The Shabbat celebration at preschool is the highlight of my week. Joyfully sharing our traditions with children, singing and learning together, is special, magical. This past Friday we had a double dose, celebrating Spooky Tot Shabbat during the evening hours. We began the tradition of Spooky Tot Shabbat two years ago at Temple Emanu-El and I was so grateful to Rabbi Spike for letting us do it.
Halloween has always been one of those holidays that was secreted away, not allowed at the synagogue. It is not a Jewish holiday, some say it is even pagan in origin, and yet in all my years of Jewish education, I have yet to meet a family who does not engage in the modern Halloween traditions. Costumes, candy, and jack-o-lanterns!
In the month leading up to Halloween, school playground and lunch table conversations are buzzing with one primary subject: costumes. “I’m going to be Buzz Lightyear!” “I’m going to be Elsa!” “I’m going to be Batman!” “I’m going to be a Police Officer!” On Halloween, Facebook and Instagram are flooded with the most adorable pictures of children, Jewish children, out trick or treating. And the day after Halloween those same children are a little sleepy at school and super excited for the small treat they know is in their lunch box.
So why not marry Halloween and Shabbat? Combine the joy of our Shabbat celebration with the fun of dressing up in costume. In doing so we acknowledge the importance of our Shabbat tradition and that we are all celebrating Halloween and the joy in both.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Halloween!