Interview with Rabbi Joseph Krakoff
In this interview with Rabbi Joseph Krakoff, Senior Director of the Jewish Hospice Chaplaincy Network, we talk about how to honor your loved ones at a wedding.
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How do you honor loved ones who are no longer with us? weddings are supposed to be happy times, right? But what about the grief you're still going through because you lost a loved one. Maybe a parent, maybe a grandparent? How do you honor those memories during your wedding?
Today on episode number 21 of the book more Jewish weddings podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Rabbi Joseph Krakoff. He is the Senior Director of the Jewish hospice and chaplaincy network in Detroit, and the author of a book, never long enough.
We also talk about how to show your concern and share your grief at a Jewish funeral or a civil visit. And trust me, it's not about sending flowers. As a Catholic farm girl in Minnesota. I certainly never expected to ever be the Jewish party man. But 4400 parties and 26 years later, I am indeed an expert at Jewish parties. I am fiercely committed to helping the best vendors, book more parties in this amazing, lucrative and incredibly loyal Jewish party market. Let's go.
Hello, Rabbi Craig, how are you? I'm so happy to have you on my podcast today. Thanks, Pat. It's always great to be with you. It's great to see you and always great to be in conversation with you. Well, I haven't got to see you much lately because of this crazy pandemic. But I hear you've been doing awesome things. So tell me about what you've been doing lately and helping this community. That's always your effort. Thanks. Well, yeah, no. So So for the last seven years, I've been intensely involved in a different aspect of the Jewish life cycle rituals, and that is end of life care. As part of Jewish hospice and chaplaincy when I'm Senior Director, what I do is I really take care of people from the time of terminal illness. And a lot of what I'm involved in is the final chapter of their lives and the rituals around end of life. But I have also kept my toes in the Jewish celebration world, and I ability to celebrate with families that I've met over the years and that I meet actually THROUGH THROUGH THROUGH what I do now, still officiating at baby namings and
bar mitzvahs, and as well as weddings. And that's really, really fun. It's actually been interesting for me. So a lot of times when I take care of a family at the end of life, and I Iberia grandparents, a lot of times what'll happen is I'll develop a relationship with the grandchildren. And when they get married, they'll reach out to me and say, Hey, would you perform our wedding and it's been very, very special. That's a wonderful thing. And wow, I so envy your patients, I love the part of my world that I get to celebrate people's happy times, and happy times, happy times, happy times, every weekend, you must have a tremendous mindset to change your mind from going from a funeral to a wedding to all those times and not bringing work home with you. Yeah, you know, you do that.
You know, that's always a challenge. You know, I really try the best of my ability to be fully and completely present in that moment with that family, wherever they're at, whether it's a celebration, or whether it's a time of grief and mourning, to really be fully completely at their mind, body soul. But what I have to do, I learned early on in my career in order to be able to go on to the next and fully be with that family is, is leave that the previous family behind in just in the sense of I mean, obviously, depending on the situation, I'm still with them. But in order to be able to be true to the next family. I have to be able to move on there. And it's funny, because I remember some, you know, some days over the course of my 23 years on the robinet, I would have I mean there for funerals and two weddings in a day. Or I had a time when I had four weddings and the two funerals. And you know, baby namings is sort of interspersed. And, you know, I don't want to, I don't want to be unfair to the family that I'm with in that moment. And so I've learned sort of how to shut it down and shut it off, but be authentically and fully there with that family and whatever's going on in their lives. And I love that because as a red coat, lady, our whole goal is to allow the family to be present for their celebration. And so we're very much about being there in the moment and allowing the family to celebrate and not focus on the trivia details of who didn't show up and who did show up and who needs an extra Tara and all that God has never wears their photographer. But so we're on the same page that way. No question. Are you interested? As you know, from your experience that is exceptionally important? Hmm. Well, today's podcast as all my podcasts are dedicated to the Jewish party mavens commitment to
