MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Now, tradition definitely comes into play when you're talking about faith. I mean, people of different faiths have sorts of customs and rituals they observe. For Jewish families one of these traditions is welcoming Shabbat or the Sabbath each Friday night by lighting the Shabbat candles. But what happens when families can't be together in person to usher in the Sabbath? Well, the family we're about to meet faced that very predicament when their children began heading off to college and traveling overseas. And as members of the family shared with Rebecca Blatt, they've found a way to use 21st century technology to keep ancient traditions alive.
MS. ANN SABLOSKY
I'm Ann Sablosky and you're at the Sablosky/Rockower household. And soon we will Skype with Paul, who's in Tajikistan, I think, and Ellen, who's in Seattle and Harry, who's in Charleston, S.C., so that we can say the prayers as a family.
MR. STEPHEN ROCKOWER
I'm Steve Rockower. I'm the father of the family. It's a way of keeping the family together and keeping the traditions alive of Judaism. It's one of the things that we're supposed to do, is to remember the Sabbath and bring it in and have the family together during the Sabbath.
MR. NORMAN SABLOSKY
I'm Norman Sablosky. Ann is my daughter. I think it's marvelous to talk to them, as well as see them.
Let's go to Skype. Ellen is there. Hello?
MS. ELLEN ROCKOWER
Hi. How you doing, sweetie pie?
Good. How are you? All right. Paul, are you there?
MR. PAUL ROCKOWER
I'm here. I'm in Kazakhstan. I'm in…
…Astana. I’m in…
Once we get everybody on the phone or on Skype, there are a number of traditions that we follow to welcome in the Jewish Sabbath. The first is that we light the candles and say a prayer over the candles.
And then we take a glass of wine and say a prayer over the wine.
And then we say a prayer over the bread, called a HaMotzi.
There's a traditional blessing for the children that has been handed down for years and years and years. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord shine his countenance upon you, be gracious unto you and grant you peace.
We belong to a synagogue called Temple Micah. And one of the real hallmarks of Temple Micah is making Judaism and our traditions meaningful for us as American Jews in the 21st century. And this is just another way that we do something as part of our community that does that.
There are a times when somebody is traveling and literally in a car. So he'll eat a cracker just to have, you know, be part of it.
It may just be for a few minutes and then everybody goes about their business, but we have this very special time with our family every Friday night and we all really cherish it.
Bye, love you guys.
Love you, too.
Love you, love you, too. Bye-bye.
This story was produced by Rebecca Blatt and came to us through the Public Insight Network or PIN. It's a way for people to share their stories with us and for us to reach out for input on topics we're covering. To learn more about the Network or to join, go to metroconnection.org/pin. Oh, and while you're on our website, we have this really cool slide show featuring all sorts of photos, along with Washingtonians waxing quite eloquently about their personal traditions. So check it out.
Time for a break, but when we get back, the return of our series D.C. Gigs and a guy who works one of the most traditional gigs there is.
MR. JOE ALONSO
That's the second oldest profession, you know. You know what the first oldest was.
That and more in a minute on "Metro Connection," here on WAMU 88.5.
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