Hair covering Imposter

I have been sitting on my couch for much of the afternoon reliving my experience in Israel, looking at some pictures and trying to find another flight to go back. I covered my hair while I was in Israel, in part because I wanted to protect my head from the sun, but also because I […]

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Time to pack up

I am so sad to be leaving. My husband and I took our son in the stroller for an evening walk last night. I am so grateful that he indulged me. I had been at the Kotel twice earlier in the day, and I guess I want to go another time. My experiences there have […]

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Shabbat, Shalom Bayit and Compromise

The plan for Sunday was to go to the Dead Sea and Masada. I have been to both before, and I really wanted to go with my family this time. My son on the other hand has been less than eager to be in his car seat or stroller for extended periods of time, and […]

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Day 6: Shopping and onto Shavuot

Today was shopping day for us.  We headed to Machane Yehudah also known as the Shuk.  It was busy as can be expected the day before a holiday. I realized today that even though there are challenges with day to day living in Israel, I love being here.  I feel the spiritual energy of the […]

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Day 5: Ashdod and a confrontation

I discovered late last night that children under the age of ten are not allowed into Yad Vashem. I think this makes a lot of sense, so we decided to head to Ashdod where my parents live. We had a nice day at the beach. During lunch, as I walked my very busy toddler around […]

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Day 4: Old City Tour

Today was an amazing tour of the Old City with our own guide. One of the most amusing part of the day was at the Kotel, the Western Wall. While I was praying at the Wall, my husband got a quick tour of the men’s side of the Kotel. As they waited for me by […]

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Day 3: Shabbat

There was very little resting on this day of rest. My son did give me the gift of sleeping in until eight thirty this morning which was very nice. We walked over to the Kotel, the Western Wall. When I was 12, I hadn’t felt much connection. Four years ago, I also didn’t feel much […]

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Day 2: Tsfat and onto Jerusalem

This was a busy day. We headed to Tsfat after a hearty breakfast buffet in typical Israeli hotel fashion. I liked Tsfat. Its old buildings and artists are amazing. We were a bit lost and got directions from a hostel. I mentioned I wanted to see the Ari Synagogue. She told me there were two. […]

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Day 1: Reunion

Four years ago I had tried to make plans to see my parents when I came to Israel. I was scared. Our relationship had barely healed after many years of missed communications. The reunion didn’t happen and as I learned then from one of the trip organizers, it wasn’t the time to meet them. There […]

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On our way

Four years ago I travelled to Israel with 15 other women for the Jewish women’s renaissance project mission. I was scared of what would be waiting for me in Israel. I found a deep connection, a Hebrew middle name and amazing memories. Today, I am travelling to Israel, this time with my husband and son. […]

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Being

I think writing these posts for the last two weeks has been the only time when I have spent time being in the moment before Pesach.  I have been too busy to just be during the rest of the day.  There is laundry to do, dishes to prepare and Chametz to remove.  (I guess I’m […]

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Changing

I would like to think that I am changing from year to year. I would like to think that I am changing for the better.  I am a bit more wise, a bit more patient, a bit more kind and a bit more generous. Then something happens.  A dish breaks, traffic jams, or something just […]

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Redeeming

The Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of the Jewish women.  What exactly did the women do?  They had faith.  Their husbands were doing back breaking labour and feeling lower than low.  The wives believed G-d would save the Jewish people. Again, when the Sea of Reeds was parted for the Jewish […]

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Counting

I remember as a child I would count the number of pages until Shulchan Orech, the main meal of the Passover Seder.  I remember that it always took so long to get to Korech, the Matzah sandwich, which meant the meal was soon to follow. These days I count everything with my son.  The number […]

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Leaving

When the Jewish people left Egypt, they left behind lives of hardship and slavery.  Lives that were filled without purpose (the Egyptian slave master’s goal was to have the Jewish people do backbreaking pointless work). The Jewish people physically left Egypt and slavery, but it took some time until they left spiritually.  There were complaints […]

