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May 8, 2011

War Paint

Sefaradim -at least my family -often have a minhag to dip our pinkies into the drink (wine, grape juice, etc.) that was used to douse the havdalah candle, and smear it in specific places for symbolic meaning. Behind our ears for us to hear good news in the coming week, in our pockets in the hopes that the coming week will bring abundant sustenance... you get the idea. And ever since I was younger and needed glasses, I would smear some under my eyes, in the hopes that my vision wouldn't get too bad; or at least that I'd witness good things the in the coming week (which isn't at all part of the minhag, but a habit I formed myself).

So when I stuck my pinkies in grape juice last night and began adorning myself with the purple, sweet-smelling, sugary, grape-made semi-syrup, the vivid image of a man adorning warpaint popped into my mind, as though preparing myself to do battle with this week's challenges, and make it to the next Shabbat.

May we all overcome the challenges of this week. Shavuah Tov!


  1. thats funny, i never thought of it that way, thanks for the twist. Its the men in my house who do the war painting generally, but still something to keep in mind.
    shavua tov!

  2. War paint! I like that!
    We're definitely at war with the yetzer hara.

    If I recall correctly, the sourced custom is to put the wine/grape juice on the back of one's neck (the luz bone) to remember techiyat hametim.

  3. I'm Ashkenazi, and my family does that. For brains and money.