Help vendors understand this Jewish world. So we have a whole bunch of photographers, videographers, caterers who would love to break into this Jewish market, because it's an amazing market. And there's a whole bunch of parties that we all want to be part of. So what's your advice to some vendors who would like to be in this market? Yeah, you know, I think wherever, wherever they are, wherever they live, one of the best things that they could do is get to know the community. I mean, you know, one way is to get to know the clergy in the different temples and synagogues. Because a lot of times, the clergy will say, Hey, I worked with this person, and they were great. They were respectful, and they were thoughtful. So you know, to reach it out, I, I always appreciated what a vendor would would say, Hey, you know, I don't want to take a lot of your time. But if I could come in with you for 15 minutes, I want to introduce myself, I want to just let you know who I am. And what I do. You know that that's always meaningful. You know, in the Jewish community, I'm sure other communities are like this as well. But in the Jewish community, you can publicize things in newspapers, put them online. But the best way to get business, the best way is, as you know this so well, it's person to person, if one person has a great experience, you can bet they're going to talk about it, they're going to talk it up and then the next person because I have to have that Bender, I have to have them because they did such a great job. And I mean, word of mouth is a gold in the Jewish community. I got an email today from someone I've never met, I don't think and she said 12, people told me I need to call you. So I'm calling what do you do? That is how it works. And again, they may do it that way as well. But if somebody has a positive experience, you know, they are not going to be shy, they are going to share it. And and before you know it, like you said people are going to call and they're going to want in and they're going to want that person. And that is definitely have to build a reputation. And with those successes, you actually can build a reputation very quickly.
And I had Dennis Barnard on this podcast, and he talked about the value of getting involved in community activities. And I know some vendors are going to be shy about calling a temple and calling a rabbi or con or synagogue and ask him to meet with the rabbi. So what kind of community activities would you recommend vendors get involved in? Well, you know, I mean, there's, I think, several ways to do that. I mean, some communities, they actually have once to your twice a year, they have these, like community fairs where vendors are able to come in and show and do. And that's nice. Not every committee does that. But I think you know, if, if somebody would be willing, you know, a lot of there's a lot of fundraisers in Jewish communities across the country all the time. So if they wanted to be a sponsor of something, or say, Hey, you know, what, I want to do photography, this event, either at cost, or I'm just going to donate it. And, I mean, people come to that fundraiser and, and see, oh, my God, this photographer is amazing. And they do this, this, I mean, you know, making that sort of upfront investment, even if it's at a little bit of a cost, could pay dividends. You know, there's all kinds of I know, in our community, I mean, there's fundraisers, the whole spring and the whole fall are filled up with fundraisers, and the vendor wants to come forward and say, Hey, let me do this, or let me do that. And, and, you know, they put their best foot forward, that's a great, great way to get involved the community and to sort of make a name for themselves. What kind of activities do temples and synagogues have that a vendor can get involved? Well, you know, you know, back in the day, when I was a congregational rabbi, I mean, we would have like, once a year, we would have like the opening for like a bar mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah season, like in the in the fifth grade, or whatever it is, we have sort of a fare at the very beginning, where we'd invite vendors to come and say, Hey, you know, we're gonna set up a room and people are gonna go around and bring your literature and talk and, and then we turned it into sort of a bar, like a bar mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah meeting, everybody sort of has their own culture and their own sort of approach to that. But I would sort of just, you know, even sometimes even called the Jewish community center or call Jewish Federation, and just say, Hey, is there anything going on that that I can get involved in? Um, you know, sometimes there's wedding fairs also, um, and, you know, once a year, it just really does. Yeah, every organization has a website. Every organization needs good pictures, every organization needs video, every organization needs some marketing people and some help that way. And so I think there's opportunities all around for that. But you work specifically with very difficult times in people's lives. So let's talk about how you handle difficult customers.
