thursday, October 1, 2009

Candle Lighting

I realize that this candle lighting business is pretty standard around these parts, but it certainly wasn't the norm where I come from... I understand it as some kind of tribute or thanks to the special people in the Bar/Bat Mitzvah kid's life. Is that it? Is it something that the B/BM looks forward to? What about those called up to light the candles? What about all of the other guests who aren't called up? Is it something that some people choose to eliminate from the festivities? I suppose we could go either way with this; it would be fun to create some kind of personalized keepsake decoration for the candle lighting. It certainly has a lot of potential for humor too, but I wonder if it's something that people in general don't look forward to because it's too lengthy, too boring, and/or too exclusive.

6 comments:

Mare said...

First off, as a catholic, let me say I'm relieved to read that we're not the only ones who have differences in our "procedures" based on where you live. Secondly, I went to only 1 bat mitzvah in my life a few years ago. It was @ 2 hours long and I was fascinated and impressed the whole way through. Just the history alone was impressive. (We catholics go no where near that detail, and it's refreshing to see.) I say plan it out as you and your family practice your faith. If that includes a longer candle "ceremony", then so be it.

ZeidmanZoo said...

Thanks SO much Mare! I think that this blog will be one of the more special parts of this whole journey!!! I'm so glad you're already part of it, even if it's just because you're procrastinating writing that research paper!!! =D The candle lighting ceremony is under debate in my mind because it's not part of the child's religious experience; it's part of the reception or party afterward. I don't think it has anything at all to do with the child becoming a B/BM, but I could be wrong about that... Thanks again!

Nancy Robins said...

Hi, Joanne,
This is great! Wish I had done it. I've had 2 B'nai Mitzvot, and one long and one short candlelighting. I think that it depends on your child's comfort level with standing up there and reading poems or giving speeches that determines what works. Some kids love it, others skip it and what works for you is what you "should" do. I personally love the cute, 4 sentence poems that people have come up with, and the band/DJ plays music that's fitting..."New York, New York" for that contigent of relatives, "Carolina on my Mind", etc. Also, if you need a good photographer, let me know!

ZeidmanZoo said...

Thanks Nancy! By all means, please do share your photographer's info!

Rob said...

I always thought that the candlelighting was part of the service itself, as part of the Sabbath?My memory's hazy on that.
If at the party afterwards, the tradition, I think, is to honor the generations prior to Marlena. That would be Nanny, if she's able to go, and your mother and father, as the grandparents. That's it.

ZeidmanZoo said...

Here's a pretty complete run down:

http://www.jewishcelebrations.com/mitzvah/Conservative/Candles.htm