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Showing posts from April, 2011

Shabbos Food!

Supper: Challah Soup w/kneidlach Baked g-fish from freezer Corn Shake n’ Bake Cranberry kugel (Ted’s apple kugel recipe but with crans) Green beans Desserts Lunch: Challah Baked g-fish Blintzes Salmon pasta salad Pareve cholent Desserts: Angel food cake Sugar cookies from a mix (dairy – Sara baked these with the kids) One more pareve dessert  - Easy Lemon Bars All done for the week – good Shabbos when you get there!!!

Parsha Poem: קְדֹשִׁים / Kedoshim

יִּקְרָא / VAYIKRA / LEVITICUS 19:1-20:27:  READ IT ;  HEAR IT . Printable PDF version here . There are always others weaker than you We all have weaknesses – even you do. Widows and orphans, the deaf and the blind; Don’t take advantage, even just in your mind.   If you are  a judge, don’t take people’s money, Don’t trip a blind man, though it might seem funny; And when you reap all your grains and their chaff – Remember to let the poor have the last laugh.   We all are kedoshim, we’re just like Hashem The One from whom all goodness must stem; In public and private, his laws we uphold, We grow through them, do them, the way we are told.   Rise before grey hair; your seat they have earned, And listen to all the wisdom they’ve learned.

Yom HaShoah – kids’ party?

So the littles were invited to a baby’s first birthday party, which is being held on Sunday – which happens to be Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). I don’t really do a big thing about it, but I do REMEMBER on that day, and I think I do feel it, even though I don’t have anybody in my immediate family who was in the Shoah. And frankly, the fact is that I don’t think Sefirah (the mourning period following Pesach) is a particularly good time for a kids’ party anyway… So should I bring the kids?  There is a good chance they won’t even know it is Yom HaShoah, but it is STILL sefirah, and it just feels weird to ME.  Shouldn’t that count for something?  I got another email nudging me to RSVP and I really, REALLY don’t know what to do. p.s.  Did I mention the party is being held in our shul?  Does that make a difference?

What does YOUR Rasha / Wicked Son look like?

EFink has an interesting guest post up at DovBear ’s blog right now showing a few contemporary renditions of the Rasha, or wicked son from the Haggadah, and how it highlights our unfortunate tendency to make snap judgements about people based on how they dress and their outward mannerisms.  (unfortunate though it is, I would argue that this reflex is to some extent necessary or we’d go nuts trying to sort out the good people from the bad people – there is probably a name for people who lack this ability to intuit based on outward signs) I have always personally admired the version in The Animated Haggadah, which is actually four aspects of the same person (he’s wearing the same outfit in all the pictures, with a slightly different hairdo): Another kinda-modern take is Otto Geismar’s from 1927 Germany, which are reprinted in my Different Night Haggadah: I love the stick-figure simplicty of it. Here’s another one, admittedly not from a Haggadah, but from a children’s boo

If Mrs. S. can do it… (search engine roundup!)

Inspired by Mrs. S. over at Our Shiputzim – check out what people are finding at her blog ! (previous fun and navel-gazing search-engine roundups: Roundup #1 , (mini) Roundup #2 , Roundup #3 , Roundup #4 and Roundup #5 – or just click on the “roundup” tag below to see them all!) Most of the searches have been Pesach-related, naturally, but there were a few stray “others” that have made their way here. A few searches for the unscientific last little while: chalakah – a lot of you want to know about chalakah, perhaps in early preparation for Lag b’Omer.  If that’s the case, mazel tov!  I use the Yiddish word “upsherin” and you can  find some information, but not much, here . shekel poems – not exactly, but I did do a cool half-shekel math worksheet if you want to get all Biblical during math time! dinosaur math – Embarrassingly, I think this is my #1 non-Pesach related search at the moment.  I do have one worksheet pack .  I wish there were more… it seems there a

Election time! Vote for me?

I don't ask for much, so if you get a chance, click on the logo below to help me out in this cheesy online popularity contest (aka homeschool blogs ranking)...   You won’t have to join anything - I promise - and you can click every day if you want!!!  Lots of other great blogs linked up there, so vote for others if you want, too. As of now, I think I’m the only specifically Jewish presence on the list – doesn’t that count for something?  (Elizabeth from Creative Learning Fun is there, but she doesn’t mention Judaism in her listing…)

For your (Sefirah / Three Weeks) Listening Pleasure!