I don't mean
I know that you have special skills as a rabbi that you develop to handle difficult customers and I don't mean to imply that we have difficult customers. I think we have the most amazing customers in the world. But right yeah, many
Justin's for that, you know, I sort of come out of the the sort of the tradition of, you know, I'm going to bend over backwards to do everything I possibly can to help someone in a situation in which I'm involved. You know, we have to realize that as exciting as celebrations, our birth of a baby bar, bar, mitzvah, wedding, whatever it is,
they're also stressful. And, and, you know, we think of a lot of times we think of it as, as it's all about celebration. And, you know, it is about celebration, but but there's, there's certainly stress as there isn't anything. But the other thing is, and again, I'm more sensitized with this. Now, in terms of working on the other side of things, the end of life, is, you know, a bar mitzvah grandparent has died recently, right, a wedding where there's an empty spot at the table, that's going to create all kinds of in addition to the happiness, it's also gonna create a sense of sadness, and, you know, people involved in in the celebration, or in the in the event,
need to have sort of an extra sensitivity to the fact that people may be on edge, I mean, less luck, there's all kinds of family dynamics to when you bring families together, we all know, it's not all good. It's not all celebratory, some of the things that, you know, maybe got unreconciled at the Thanksgiving table from last year, you know, sort of find their way in. And so, I think, a tremendous amount of patience and tremendous amount of understanding. Sometimes I would ask, also, when I meet with a family, is there anything I should know, you know, I keep people's confidences I take very seriously. And I think a vendor can do that as well. I mean, not, maybe not in the same way that I would as Rabbi as a counselor. But just so I like to listen, I want this to be the most special moment or the most meaningful moment in your life to, to articulate that and say, Are there things that may get in the way of that? Are there things that I need to know that I can be sensitive to, to make sure maybe even maybe even play interference to a certain extent without crossing the line? So I think getting as much information as you possibly can, not being afraid to ask the hard questions, I mean, even to say, like, has there been a loss and you know, any losses in the family of late that I need to know about I want to be sensitive to that. And I always feel like vendors who take the time to get to know the family and get to know the dynamics are even more successful. And that really brings them from good to great. And I think once you understand people, nobody's difficult anymore, because now you understand where they're coming from. And exactly, it's exactly.
They appreciate it so much that you deal with end of life issues. So how can we bring those recent?
If someone dies? How can we celebrate that at a wedding? What Yeah, you know, that's a great question. I talked to wedding couples all the time about these kinds of things, you know, and it's different for everyone. I mean, for some couples, they, you know, we do it actually, before the ceremony at a Jewish wedding. You know, the, everyone has Africa under the wedding canopy that's usually public. But what happens before the wedding ceremony is in private, and that is the signing of the ketubah, the signing of the marriage documents. It's also a ritual we call the Deccan, where the man places usually the veil over the door, the groom places the veil, over the bride going back to biblical times, when actually Isaac was walking in the field, and Rebecca saw him from a distance and shield herself out of a sense of modesty. But in addition to those two rituals that we do beforehand, often in a boardroom, or our side room, I always say to the to the couple, if anybody has passed away, if there's any parents or grandparents or siblings, there's a memorial prayer that can be offered. And so a lot of times I'll say the memorial prayer there and do it there instead of under the hapa. Because it's very often an emotional moment. And brides and grooms and families don't want to lose it. In that way. Sometimes they lose it anyway because it's it's you know, it's such an emotion felt ceremony, the actual wedding, but they want to remember their loved ones before the ceremony occasionally, a couple of one of the lighter yahrtzeit cancel a memorial candle and have that burning under the Baba. But that I would say in my experience is less frequent. More often, all of the all of the time spent in terms of remembering loved ones is actually done in the pre ceremony, we call it the deca
so I have been involved in many, many, many times where we like the your Thai candle during the production, and then we bring that candle and place it under the hookah on that little table. But as a vendor, is there anything I should know about that candle? Is it bad to take a picture of it? Is it important to take a picture of it? Is it in it? I know I should never blow it out. Right? Right. That's a great question. I think I think it's lovely to take a picture of it quite honestly. And then the family can decide whether or not that's a picture they want to they want to keep but I think to take a picture of it and have it you know you
I'd rather have it than not having a lot of the family decided afterward maybe when they're not right in the emotional moment at the time. You know, sometimes what we'll do is another way to involve people who have passed away specifically and and wedding but also in a bar by Med Spa, we may use a Tallinn a prayer shawl that belonged to the to the person who passed away, or sometimes we may drape it on top of the wedding canopy on top of the hapa.