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Asking

Ma Nishtanah HaLaila HaZeh? Why is this night different from all other nights?  Other than eating Matzah, how can we make the Seder meaningful and not just another family dinner? How many times is Moses’ name mentioned in the Haggadah?  Why do you think that is? What does it mean to be free?  Why does […]

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Learning

The Jewish calendar year is described as a spiral.  While we may return to the same point every year, hopefully we’re a bit wiser, more compassionate and understanding.  How do we reach higher every year?  By learning of course. We can learn the hard way…through life’s tests and challenges.  We can also learn the more […]

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Blessing

In Hebrew, a blessing is a Brachah.  We say a Brachah before we light Shabbat candles, and before we eat or drink anything.  There is a Brachah for when we see a rainbow, hear thunder or smell something particularly delicious to the senses.  We even say a Brachah after using the bathroom. What is the […]

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Cleaning

Passover requires an intense amount of cleaning.  I have read numerous articles about how it really should only take a few hours of cleaning.  Dirt isn’t Chametz. Chametz can make it’s way around the house though.  The office is upstairs, a plate of crackers and a coffee while working on the computer.  A snack downstairs […]

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Matzah

Yesterday’s post was on Chametz, the bread and character traits that limit us.  The next them is Matzah. I also hinted at yesterday, that Matzah is the bread made quickly, and symbolically related to our zeal to do Mitzvot. I find it interesting that we enjoy Shabbat with slowly prepared Challah, but we enter Shabbat […]

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Chametz

Chametz is such a curiosity to me.  During the rest of the year, we can enjoy it in its various forms, Challah, pizza, cakes…but in the days leading up to and all through Passover, we eliminate it from our lives.  We seek it out, remove it and even burn any remaining Chametz. We replace Chametz […]

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Five Things People Assume When Your Spouse/Partner Isn’t Jewish

Whenever we meet someone new, I always worry about the reaction they will have when I tell them that my husband isn’t Jewish.  I keep having images of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof ripping his clothes in mourning when he found out his daughter married a non Jew. While that hasn’t happened, I have […]

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Slavery

An obvious theme of Passover is slavery.  The Jewish people were slaves in Egypt.  The slavery was particularly awful because much of their work was back breaking labour meant more to waste time than to actually build anything. The word for Egypt in Hebrew is Mitzrayim, meaning constriction, also relates to the theme of slavery. […]

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Retelling

One of the main activities of Passover is the retelling of the story of Exodus.  We retell the story to remember.  We retell the story to learn from the past.  The cycle of Jewish holidays is described to be spiral; although we end up at the same point after each cycle, hopefully we are moving […]

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Believing

On twitter and instagram, @imabima has made a list of writing prompts for the first two weeks of the month of Nissan.  I have decided to do my best and try to write something for each theme (each day).  Day 1 is Believing. I believe that G-d loves me and you.  I believe that G-d […]

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A Charoset Blended Recipe

My grandmother, Bless her Soul, made the most amazing dishes.  Sadly, all the recipes disappeared when she passed away because she would never reveal any of her secrets.  She was born and raised in Egypt and emigrated with the Exodus of the 1950’s. One dish I remember LOVING as a child was her charoset, a […]

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Purim, Revealing the Hidden

One of the themes of Purim has to do with the hidden becoming revealed.  Esther hid her identity as a Jew within Achashverosh’s castle.  When the time was right not only did she reveal her true self, but she revealed Haman’s evil plot to destroy the Jews.  All the coincidences within the story of Esther […]

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Shabbat Dinner Conversation

I decided that the Shabbat table would be a good time to speak of the good things we have experienced during the week.  First I asked my husband if he was grateful for anything specific (other than the nice meal he was about to eat).  Then I asked my husband if anything inspired him over […]

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Bed Time

recommended that I start saying the with my son in the morning and in the evening before bed.  After nursing my son, I would sing to him this song I learned in a play group (to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Litter Star): Then I sing the Shema.  My son is too young to understand, […]

