If you have little kids, chances are you can recite the book “Is It Shabbos Yet?” quicker than you can remember your cell number.
I’ve been reading it out loud for 13 years now and I offer you my personal book review.
It starts off with sweet little Malkie waking up Friday morning and wanting to know if it’s Shabbos yet – to which her mother says not yet, first we have to go shopping.
Now, in this day and age, we all know the power of the written word on little impressionable minds.
Do you understand what we are teaching our kids here??
It’s FRIDAY-and Mommy is first planning her shopping trip, after which she’ll have to cook, clean and then set the table…even if it’s the longest Friday of the year, what type of lesson in efficiency is that teaching? What type of lesson in realistic organization and planning?
Ok, so they go to the store and buy what they need. It has be at least two hours till they leave, shop, come home, unload and start cooking.
And with Malkie helping I’m sure kitchen gets to be quite messy, and it’s no simple cleanup job.
So let’s say they start cooking at noon, considering they went to the store at 10 because first they had to eat breakfast – and it doesn’t mention that Malkie woke up at the crack of dawn, just “early” one Friday.
The challah itself, start to finish without distraction, takes at least 3.5 hours… so it’s almost 4 pm when it comes out of the oven.
Let’s say Mommy manages to prepare everything on her to do list (although I’m doubting if this Mommy actually had a to do list…) before the challah comes out of the oven, so at 4:00 she’s ready to clean the kitchen.
I don’t know about you, but I’m breaking a sweat for this poor, hard working Mommy! Seems like Malkie is the only child, so I’m guessing the mess and background noise isn’t quite as noisy as I’m used to – but still.
So Malkie showers, Mommy gets ready, the table is decked out in its finest… and that’s the first time we meet Tatty.
Where was Tatty until now?? Why hasn’t he helped with anything?? Why do we first meet him sitting like a king at the table? What are we teaching our kids?
So here’s my version of Is it Shabbos Yet – that teaches efficiency, proper planning and organization in running a home and good shalom bayis.
Malkie woke up early one morning. She looked at her Mommy and said; “Is it Shabbos yet?”
“No Malkie,” said her Mommy. “Today is Wednesday! Today’s the day we make our Shabbos ashopping list”
So as soon as Malkie finishes her breakfast and puts her bowl in the sink (of course), Mommy and Malkie sit down to make their list.
“What special treat should we buy for the Shabbos party?” Asks Mommy.
“This week is shabbos mevorchim!” Exclaims Malkie. “Can we get fruit roll ups?”
“What a great idea!” Says Mommy.
Malkie and her Mommy finish making the list and Malkie leaves to school.
(There’s only one child, remember; so it is feasible to do that in the morning. If your morning routine is more hectic than that-emphasize to your children that Boruch Hashem in our house it wouldn’t work in the morning – Wednesday afternoon is a good time to make lists too.)
Malkie comes home from school and asks her mommy, “Is it shabbos yet?”
“No Malkie! Tonight we need to go shopping for the food for Shabbos. As soon as Tatty finishes supper, you and Tatty will go on a special outing and go shopping!”
So Malkie and her Tatty go shopping and get all the groceries for Shabbos, while Mommy has some time to herself.
Malkie wakes up on early on Thursday.
“Is it shabbos yet?” Asks Malkie.
“No Malkie,” says her Mommy. “Today is Thursday! Today we will make dessert and challah for Shabbos!”
So Malkie and her Mommy measure and mix and make a delicious cake for shabbos.
Then Malkie and her Mommy prepare the challah dough and wait for it to rise. Malkie can smell the delicious challah baking as she goes to sleep.
When the challahs cool, Mommy puts the challah in the freezer. Malkie knows the special secret that Mommy told her – if you put the challah on the freezer as soon as it cools and then take them out Friday afternoon, they will taste fresh and yummy. Mommy even said you can put them in the oven for only 10 minutes before Shabbos and they will be perfect! Malkie knows that Mommy wants to make sure that Friday is a calm and enjoyable day for everyone.
Malkie wakes up early on Friday.
“Today is Friday!” She squeals!
As soon as Malkie gets home, she helps Mommy spread the tablecloth on the table.
Mommy finishes cutting the cucumbers for the vegetable salad and Malkie puts out the special Shabbos dishes.
Tatty comes home from work and greets Malkie with a big hug.
Tatty takes out the garbage and then fills the hot water urn so Mommy will be able to have her morning coffee on Shabbos.
Tatty puts out the leichter and the candles.
Malkie takes a shower and puts on her best clothes.
Malkie and Mommy give tzedakah and light the Shabbos candles.
“Is it shabbos yet?” Asks Malkie.
“Yes Malkie,” says her Mommy.
Mommy reads Malkie a book on the couch.
Tatty comes home from shul and makes kiddush.
They wash and eat challah.
“Mmmm, this challah is delicious!” Says Tatty.
Mommy and Malkie beam.
“Mommy, you worked so hard to prepare all this delicious food for shabbos. You sit at the table and Malkie and I will serve the soup.”
Malkie and her mommy smile.
“I love shabbos!” Says Malkie.
“So do I,” Says her Mommy.