My favorite ritual is…simple, having dinner together as a family and especially on Friday nights was something my ex and I started when we got married.
Friday night Shabbat dinner is sacred in Judaism. Our family went from three to six between 2006-10. Fifteen months after our two younger were born my ex got sick. As a result of the illness, she became paralyzed. She spent seven months in the hospital. She moved in with her sister who prevented us from being a family.
Friday nights were special as we lit the candles, ate challah and gave the kids juice and often sparking juice.
For 40 months we had a family of three. When my ex and I took our son out for dinner she dubbed it a tri-date. We had rituals and traditions we were starting out and they continued when she got sick.
I tried to carry on what she would have wanted while she was hospitalized. I continued Shabbat, took the kids to temple and thought of her almost every minute of the day.
I even fed the kids how she’d want me to. She wanted limited hydrogenated oils in our kids diets as much as possible. I continued that.
Her family constantly eats fast food does everything her sister tells her. Now since they are living there the don’t eat healthy.
Rituals have seemed to fallen by the wayside with each subsequent generation. Activities and extracurriculars have become more important as society grows. Hopefully, we will be able to find a balance between tolerance and our roots and rituals.