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Showing posts from October, 2016

My reluctant conversion to cheap fake Lego

Before, I begin, I want to say that there are few people who adore Lego as much as I do.  OK, if you're one of those fans who can tell the difference between a BURP a LUMP and a POOP [ glossary here ], then good for you.  You win. But short of that, well, I adore Lego. REAL Lego. For years, in Toronto, I made a habit of picking up used Lego for the kids at Value Village.  Painstakingly, I'd pick through the sets chucking out any FAKE Lego - all the Megabloks and other imposters, weeding them out like toxins. But here in Israel, Lego is expensive.  Ridiculously expensive.  Like over 100nis for a tiny set that would cost under $10 in the States, and maybe $12-15 in Canada. So, I admit - painfully, reluctantly - I've started buying the fake stuff. It started last summer when I happened to show Gavriel Zev some of the super hero menschies (I know, they're called minifigures – I call them minifigs for short) that were available on AliExpress for 99 cents instead of t

Easy, Quick, Fun Sukkah Decoration Craft for Older Kids

Looking for a sukkah craft for slightly older kids that hasn't been done to death? I totally was, because we're making GZ's birthday party in the sukkah and I wanted to do some kind of simple craft that would appeal to the boys without being too fiddly. I eventually found this post about a Xmas craft, and decided that, writ slightly larger, these would make terrific sukkah decorations.  They have all the elements I love - namely, tinfoil, glue and Sharpies (!!!) PLUS they don't take much time for 8-year-old boys' attention span. And I think they look terrific - shiny and bright to light up any family's sukkah. Here’s what you'll need: - Cardboard circles - I used a bowl with a diameter of about 5.5" to cut these babies out.  The originals are much too tiny to see at night in a sukkah!  I used fairly thick cardboard from a box that held a six-pack of soda bottles. - Yarn - original post says fine yarn, but I blew this up accordingly to a medium-wei

The Hidden Sweetness: Dvar Torah for Rosh Hashanah

The words Rosh Hashanah never appear in the Tanach. Nor is the chag referred to except as the shofar-blowing on the first day of the seventh month. The first time we see the term Rosh Hashanah being used is in a mishnah: “There are 4 Rosh Hashanahs…” ארבעה ראשי שנים הם. (Maseches RH 1:1) So the very first time we see the words “Rosh Hashanah,” they’re actually in plural form. This mishna teaches us that there are actually not one but 4 rosh hashanas. 1 Tishri (new year for years), 15 Shevat (trees and fruit), 1 Nisan (kings and festivals), and 1 Elul (animals and cattle). [1] It’s a strange phrase, if you think about it: “The new year for years” (ראש השנה לשנים). It doesn’t seem to make much sense, especially given that in the Torah this is the 7 th month, not the 1st. So why is this Rosh Hashanah the big one, the one we all celebrate every single year? We get a hint in the very next mishna, which says, “there are four times when the world is judged: at Pesach for crops, at S