I am not Jewish. At least not in this life. In writing my second book, I am including a chapter in which the main characters celebrate the Friday ritual of Shabbat. Shabbat is the Friday night ritual performed either in Synagogue, in a larger community, or at home beginning with the lighting of the candles at least 18 minutes before sunset in preparation for a day of rest and observance.
Preparing to write a chapter specific to Shabbat can only be undertaken after much reading on my part regarding the history of Shabbat and how it is to be conducted. There is much on-line information of course but much of what is written is over my gentile head. I find myself looking for simpler, step-by-step explanations. A flow chart would be helpful.
That being said, it was exciting to find the website Judaism 101.com. There the liturgies of holy days and rituals can be found in both Hebrew and English. The writer(s) provide step-by-step instructions as well as explanations and Biblical references pertaining to each section of the services. It has been a great help to me both as a writer and a person interested in the culture and religion of Judaism.
You Tube as well is instructive as there I can view videos of families and communities observing Shabbat. Meeting with friends, such as the lovely Orly Ziv-Maxim, and listening to their personal stories of celebrating Jewish rituals such as Shabbat is helpful, enlightening and deeply moving. I now hope to visit with more women of the Jewish faith as well as attending Synagogue on the Sabbath and there experiencing first-hand this beautiful ritual of remembrance. And hopefully I can then capture through my writing, the beauty and eloquence of Shabbat.