Archive for September, 2010

Torah inside of the former Glockengasse synago...

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We were at our friends Steven and Ariella and this vort came from him (through Rafi…)

A Childlike Simplicity of Shmini Atzeret

Shmini Atzeret is the 8th day after Sukkot. It’s unlike the 7 first days in that we don’t sit in Sukkot, nor do we do any of the commandments associated with Sukkot- like taking the lulav and etrog. In the beit ha’mikdash it was also different- all the days of Sukkot had many sacrifices, alluding to including all the nations in our celebration, but the 8th day was just for B’nei Yisrael- we only have one of each sacrifice, representing the intimate relationship between B’nei Yisrael and Hashem.

It’s easier to relate to Shmini Atzeret in chu”l than in Israel. If the idea of Shmini Atzeret (literally: stopping on the 8th day) is to have one day at the end of the holiday season to just spend with Hashem, then doesn’t the Simchat Torah part kind of interfere with that? In chul they have one day of Shmini Atzeret and one day of Simchat Torah. Makes much more sense- each day is separate with a different idea. But if you think about it, Shmini Atzeret is a simple day. No mitzvot like sukkah and lulav. Barely any korbanot- only one of each kind, in contrast to Sukkot. It’s simple, just us and Hashem. (more…)


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We just got back from Beit Hatfutzot’s first ever Sukkot Family Festival and I can’t give enough praise. The theme of the festival is “family tree” so all the events are based around Jewish roots. For example, there was a 2-story painted tree in which they hung rimonim that people decorated with their names. It became a real piece of art that was formed over the course of the day and we felt like we contributed to it. It was an amazing sight!

There was a concert by Yishai Lapidot, which was a nice mix of classic jewish music and modern songs- perfect for the “mixed” crowd that attended. There was also a harpist explaining where his music came from (we couldn’t do everything, so we missed out on that one). There were huge drumming circles and what was most amazing to me, were the incredible sukkot on display, each representing an idea. One was “sukkat david hanofalet”.

There was representation from many Jewish organizations there, such as KKL, Masa, B’nei Akiva, Emunah, and the Jewish Agency.  Around each stand there was an art project which were all free as publicity for the organizations. There were other (“better”) stations that cost 5 NIS each, but were even more fantastic. You could make your own family tree, decorate a bag, make a puppet theater, and decorate door signs for your house.

Popsicles were 5 NIS – very important to know- and bathrooms were very easily accessible (bring Purell- you can’t have it all!)

We had a wonderful time and look forward to going back next year. You can get more info here.

Here are some pictures of us there!

Had a blast meeting superstar rockstar Yishai Lapidot

Superstar Yishai Lapidot (formerly oif simchas) gave a really fun concert!

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View of different types of sechach (sukkah roofs).

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ושמחת בחגך והיית אך שמח

The mitzvah of happiness is found juxtaposed to the mitzvah of Sukkot. The question is why? One thought would be the act of going out of our house and into a simple house, a sukkah, we remember our history- living in the desert under the protection of the cloud of Hashem. We remember that all we have is really from the one Above- our health, our wealth, our family. Sukkot is also called chag ha’asif, the “festival of collecting” (collecting grain from the fields). We remember Gd’s grace in giving us the food we have, and we are in essence, reenacting the harvesting process. Just like when workers go into the field to harvest, they must sleep there for weeks at a time, we also sleep outside remembering and reenacting the harvest and our experience in the desert.

Today’s little thing: Think about what you are grateful for and what you are happy about. Think about what you have, a nice thing that someone did for you, and thank them for it. And plan one fun thing to do with you family during the holiday of Sukkot.

Chag Sameach!

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So Bugaboo has come out with a double stroller- finally! But they call it the Bugaboo Donkey. Why? Well that got me thinking about donkeys. We see them used a lot in Israel…my kids love driving to Gush Etzion just to see the donkeys on the side of the road. I think this quote from Wikipedia sums it up:

The ancestors of the modern donkey are the Nubian and Somalian subspecies of African wild ass.[18][19] The African Wild Ass was domesticated around 4000 BC. The donkey became an important pack animal for people living in the Egyptian and Nubian regions as they can easily carry 20% to 30% of their own body weight and can also be used as a farming and dairy animal. By 1800 BC, the ass had reached the Middle East, where the trading city of Damascus was referred to as the “City of Asses” in cuneiform texts. Syria produced at least three breeds of donkeys, including a saddle breed with a graceful, easy gait. These were favored by women.[citation needed]

Yes, us women do enjoy a good stroller (donkey) that holds a lot of stuff and pushes around a lot of children. And we also like it to be light, narrow, comfortable, and if it could do our grocery shopping for us, we wouldn’t mind! (Shout out to my friend Tamar who is also always in search of the “perfect stroller”)

Anyway, I’m sure the price on this one is not going to be “perfect” and since it’s only coming out in the spring, we’ll all just have to wait and see. In the meantime, here are some specs and pics.

– It actually goes from a single stroller to a side-by-side double and back again. In three clicks.

– The Mono mode has extra side storage.

–  You can attach the big kid riding board using a special adapter.

Sounds fun! Sounds like you might need a donkey to push around that many kids and stuff…But get back to me with the price and then we’ll talk…

bugaboo donkey from bugaboo on Vimeo.

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