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Book: The Invisible Wall

When I go to the library at the Jewish Community Centre, I tend to browse and just grab whatever book catches my fancy.  A few weeks ago, I couldn't find anything, so I asked the librarian if she had any recommendations.  I was in the mood for a memoir or something historical.  She recommended Harry […]

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Interfaith Parenting Support Group

I have a confession.  I love the events posted on InterfaithFamily.com’s Network. I am jealous.  I wish we had similar events here.  So I went on a mission.  I wanted to find some kind of local support group for interfaith families with one Jewish parent.  I didn’t have any success finding anything established locally.  The […]

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Where Do We Fit In?

Being a somewhat Shomer Shabbos Jew married to a non-Jew, I often feel a little at odds with my Jewish identity.  Where, exactly, does my family fit in? Jewish spirituality is definitely made up of categories: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, cultural, secular – just to name a few.  A friend’s daughter asked me “Are you Orthodox?” […]

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Book review: P is for Passover

I love reading to my son.  One day soon, he’ll actually understand the words but for now it is still special bonding time over the pages.  As much as I love Dr. Seuss, I am starting a collection of Jewish holiday children’s books.  For Passover, I bought the book by Tanya Lee Stone at the […]

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What is your Mitzrayim?

We celebrate Passover to commemorate the Jewish people’s redemption from Egypt – Mitzrayim in Hebrew.  The root of the Hebrew word for Egypt refers to that which is constricting, perhaps even slows us down and prevents us from moving forward.  As a parent, what is your Mitzrayim?  I have much to learn as a parent.  […]

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Passover cleaning the soul

Jewish thought has a concept of – making an account of the soul.  Every day one should spend some time thinking about their day – what was done well, what could be improved.  We return to that concept big time at Elul, the Hebrew month leading up to Rosh Hashannah, kind of a Jewish version […]

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Thinking of Passover

With Purim now done, we look forward to pushing the clocks an hour ahead, spring and Passover (cleaning).  What do you do for Passover to prepare?  Is there a massive clean up?  Do you plan a special menu or stick with tradition?  I enjoy our Seders, which has been just my husband and myself.  We […]

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Purim is not a Jewish Halloween

I am sure there must be several blog posts with that title.  When people ask about Purim, it’s a simple answer. It’s kind of Halloween.  The only thing similar to Halloween is the dressing up.  Otherwise there is nothing similar to Halloween (stepping off soap box).  Purim is about giving.  We give to charity so […]

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Merging the Jewish with the Non

I was discussing my son’s Brit Milah (Bris, circumcusion) with my spiritual advisor/mentor.  I was recalling my best friend asking about whether my in-laws, my son’s non-Jewish grandfather, aunts and uncles, would be coming to the ceremony.  She asked whether they understood the importance of the ceremony.  The answers to both questions were “no.”  Truth […]

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Modeh Ani

The first prayer of each and every day is a statement of gratitude.  Thank G-d I am still alive.  It is a little bit an answer to “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the L-rd my soul to keep…” The blessing is so simple, and in fact written quite eloquently, without the […]

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The Saturday Dilemma

Shabbat meals are ready.  The house is far from clean.  I have pretty much given up on preparing the whole house for Shabbat now that we have a baby.  Once a month, we have budgeted in for a cleaning lady.  I will have to wait one more week until the entire house will feel sparking […]

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A few thoughts as my son naps

My son, thank G-d, was born September 13, 2011.  Eight days later was his Brit Milah, his circumcision.  He was so good.  He slept.  I cried.  The Mohel included my husband in the ceremony.  We recited a beautiful prayer, asking G-d for help in parenting, for helping our son live a wonderful life and of […]

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Introducing Hannah

Shalom! I am another one of the fab parenting bloggers.  I am actually a parent in waiting… due in 3 days!  (Will baby be on time? That’s a different story.) I am Jewish and grew up mostly culturally Jewish.  We had three sets of dishes in the house, milk, meat and treif.  We went to […]

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