Or maybe you're so good about explaining all these words, I have a podcast on each of those words. So if you're a regular listener, you know that now
you know, sometimes maybe couples have used flowers that weren't born to the person that passed away, and, you know, maybe line the cup of the canopy with that, um, there's all kinds of different ways to do it. Um, you know, but I encourage families, especially if there's been a loss, not to ignore it, but to make it part of their ceremony, maybe were yamaka, keepa headcovering, that that was theirs, or I think the more we bring in, the more meaningful it is. And I want to feel even if somebody has passed away, and they're no longer in this world, I want couples, I want Bar Mitzvah students to feel their presence. Now, sometimes people will say, Rabbi, that's too much, that's gonna just be it's gonna, it's not gonna, it's gonna backfire. It's just, it's just over overkill for us in terms of what we can handle emotionally. And of course, I always defer to the family. I mean, they know what they can handle.
Usually, I've had in the hope I've had the father's ties us to tie the four corners of the hapa. I've had the grandmothers locket hanging from the branches in the hapa, sometimes all kinds of really awesome ways to bring your family into this. In the Christian world, sometimes you have a memorial table, and you have pictures of people who are no longer with you. But in the Jewish world, it's more common to have a heritage table and have pictures of people alive and those who passed. So you have the bride and groom's picture, and then you have their parents pictures and their grandparents pictures and that heritage table, that legacy table, I think is just such a wonderful thing. And a very cool way to honor those who are there, and who aren't. And so any other suggestions how to bring that into a ceremony? Yeah, you know, I think in you know, in Jewish tradition, I encourage people to to talk about loved ones, a lot of times, it may, it may be mentioned in the ceremony, a lot of times maybe it might be depending on on how old the person was when they died. I mean, in Judaism, we named people after people who have passed away. So sometimes what I'll do is I'll talk about their namesake and who they are. And even if they didn't know them, you know that that this is how we link the generations one to another, by remembering people who have who have passed. In Judaism, we talk about those people, we remember them, we keep them alive in our minds. And who were named after is very, very special. It's interesting. There's actually, in naming in Judaism, there's two different traditions. There's a Ashkenazi tradition, which is Eastern European tradition of naming after somebody who's passed away, there's a Sephardic tradition that more of a sort of Jewish Spanish custom of naming the after somebody who's alive. And when it comes to naming, you know, we believe that the names that we give our our children are very special and very meaningful. And we believe that they actually come in their lifetime to embody the name that they're given the meaning of the name, as well as the as the characteristics and the values of the person that they're, they're named after. But I do encourage whatever point at which there was a loss that we talked about it that we don't hide it, you know, we don't make it the centerpiece of the ceremony, that we don't ignore it either. And is a beautiful, beautiful rabbinic tradition. That goes back to the rabbinic literature of the Talmud. And it says that when we leave this world, and people remember us, and they say our name, that the person who died knows that they're being remembered, and that their lips move gently in the grave. And so this idea of perpetuating memory, it's such a strong Jewish value that we embody. And it's, you know, less than four times a year. Throughout the liturgical year, we have memorial services, we remember people have died. So I think, you know, every SIM card every joyous occasion has its tremendous joy, but it also has its bitter sweetness as well. And by bringing memory of loved ones into it, I really think it enhances the experience. I totally agree. Alright, enough of this. Let's talk about you and what you've been doing. I hear you wrote a book. Thank you. I did I I wrote a book and and and my co author is Dr. Michelle cider, and he did these incredible artists did beautiful illustrations is called never long enough. It's available on Barnes and noble.com and Amazon
