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Suggestions for mixed-family first "shabbat lite"

Hey everyone, I’ve recently started practicing Judaism after never practicing in my life, and this weekend I will be doing my own version of a “shabbat lite”. I’m in my 40s so I have kids and a wife who are non-Jewish, so I’m trying to find a practice that’s nice for them, nice for me, and also honors G-d. I’m curious if anyone has any thoughts or advice on how to make it nicer, more special, to include everyone else (even though they aren’t Jewish), or really anything else.

My basic plan is:

  1. Have family dinner together tonight, with candle lighting, and make it extra special for everyone. Fresh flowers, tasty treats. The meal won’t generally be kosher since I’m the only Jew, but I’ll try myself to hold to some basic rules. Include Kiddush wine. Challah is beyond me to make, and there’s nowhere to buy it here, but maybe some day in the future. I’ll say blessings to myself as I go.
  2. Keep the candles lit until the end of shabbat on Saturday.
  3. For me, no or very minimal technology (as required to not exclude myself from the family) but everyone else can do whatever they want. Play with my kids, talk with my wife, read some Torah, and just focus on the family and G-d instead of tv or phone myself.
  4. Go to synagogue by myself on Saturday.

I know this is not very kosher at all, but I’m generally following the guidance from my Chabad rabbi that doing one little thing better than yesterday is good enough. And a top priority for me is not to create chaos in my home, just good feelings. So I’m balancing a lot here. 🙂 But I’d love thoughts from other people with mixed families how they create something special and welcoming that involves everyone. Thanks!

submitted by /u/ShackyCathelford
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