Every Torah-following person – Jew or goyim – will recognize the three main rituals regarding sabbath observance:
Lighting the Sabbath candles
Saying Kiddush over wine
Reciting HaMotzi over challah bread
There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord. Leviticus 23:3 NIV
See Exodus 20:8 (and Deut 5:12 among many more places) where keeping the Sabbath (Hebrew ‘Shabbat’) is listed as the Fourth Commandment.
Growing up in the secular public schools of my generation I often wondered why we count off seven days, rather than ten days to a week. So one question led to many more questions about traditions, expectations, values, even philosophy (but I’ll defer those to another place).
“Speak to the people of Isra’el, instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread.” Numbers 15:38 “For she kept saying to herself, “If only I touch His garment, I will be healed.”” Matthew 9:21
A citron has several significant appearances in Judaism – the Four Species (arba minim in Hebrew) includes a citron held with three different branches during the holy days of Sukkot; the Israeli movie Ushpizin brought to light the power of a citron to bless a family with a son.
Hanukkah is also known as festival of lights. The Hebrew word (also written in English as chanukah) means “dedication” and marks an eight day winter celebration that commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple after a small group of Jewish believers (Maccabees) defeated their enemies. More at this link. A “hanukkiah” is basically a menorah with nine candle staff to distinguish it from the menorah’s seven. Why nine? that’s part of the miraculous story.
I have a collection of faces in my ancestors folder. Peter Johnson, my great- grandfather, immigrated from Sweden and lived in Two Harbors, MN. Less is known of the younger lady found in the box of heirlooms – possibly a close friend or distant relative? If anyone recognizes her please contact me.