dotcom thank you for the opportunity to share that. And really what it is, is it's a statement about greed. It's also a statement about speaking to what we're really talking about here is how people that touch our lives, even when they leave this world, they're still with us. The idea of never long enough is that no matter how long somebody lives, we want them to be with us longer. It's never long enough. I hear a lot of times, people when I'm at a house of mourning a house of Sheva. In Judaism after someone dies, we have seven days of mourning when we actually go, community members go to remember the loved one that go to the homes of the people who have suffered the loss. And in those shivah homes over the course of many years, I've heard things that have have been trying to express
have tried to express a sense of comfort, but they've fallen short. People, I'll hear them say, Well, at least they live to be 80. Well, that may sound nice, but I wanted them to live to be 90 or 95 or 104. Or they'll you know, they'll say other things that that are meaning me well meaning but they they fall short. I'm like they're in a better place. Well, maybe that's true, maybe it's not. But the mourner should be the one to decide. I mean, if I, if I'm the mourner, I think a better place is right here with me, right now, if a mortar says that that's a different story, but I don't ever want to inflict a theology onto someone who's mourning. So this book really is about, you know, the process of grief is is not linear. And it's really about the idea that, you know, when someone dies, we have beautiful memories that we need to embrace and hold on to. And the truth of the matter is, is when somebody dies, there's nothing that we can say, to make them mourn or feel better. There's no brilliant words, there's nothing that we think we're going to say something and they're instantly going to be healed. It just, it doesn't work that way. And it shouldn't work that way, the best thing we can do is be there for them. Now in a post God Willing post COVID world to be able to hold the door. Yeah, I know, right? Or,
you know, that's the best thing we can do. It was hard during COVID for everyone, because we couldn't express ourselves in the same loving way that you know, physically, that we're able to, you know, before COVID. And hopefully now we'll be able to do that.
And what a lovely book and good for you for writing it. I hope you have lots of success with that. Thanks. Talk to me about what in the Christian world when someone dies, we send flowers.
But I know that's not the way in the Jewish world. So tell us what people should do in the Jewish world when someone they know some colleague at work or someone how should they
Yeah, their grief? Yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah. them express their grief, how express their concern, another consolation, right. It's interesting that there's two things. And while there's three things that we can actually do. One is we can visit the house of chifa. Anyone is invited, and there's no really invitation anyone's welcome to come to a house of Shebaa to find out how long they'll be sitting, meaning gathering in the home. And most of the funeral websites actually have the information. it'll it'll give you information for the funeral, and then it will also give the information for for gathering afterward. So to pay we call a shivah visit to bring comfort through our presence is always appropriate. And again, Jews, non Jews, it doesn't matter your relationship, everybody is welcome. It's not just a Jewish thing. There's another possibility, which is to find out from the family, either if you can contribute money, and or send food. If you're going to do that, you should certainly find out if there's any dietary restrictions, because there's laws of keeping kosher, we certainly don't want to send cheeseburgers to the house, if a family's kosher and doesn't mix milk sandwiches.
