Honoring the Ancestors
Honoring your ancestors is a huge part of Jewish practice. We have this in common with so many traditions. Many have just celebrated the traditional Yartzheit for Rachel the Matriarch. Now we come upon the Torah portion Chayei Sarah, the life of Sarah and we again can light candles for an honored ancestor.
Many of these anniversaries fall around Samhain. Here is a simple way to honor your Jewish ancestors at your Samhain ritual or any time of the year. I tend to use this more to for female ancestors, and most recently with four red stones for the matriarchs.
1 Tea Light
Small stones to represent specific ancestors
Small dish (big enough to hold all items listed above)
How to Peel a Pomegranate
Take the pomegranate and cut of the crown, being careful to not cut into seeds. Score the rind from crown to base into 6 sections. Place pomegranate in large bowl filled with cold water. The pomegranate should float upright. If you like, spin the pomegranate in the water and focus on it while meditating. Leave the pomegranate in the water for 5-10 minutes. Then peel of the rind and let the seed drop to the bottom. You can then skim the rind off the top and drain the water, leaving just the
Place your tealight in the dish and pour the pomegranate seeds around it. I often use only half of the seeds. Place your stones either along the edge of the dish or inside it against the tealight, whatever works for you. Place the dish on the altar and light your candle. The seeds are for the generations of ancestors, the stones for those you wish to specifically honor.
When the ritual is over be sure to dispose of the pomegranate seed properly. Burn them in the fire or throw them to the earth. Do not eat them casually. If you choose to dispose of them by ingesting them, it should be a deliberate act by which you share yourself with the generations.
Side note: Think carefully before invoking your ancestors at a Pagan ritual. This could be seen as offensive to them because of the Jewish prohibitions against idols. Personally, I think there is never a time where remembering your ancestors of blessed memory is wrong — BUT it does seem inappropriate to place something like this next to any sort of idol or statuary of deities. Do what feels right to you and what makes you comfortable.