08 May '17 — Maybe one day, I can attend a weekly ritual
Friday Shabbat. Anytime I hear someone going to one, I'm instantly jealous.
It's such a wonderful idea, a weekly occasion where you have to drop everything and break bread.
During a trip to Venice, my husband and I stayed at a hotel in the Jewish quarter. There was a restaurant a few doors down known for vegetarian kosher.
I went in Friday morning asking to reserve a table. Having passed the restaurant on previous nights and seeing the amount of people, we were convinced that it was worthy of a visit. Unfortunately, Friday is reserved for the Jewish community.
On Friday, early evening, we saw a table for thirty laid out on the walkway overlooking the water. Elegant white table cloth and candle holders were in place. Then, a variety of dishes were laid out. All vegetarian, the colors and scents were mouthwatering.
I regretted not trying the place earlier. It was our last night and we had to find another place for dinner. By the time we got back, the table was brimming full of life. The warm candles flickered across faces engaged in cheerful conversations, everyone seemed to be under the spell of food. There were children scattered in different corners. It felt very cozy and warm, a scene that seemed to only exist in a dream.
I've always wished such a celebration of food was part of my culture--like a mini Thanksgiving that happens every week.
Most likely the event is not as romantic across the world but we were in Venice, in Italy, where the food culture is heightened to extremes. It was the most perfect example of what I was jealous of.
Perhaps there'll be a day when I'll find a way to incorporate this practice into my life.