In these uncertain times, so many of us are finding comfort building new connections to Jewish tradition and/or our Jewish roots. Among those test driving Jewish rituals is model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen, who celebrated her first Shabbat last Friday and shared her enthusiasm to her millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter.
As Teigen previously disclosed, her paternal grandmother, Ruth Schaefer, was Jewish. And while it seems Teigen is only beginning to explore her Judaism, her interest in Jewish culture and food is likely encouraged by Jewish food writer Adeena Sussman, who collaborated with Teigen on her two previous cookbooks, Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat and Cravings: Hungry for More.
In her Instagram post, Teigen shared a pic of herself lighting candles while wearing a white head covering. She wrote: “cooked my first Shabbat last night and it was perfect. with my perfect friends and the perfect menu and the help of perfect people like @adeenasussman, @doctorberlin and @dralyssadberlin! I am one lucky bubbie (ok I’m not a grandmother yet but the word is just *chefs kiss* perfect).”
Honestly, we can’t wait to see what Chrissy Teigen is like as a bubbie!
Her “perfect” friends include Sussman, who has been living with Teigen as they write their new cookbook together. Also credited for Friday night’s festivities were friends Alyssa Berlin, a perinatal psychologist, and her husband, Elliot Berlin, a Jewish doula and prenatal doctor. And, of course, her husband, singer-songwriter and People’s Sexiest Man Alive 2019, John Legend, was also around to enjoy the festive meal.
In a tweet, Teigen tells her fans all about the delicious Shabbat meal she prepared on Friday. Truly pulling out all the stops for an authentic Ashkenazi Shabbat meal, she writes, “I made chicken soup, kugel, more chicken, challah and purchased the finest Trader Joe’s chocolate babka as recommended by friends.” Trader Joe’s babka? Invite us next time (heart eyes). In another tweet, Teigen makes a shout out to Sussman’s Jewish mama for her roast chicken recipe. Yummy.
First Shabbat! I made chicken soup, kugel, more chicken, challah and purchased the finest Trader Joe’s chocolate babka as recommended by friends. wow I could never do this every Friday but it was beautiful! pic.twitter.com/iMYmjFrNcR
— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 16, 2021
This is not Teigen’s first foray into exploring Judaism — last month she celebrated her first Hanukkah with her family and Sussman at her home. An Instagram post showed the crew — including Teigen’s kids Luna and Miles — playing dreidel, eating brisket, and frying latkes, which were served with both apple sauce and sour cream. Teigen dedicated the evening to her Jewish grandmother, Ruth.
As many of us know, Shabbat can be a very healing practice in challenging times. Teigen is no stranger to painful moments, as she has been radically open about the loss of her baby after pregnancy complications in September. In recent social media posts, Teigen has admitted to needing something for herself after this tragic loss, turning to horseback riding as a new hobby. While Shabbat may be a more family-and community-oriented tradition, it seems that Teigen has now shared in the healing that can come with ending the week together.
We are so happy that Teigen is experiencing how special it can be to celebrate Shabbat. Our heartiest wishes go out to Chrissy and her fam for a shavua tov, a good week, ahead!
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