Jewish is cool. Yiddish is cool. A guy just wrote a book about it. But Yartzeit candles??

8 Oct

So last night, on my way to my Stitch and B**ch (knitting class) I stopped at a cool new local cafe for a quick bite.   Ordered, got my food, sat at a table and noticed THIS:



I know, it’s kind of hard to see. 

That candle, nestled next to the hot sauce, is a Yartzeit candle.   To those who may not know, in the Jewish faith these candles are used on  the anniversary of a person’s death as a rememberance and they burn from sundown to the next morning.  The restaurant was burning them  throughout the restaurant to cast a beautiful glow. 

I struggled with the situation I now found myself in.  I remembered when I had my first apartment with roommates,  it was cool to buy these really tall candles in glass jars that had religious figures on them…. kitchy images of Jesus or one of the many Hindu gods.  There was even a  spell removal candle for the wiccans in your life.  You could buy these at dollar stores in a certain area of town.  You probably still can.  But I digress.

The long lasting nature of the Yartzeit  candles was not lost on the owner of the restaurant.  I felt compelled to ask him if he was aware of the significance of them, and he somewhat sheepishly said: “Yes, I know… when we moved in there was a case of them in the basement.  Like a hundred!!!  We tried to peel the labels off bu t it’s really hard.  But they are so great… they burn forever!”

I am that thinking donating these to the local synagogue and buying some, oh I don’t know… tealight candles might be a better choice.

Oh – and the guy who wrote the book about Yiddish being cool?  Michael Wex:


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