Washing dishes, scrubbing, putting p0ts and pans and haggadahs away… without a soundtrack.  How very, very dreary, compared to the lively sound of inspirational music filling our house in the weeks before Pesach! We’re only one week into the 33-day Sefirah mourning period (some people observe different mourning periods – consult your local Halachic authority!), and this is a tough time for music lovers. Here are a few alternatives: First of all, if you really, REALLY can’t survive without music of some kind, there’s always acapella.  That’s right – there is a leniency that “music” without instruments isn’t really music.  You can find lots of “vocal selections” to listen to free at the Israel National Radio jukebox site here .  Caution:  non-Jewish acapella might have have instrumentals in the background, so stick to kosher tunes for the next few weeks. Then, there’s my solution:  audiobooks ! If you’re in Toronto, there’s the library’s Overdrive site here , which gives you

Pesach Food – last days!

As usual, I will cross stuff out as it’s made – so yes, it’s true, as of now NOTHING has been made. Oh, yay!  By tomorrow night, we will be happily dipping matzah in our soup!!!   Sunday 24 Monday 25 Tuesday 26 Lunch   Dairy – Sara? Soup – squash French toast* Slicey Potto Waits Crunchy cheese Tomato/cuke salad Sponge cake loaves for French toast Day 2 – Yizkor, out at Mommy’s house! Cheese Blintzes w/ Strawberry sauce??  Make if there’s time! Dinner Night 1 – Judy? Easy meal! Baked g fish Chicken Soup  w /kneidl from mix Mommy Lokshin Whole roast chik w/ Cauliflower & p

The Quinoa (for Pesach) Controversy – does Hashem care?

Oy, vey!  The controversy! Yesterday, I read an article – I think in Perspectives, Toronto’s frum paper – about how quinoa, for years acceptable for Pesach (like beets, it’s botanically a member of the chenopodia or goosefoot family), has now unequivocally been declared kitniyos by the COR, the local kashrus organization.  They did this not because quinoa is often grown near kitniyos or chometz grains – which is true, but can be checked and labelled appropriately – nor on the basis that it can be ground into flour (because clearly potatoes are permitted even though they can be made into “flour”) but because it grows at the top of a stem – a style of grain called a “wand” or, in Hebrew, sharvit, similar to corn or… well, corn.  There are other considerations as well, but honestly, to me, it doesn’t look so much like a wand: This decision annoys me to no end, and it seems like I’m not the only one.  I’m sure there will be a HUGE reaction to this, perhaps most especially in As

Shabbos Food

On a completely different note, here’s what we’re eating this Shabbos!  Unlike last year, I think we’ll do an all-meat Shabbos, just to keep things simple.  I can double up on the desserts that way.  The dinner food is all on the “sweet” side at the moment, so I’ll have to work a bit to “savoury it up” before the time comes to start cooking. As usual, items are crossed off as they’re DONE ! Shabbos Chol HaMoed   Friday April 22nd Shabbos April 23 Lunch   Meat – G family Jar g fish Meaty oven cholent Cucumber pareve salad Pesach Pepper “Lokshin” kugels  Mush crepes – by Meeeee FILLING BY ELISHEVA due to thumb injury!!! Desserts Dinner Aunt D, BC Chicken Soup w/ Mommy lokshin Ted’s KB

Bamidbar 9:14 – Who is a “Geir”? And do we care?

Previous posts you may or may not be offended by: When Christians celebrate “Biblical Feasts”: My Jewish Perspective When Christians celebrate “Biblical Feasts”: Take 2 When Christians celebrate “Biblical Feasts,” Part 3: When is Pesach? If online activity is any indication, huge numbers of non-Jews are observing Pesach – perhaps more this year than at any time since the Exodus.  Lots of these people consider themselves “Hebrew Christians” (often called Messianic Jews, but I don’t use that term, since most are admittedly not Jews), and when they’re talking about Pesach, one verse comes up time and time again – Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:14: וְכִי יָגוּר אִתְּכֶם גֵּר וְעָשָׂה פֶסַח לַי־הֹוָ־ה כְּחֻקַּת הַפֶּסַח וּכְמִשְׁפָּטוֹ כֵּן יַעֲשֶׂה חֻקָּה אַחַת יִהְיֶה לָכֶם וְלַגֵּר וּלְאֶזְרַח הָאָרֶץ If a GEIR dwells with you, and he makes a Passover sacrifice to the Lord, according to the statutes of the Passover sacrifice and its ordinances he shall make it. One sta

