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A son asks to go to temple and his mom's religious enthusiasm grows, too

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Melanie Stetson Freeman

(Read caption) A son asked to go to temple after seeing challah bread with his dinner.

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My husband was working late, so my son and I had a thrown-together dinner of leftover pasta, yogurt and carrots. I added one touch, store-bought Challah, to give our table a semblance of Shabbat.

The sight of the braided bread was enough to spark my 4-year-old son’s interest.

“Is the temple open?” Simon said.


“Yes, they’re having a service tonight,” I said, glancing at the clock on the wall. It was 6 p.m. The service on the schedule was at 6:15 p.m.

“Is it a grown-up service?” Simon asked.

“It’s for everybody, but not a Tot Shabbat,” I said.

“Can we go? I want to go to temple,” he said.

Part of me wanted to immediately shake my head no. I was tired. I had just gotten a magazine assignment with a tight deadline. In a few days, I was about to start teaching again part-time at local university. I was not really in a Shabbat service kind of mood. I had barely had the time to buy a challah. A year ago, I sometimes made my own challah.

Braided challah ready for baking


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