Right, if they keep new dietary laws, that's a little bit more, you want to have a little bit more information. But finally, the other thing that's really really nice is to make a donation to a charity of choice. And then you again, usually on the funeral home websites, it'll say that these are designated charities of choice. But these were charities that were important to the person in their lifetime. And to make a donation of whatever number Matt the money, the amount doesn't matter. The thought is huge. And to make a donation of whatever and in Judaism, a lot of times we'll do denominations of 18, because 18 is sky and 18 means life and we believe that they're they've experienced eternal life. So 1836 5472 I mean, certainly can be more. I mean, certainly can be even numbers, but people always ask me outside of the Jewish world, like 18 is such a weird number. Why wouldn't it just be 20 or 25, but 18 high means life and so it's an awesome way to honor their lives. And that's really helpful. Awesome. Well, I so appreciate your being here with me today, to talk to
All these vendors and and my little side thing is I'm going to work with parents whose kids are marrying into the Jewish world. So they're going to have Jewish grandchildren, though. Do you have any magic advice for them?
grandparents? How can a parent get involved in their kids life when they're marrying someone Jewish? Yeah, you know, I think that that, that the most most important thing honestly, that they can do is learn, like, like, what you're helping people do learn about the rituals and the customs, you know, call it a community Rabbi and say, you know, Hey, can I meet with you? For a little while I just have some questions about about Jewish tradition, to take an introduction to Judaism class, you know that maybe that's easier than calling a rabbi. So his introduction to do's isn't the same as a conversion class? Well, you know, it's interesting in some communities, rabbis will send people who are converting to Judaism, to an introduction to Judaism class. In other communities, there'll be a special conversion class, a lot of times they'll cover similar material, you know, just to have sort of a sense of what what is Judaism as a religion, etc. In Judaism, we don't actively seek people to convert to Judaism. We don't go after people and say, Hey, you need to convert. I mean, certainly, if there's gonna be a marriage, we may want to encourage conversion to Judaism, but people are gonna make their decisions. I mean, for me, when I counsel, interfaith couples, the one of the biggest questions and one and the person has not used says, you know, what, I'm not going to convert what I'm going to raise my children Jewish. We talked about what does that mean, to raise Jewish children. And, you know, and and so I want to at least educate the person who isn't Jewish, to Jewish ritual and customs. And, and, and certainly make myself available to them every step of the way, because it evolves over the course of time.
So, as a non member of a congregation, it's okay to call a rabbi and say, Hey, help me understand this person, I was always welcomed me to those phone calls. And I always thought, you know, what, a non member is a potential member. If I create a relationship with them, I would never hold them to that. But if they connect with me and want to learn more and want to sort of connect to the synagogue, but no, I mean, at the end of the day, you know, rabbis are they served their congregations those that are congregational rabbis, but maybe call it non congregation Rabbi to, um, you know, I think all of us find one.
Does someone find a non congregational rep, right? I mean, look, I you know, JC C's and Federation's. Um, you know, there's a lot of different ways to sort of connect with the with the community, Google rabbis in the area, some may be connected with I mean, I, I always think it's great to connect with congregational rabbis. But I mean, the word Rabbi means teacher. So part of what our responsibility is, as a rabbi, is to always be a teacher to ever comes to us, whether they're connected to a congregation or not. So and I would always offer myself up as well.
I'll tell you, even if it's someone you know, across the country, if they wanted to jump on a zoom with me and ask me questions, I'd always be happy to make that happen.
Thank you very much. I know that your official title is
the director of Jewish hospice, right? So I'm your director, right? I'm the Senior Director of Jewish hospice and chaplaincy network, which I love. But before any before that, anything else, you know, I'm Rabbi and and if anybody has a rabbi need or question, I will, and even It has nothing to do with end of life, I would certainly want to make myself ago and I, my guess is that, you know, rabbis across the country of all denominations would want to be helpful as well. And, and it's such a wonderful thing. And I grew up very, very Catholic. And I have embraced this Jewish world, because I think there's so many amazing traditions and I love learning about why things happen. So you have some historical
understanding of where all this stuff came from. I see what happens now, and I don't know all the history behind it. But So do you have any? You made a note in your
stuff you sent me about the agricultural background of some of those? Sure. So yeah, I would just say that, um, you know, in the Torah and the Bible, there are five biblical holidays, and those holidays there and the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar is based on the moon.