DovBear Meme: Post Seder DeBriefing

Inspired by DovBear’s post today , in which he tagged all readers to provide their post-Seder rundown: Time we finished 2 the first night; 2:10 the second. Highlight we'll still be talking about next year Gavriel Zev’s doggie spot singing Mah Nishtana in his squeaky nasal voice:  “it’s not squeaky – it’s just his regular voice!” Perhaps – my own WILD sign language interpretations of “Echad Mi Yodeia”. Arguments I had None!  :-( I sure do wish we had the kind of Yom Tov table where fascinating intellectual debates abounded, but our arguments are always more like somebody’s elbow in somebody’s soup. Books I read Rabbi Sacks’s Haggadah Kosher by Design for Passover Various folders of old divrei Torah from the big kids’ elementary school days… (What?  Not scholarly enough for you???) Stuff we ate for shulchan orech Night one: pickled brisket Night two: swiss steak Time we finished davening n/a – “they have shul the first days of Pesach?

New Pesach Book! When You Give a Frog a Piece of Matza

When a friend tells you they’ve written a kids’ book, of course you’re interested and of COURSE you buy it, maybe thinking that if it’s a loser, you can just let it gather dust on the shelf or pass it along to Value Village. Luckily, the book in question turned out to be this amazing self-published work from a friend and fellow Torontonian (by marriage), Rachel Shifra Tal.  The eye-popping illustrations were done by her sister-in-law. The book is called When you give a frog a piece of Matza , and it’s a lot of fun, with delightful illustrations and a wonderful message to go with them.  Here’s what I said about the book on Awesome contemporary take on the Passover Plagues! We are loving this new book! The little frog is so appealing, and the characters throughout the story are active, colourful and interesting. Its modern look is a refreshing change from the dull graphics of some Jewish kids' books! A frog and a boy are seated at a seder table (the b

Pesach Food – First days!!

The First Days As with our Shabbos food lists, crossed out items are DONE!!!   Monday 18 Tuesday 19 Wednesday 20 Lunch   Dairy – N’s Make on Yom Tov: Soup – squash Slicey potto weights Crunchy cheese MBS’s = matzah, butter, salt “sandwiches” Tomatoes? salad Pickled cucumbers Make ahead: Cheesecake Dairy – K & B’s Make on Yom Tov: Soup – squash Broccoquiche Hash browns MBS’s Tomatoes? salad Pickled cucumbers Make ahead: Cheesecake Dinner Seder 1 – Lapells/Judy Ballies carro

Pesach Poem: Four Holidays in One!

Free printable PDF version here ! Also, be sure to check out my Pesach homeschool resources roundup page here ! בס״ד   Pesach /   פֶּסַח   Four holidays in one, four times as super fun. It comes just once a year, for eight days, then it’s done. In English, we know it as Passover, too, But it has four more names that you wish you knew!   The first is Chag HaAviv, because of when it comes; Every year in springtime, the earth (but not the crumbs), Comes to life with green anew and so we call it that The festival of springtime, so shed your winter hat!   The shortest name is Pesach, it reminds us of a lamb

Naomi Rivka’s Pesach List

Naomi Rivka got hold of Abba’s Pesach cleaning list (he’d just started writing it) and added a few items of her own… :-))) The one that says “biy fod for Abba” is meant for me.  :-))) (but actually, Ted’s out shopping now because I cannot bear to set foot in another store between now and Pesach)

Soup’s on!

