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The Jewish kids’ book YOUR family has been waiting for (I hope?)

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Speaking of Yom Tov… (here are some BOOKS!)

Here’s a rhyming riddle: Rosh Hashanah’s almost here: which of my books will you buy this year???!? I know; pretty tacky, right? I’ll be honest; that’s how I feel about marketing my books in general. (disgusted baby © iwishmynamewasmarsha via Flickr ) What’s the secret to self-publishing success??? Don’t bother asking me… I’m told one secret to success in business is not being afraid to ask. So there it is, the ASK. If you’re reading this, we’re connected in some obscure way. And therefore, you or someone you know might really enjoy one of my books, if only you let yourself try. Scroll down for a list you might like! Whenever people find out that I’m a self-publishing writer, they sometimes ask about – gasp – the marketing side of things. Because one of the things that commercial book publishers do pretty well is market and distribute your book. They go through well-trod channels to make sure that sellers, libraries, schools, and other interested folks have a p

What's in your quiver? The very mixed blessing of grown-up kids

What are you blessing your children with today? It’s erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan, which is considered an "eis ratzon," a time of grace, for the prayer of the Shelah Hakadosh, a prayer for righteous children, which is quite lovely and humbling and all. ( English | Hebrew ) But as a parent of adult children, especially one who has chosen a very different path when it comes to Judaism, it's also perplexing. What do we do when our children don't turn out the way we had hoped and dreamed and prayed, day after day, year after year, at countless and innumerable times of grace? Back when I was homeschooling, I came across a number of parents who identified themselves as "Quiverfull." I had no clue what this was so I had to look it up. It seems it's a Christian parenting philosophy whereby you have as many children as possible. The term actually comes from Tehillim 127:5, so they borrowed it from us, and I'd like to reclaim it for a minute

Cranky Complaints-Lady Buys BOOKS! (or tries to)

Blame it on COVID-19. Like the ENTIRE WORLD, I probably have a lot of pent-up frustration right now, which I should probably turn to writing here and on my other sites about constructive things, but there you go. I’m not. Instead, tonight I found myself returning to one of my all-time favourite pursuits: kvetching. I used to have a regular feature of this site where I’d fire off letters giving people pieces of my mind. But I got tired of it. Kvetching is exhausting. So I promise, I’m not going to do much of it. But tonight was an exception. Because I was checking out at the Better World Books site this evening when all of a sudden, a survey popped up about how my experience was. And it just so happened that I had had a pretty bad experience on their site. Before you say anything, I know, I know – first world problems. In the grand scheme of things, there’s a pandemic on and I had a problem at an ecommerce website. It’s not exactly life-threatening. But seriously, I used

Poem o' th' Week: Which would YOU rather have?

  How are you doing for poems lately? Craving a really good one?     I first came across this poem in Garrison Keillor's anthology Good Poems for Hard Times , which we've been choosing poems out of to read randomly at family dinnertimes since corona hit -- for no reason whatsoever. And as a sometime

Literally TWO MINUTE no-sew easy coronavirus mask from an old hankie (video + step-by-step guide)

Do you have a stack of old, clean cotton hankies? Do you have an old t-shirt you can stand to cut up? If so, you have an INFINITE supply of no-sew homemade masks that are simple to put on and take off!!! Here in Israel, it is literally illegal to go out without wearing a mask.  It doesn’t have to be a super-duper high-tech N95 respirator / filter mask.  Any old shmatta will do.  And that’s where this hankie mask comes in. Do homemade masks work? First of all, this mask has absolutely ZERO antiviral or antibacterial properties.  It just stops us from being human together, and helps me feel like part of the zeitgeist. Seriously, though, wearing a cloth face covering (a term that freely admits that these aren’t really doing all the jobs of masks!) does a number of things (I had to look into this a little, and this NPR article was helpful…): protects other people in case you’re already infectious but don’t know it blocks SOME droplet transmission from others (don’t touch the front!!!) v

Last Days of Pesach: Re-"Storying" the Yam Suf

According to Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis , the chief rabbi of England, while the first days of Pesach are a historical commemoration, the last day is all about optimism and looking towards the future. On the last day of Pesach, we read about kriyas Yam Suf, the splitting of the Red Sea. For me, kriyas Yam Suf is about two separate ideas: first, the leap of faith it took to step out into the water, and the celebration afterwards. First, when it comes to splitting the sea, the Torah says: וַיֵּ֨ט משֶׁ֣ה אֶת־יָדוֹ֘ עַל־הַיָּם֒ וַיּ֣וֹלֶךְ יְהֹוָ֣ה | אֶת־הַ֠יָּ֠ם בְּר֨וּחַ קָדִ֤ים עַזָּה֙ כָּל־הַלַּ֔יְלָה וַיָּ֥שֶׂם אֶת־הַיָּ֖ם לֶחָֽרָבָ֑ה וַיִּבָּֽקְע֖וּ הַמָּֽיִם: Moshe