Actually, somebody very interesting also is that every Jewish holiday starts the night before. So it's interesting in the creation story, it says for each of the seven days of the week, it
says that there was evening. And there was morning. Not the other way around. Not there was morning there was evening. So because there was evening first and then morning, every Jewish holiday, every Jewish day starts the night before. So you may think like, Ah, okay, so like rashanna, which is the Jewish New Year, which falls in the fall, there's a big rush on a dinner the night before. And that's because Rosh Hashanah, like every other day begins that night. But the five biblical holidays are Jewish New Year rashanna. Young keep poor 10 days later, which is the Day of Atonement, it's a 25 hour fast day of introspection, and trying to make ourselves better people. And then there's the three pilgrimage festivals, which is what I was referring to those pilgrimage festivals are su code, which is on the 15th of the Hebrew month of tishrei. Also in the fall, so there's a lot of fall holidays in a very short period of time. So code is the Feast of Tabernacles is where we connect with nature, we go outside and we build our temporary homes are suckers, which we live in, or we eat in for the holiday. And then in the spring, we have the holiday of Passover, which celebrates the coming out of Egypt, going into the desert coming out of slavery, and then 50 days later, which is why that's the feast of liberation. 50 days later, we have shovel out or Pentecost, which is where we get the Torah on Mount Sinai. So each of these biblical holidays have agricultural origins. And on top of that, there's historical meaning as well. So there are more than five holidays. I mean, every weekend, we're so blessed to have Shabbat, which is the day of wrath, which comes out of the creation story that on the seventh day God rested. And later on in the book of Exodus, it says, just as God rested, we to get to rest. So from Friday night at sundown till Saturday night, when there are three stars in the sky, when it's completely dark out, we have the day of rest the Sabbath, we're supposed to work for six days. And on the seventh day, we were asked, and I think like what a great tradition, we have a holiday every week and who doesn't love holiday. Of course, there are minor holidays throughout the Jewish calendar as well. But the holidays are very special. And they're very wonderful. And in fact Shabbat is is when most bar mitzvahs will occur on a on either on a Friday night or on a Saturday morning on a Saturday afternoon, we take the Torah out of the ark, and the Bar Bar Mitzvah gets to read from the Torah, which is something that's so significant for that Bar Bar Mitzvah to be able to because we because at that point in time, the status of Bar Bar Mitzvah literally means that they are now obligated to the commandments that come out of the Torah. And we believe that there are a lot of commandments, 613 of them that come out of the Torah. So that's sort of the holidays and szabist on one foot.
I love this little mini masterclass in Judaism. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Absolutely. I'm going to wrap up this podcast, but is there any special book that is available that people should read to understand this? I know your book, and I highly value what you're putting out there? Is there anything else that you would recommend to vendors or to families who want to understand this any special book? Sure, you know, I think there's a lot of a lot of great introduction to Judaism books, I would tell you, um, you know, living Judaism by Wayne goseck is a great, great introduction. In fact, when I'm doing I also perform conversions, and certainly with conversion students, it's one of the books that I recommend leaving Judaism because it really goes through Jewish history, Jewish culture, Jewish tradition, Holocaust, it really is a great primer, but any kind of introduction, if you just Google, you know, introduction of Judaism books, I mean, there's so so many. And you pick up any of them. I'm sure you're gonna get quite a wonderful, wonderful education. All right. Terrific. I appreciate that. And I appreciate your time today. You're a super guy, and I expect to see you around at a bunch of happy times.
It's great to be with you, Pat. I wish you only the best. Thank you so much. Take care. All right. Take care. Bye. Bye. Thanks for listening today. Hope you found this helpful. If you know someone whose son or daughter has married someone Jewish, and they would like to learn more, send them to this podcast, or to our new course coming out soon. designed especially for people who will have Jewish grandchildren. And want to understand more about Jewish holidays and customs. Thanks for listening. Tune in every Wednesday for another episode. I appreciate you