Welcome to Mama’s Astonishing World of Tinfoil!   Previous Worlds of Tinfoil pics & posts: 2009 World of Tinfoil 2009 Pesach Cupboards Hmm… I guess there aren’t any more.  And the cupboards aren’t stocked yet because all the food stuff is downstairs.  We are officially WAY behind!!! :-o (and no, it’s not because I’m sitting here instead of standing in the kitchen) Update: So near…   And yet – so far…


I know you-all are sick of my pictures of snow, and probably thinking, unsympathetically, “what does she expect, living in Canada and all???” I realize I live in Canada, and I do expect snow for maybe a few months out of the year, but this is simply nutso. Update: It stopped for a few minutes… and then came back with a vengeance: Oy!

If you don’t have a tune, sing it to Dayeinu!

One of the more tedious bits of the Seder is near the end when we recite a lengthy liturgical poem, either (first night) vayehi b’chatzi halayla (“It happened at midnight!”) or (second) v’amartem zevach Pesach (“you should say – this is the Pesach offering!”).  We don’t have a tune for this, so somebody (moi) just sort of drones it while everybody chimes in on the last word of each line.  Dull, dull, dull. So I was curled up with my new Jonathan Sacks Haggadah today during a quiet moment (thinking, “wouldn’t an Oliver Sacks Haggadah be super-cool, if a bit weird?” “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for the Marror”  Oh, never mind… nobody will EVER get that in a million years.) Anyway, I discovered - drumroll – that BOTH of these dreary, complicated poems can be sung to the standard tune of “Dayeinu.” Which is a GREAT choice because a) everybody knows it and b) we don't overuse it - ie we usually do it once through and that's it. Once more isn't going to kill us. In ca

Procrastinate much? Procrastinate, much! Pesach caption contest!

I was over at the Dover Publishing website and noticed they had a featured eCard.  “How lovely,” I thought.  “I will see what it is, and maybe send it to my Most Loved Ones in honour of the upcoming Passover feast.” So I clicked… and here is the image featured on their eCard of the week: “How perfect!” I mused.  “How utterly pleasing for the Pesach season.  But… I wonder – it just needs the PERFECT caption.” I realize a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes, a few actual words can make the difference between a good Pesach card and a fantabulous one.  So I charge you, my loyal readers (YES, relatives are eligible!) to come up with the perfect seasonal caption to go with this image. You don’t have to be Jewish to enter – come one, come all! Is there a prize?  Glad you asked!  I will include the winner’s name (or your child’s name, if you prefer) in next week’s Parsha Poem .  If there are no entries before next week, OR no Parsha Poem next week (quite likely), th

Parsha Poem: Acharei Mos / Acharei Mot / אַחֲרֵי מוֹת

יִּקְרָא / VAYIKRA / LEVITICUS 16:1-18:30:  READ IT ;  HEAR IT . Printable PDF version here .  This week’s theme, “The Jew of Pooh”! Parsha narrative overviews are usually here , but I skipped this week – sorry! Copywork and parsha activities available at this page – updated weekly (except I skipped this week – back to normal after Pesach, I promise!). Where there’s bees, there’s honey – so fine! “Mmmm,” thought Pooh Bear, “I must make it mine.” Up and up he sailed through the sky; “Uh-oh,” he thought, as leaves rushed by. “They’re awfully close – that’s not a good sign!”   “I just wanted honey,” thought Pooh, thought he. So hard to reach – as he swayed past the tree. “Oh, dear,” he thought, as bees came near; Buzzing right around his ear. “Oh, ouch!   It seemed like a fine plan to me!”     Now Christopher Robin, a frien

Going to Shul? A guide for goyim!

I wrote this in response to a question from somebody wanting to visit a synagogue for a Passover service, but thought it would make a great post topic, while I’ve got the non-Jews swarming around hating me over my “Feasts” posts.  :-) If I have used any words you don’t know (yet!), please check out this fine glossary . So you’re thinking of going to synagogue – Great!!! What’s the best day to go? Hands down, I think you want a MORNING service.  Evening services can be lovely, but tend to be more intimate.  Save it for later.  Go when you will be as close to anonymous as possible! Most synagogues (Orthodox, Conservative and most Reform - and it is REFORM, without the "ed"; apparently, it offends them :-) ) have big morning services on Shabbat and all holy days. (As an aside, the Jewish day starts at sunset the evening before; that's why the first DAY of Passover this year is Tuesday when the first NIGHT is Monday.  Confusing!  So Shabbat starts on Friday evenin