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7 Quick Days Friday

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— 1 —

Our family has temporarily grown with Yonah and Yehiel moving in the basement and commuting to Uni daily. Yonah has temporary custody of two of his brothers, and our “guest suite” is now their temporary home. Our home is a little more crowded, especially since Yonah’s new dog has moved with them, but I think we will manage.

— 2 —

I am a bit behind on my 31 Day Challenge (31 Days in the Jewish Quarter), partly because the above thing happening, and partly because I am just being extremely busy with homeschool and coordinating extracurricular activities. Fencing and art have started back up, as well as Krav Maga and piano lessons. There have been lots of doctor’s appointments as well–though not as many as some of you are used to–and I finally scheduled eye appointments for everyone who needs them! The biggest problem is that I still can’t drive, so we have to plan a lot more time to use public transportation. Luckily we do have regular buses!

— 3 —

Winter is coming! Ok, with the temperature getting close to 30°C (80+°F), it doesn’t really feel like that, but we have t he first cholent of the season already in the oven, and we finish the day with mulled cider. We have already devoured the candy corn that my friend Nathan brought us, including the one last emergency piece. To extend the availability for the candy corn, I mixed the candy corn with pretzels and peanuts in a big bowl. Now we have a big bowl of pretzels and peanuts. My kids are too smart for tricks like this.

— 4 —

The other day I was watching the Deaf News segment. Kevin walked in and turned the volume up high before realizing that the deaf news still don’t have sound. He commented, “They should have put on some sound at least where they were singing with the beer.” My reply? “You definitely don’t want to hear 200 deaf drunks sing!”

For some reason we found this hysterical. Gosh, I still get tears from laughing just thinking of it!

— 5 —

On the homeschool front, I am a glutton for punishment, and started to teach my newly 5-year-olds to read English. They are doing pretty well with Hebrew reading, even though they are not really starting reading till first grade, but our traditional religious classes do teach reading. So there. We are working on English. Kevin, I and it seems all the other Anglo homeschoolers disagree on just how it’s supposed to be done, and apparently some Anglo homeschoolers take offense at my view that my kids are Israeli and their mastering Hebrew is more important than reading Dr. Seuss at age 5 years and 2 months. Luckily there are others, who just think we are plain crazy raising children in a household speaking 6 languages now. Bella learnt Yiddish at school in Russia, and is now delighted to use it with Yonah’s brothers, whose first language is Yiddish. She also speaks Russian with Eli and Harel. Noa speaks Armenian with Kevin, and Nirel and Yonah speak a Dutch/Afrikaans mix to each other. Craig, Patrik, Matthew and Justin use Hungarian with each other and me, and English with Kevin, and then of course most everyone speaks Hebrew. And some sign. Let me tell you, it makes life and homeschool interesting!

— 6 —

Harel Skaat is releasing his first song from his new album soon! I’m getting super duper excited about it! Kevin is, too, he really likes going to concerts with me, even if it’s Mr. Skaat. He is pretty happy that the next one we are going to is Ivri Lider.

— 7 —

Sunday I have an appointment with a bone specialist. After both my wrist (that had surgery after the last time I broke it) and the bony labyrinth on my non-implanted left side show bone being a lot thinner than it should be.  Maybe he will be able to come up with something.

Shabbat Shalom!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes from the Jewish Quarter (31 Days Day 4)

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31days

— 1 —

Yes, I’m a lazy blogger and decided to, again, combine my two blogging thingies. Since it’s Friday, it’s appropriate that I post about the Shabbat, I think.

The Shabbat begins 18 minutes before sunset on Friday (40 minutes if you are in Jerusalem).  That is because the days begin at sunset in Genesis, and that is what Judaism keeps observing. Of course days overlap, because they end at nightfall, which makes Shabbats approximately 25 hours long. So tonight, as the sun sets, we will welcome Shabbat the Queen.

— 2 —

The Shabbat begins and ends with the lighting of candles. The lighting of the Shabbat candles (at least two, but sometimes more) is the mitzvah of the women of the family–but if no woman is present, men have to perform it. After the Shabbat candle is lit, till the Shabbat ends, fire cannot be kindled or put out. Of course if your house is on fire, you can put that fire out, but lighting candles, the gas stove or anything like that is strictly forbidden in the Torah. Because electricity may involve sparks, Jews are also forbidden from turning electric appliances on and off. Thank HaShem for timers! There are other restrictions on Shabbat activities, but the fire ones are well lit by the two candle lightings at the beginning and the end.

The event of the Shabbat’s “going out” is known as Havdalah. The Havdalah candle is a special, braided candle, that represents the many different Jews of the world.

— 3 —

One of the great mitzvot is to sanctify and enjoy the Shabbat, so while to the outsider it may seem that the Shabbat is boring with the many, many restrictions on activity, it is actually not the case most of the times. While writing, TV and crafts are not for the Shabbat, reading, singing, visiting with friends, having nice family meals, taking walks within the city are all things that Jews enjoy on the Shabbat. Many years ago in Amsterdam I saw a middle aged Orthodox couple walk around the city, window shopping, and just enjoying the pleasant autumn weather, holding hands. They were truly enjoying their Shabbat!

— 4 —

Shabbat is actually a proper holy day and holiday in Judaism: the holiday we have each week. Isn’t it wonderful to actually be able to celebrate G-d and your relationship with Him full time for a day? Because it’s a joyful day, fast days, with the exception of Yom Kippur cannot fall on the Shabbat and no personal fasts are allowed either. Furthermore, two Israeli holidays having to do with mourning and remembering the fallen (Yom HaShoah and Yom Hazikaron, Holocaust Remembrance and Memorial Day) cannot fall on the Shabbat or a day adjacent to the Shabbat.

— 5 —

Three of the typical Shabbat meals are gefilte fish, cholent and challah. Challah is the fancy bread we eat on the Shabbat, and we make two loaves for each meal. Cholent is a slow cooked bean (or potato dish), and gefilte fish is… well. It involves fish. But nowadays we don’t actually stuff the fish. Or only rarely. One of our favourite Shabbat breakfasts is sweet milk challah with Nutella.

— 6 —

In many previous Quick Takes I posted you can see that the 7th quick take is a greeting “Shabbat Shalom!” and a music video. The music is a variation of the song “Lecha Dodi” (click for translation), which is sung in synagogues during Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat services to welcome the Shabbat. It refers to Shabbat as the bride and the Queen.

Shabbat Shalom is one of the specific greetings used for the Shabbat. Another one is “Shalom Aleichem”, to which the response is “Aleichem shalom”. Not to be confused with Sholem Aleichem, the writer whose stories serve as the base of the “Fiddler on the Roof”.

— 7 —

Shabbat Shalom!

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

For other 31 Days posts, click here. For a collection of Hebrew and Yiddish words used in these posts, click here.

7 Quick Takes Friday – the last one in 2012

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  1. I’m back. I know I missed two weeks, and to be honest, I didn’t realize it was Friday today till about 5 minutes ago, when I started to see the Quick takes on my reading list. Good thing I actually look at my feeds, right? I just pretty much lost sense of time and direction, and I’m living in a bubble outside of the known universe. It’s probably because I’m sick (again) and every day is the same.
  2. This week I had the opportunity to have breakfast with my rabbi twice! After the first breakfast he was heading over to pick up the cell phone that he got free with the subscription he has. It was his first smart phone, and he got an iPhone 5! Today he let me play with it, and I am proud to say I didn’t break it. I like it much better than my old iPhone that I hate it, and now I’d really, really like an iPad Mini or an iPod touch. I won’t buy either, though. At least not till my current contract from my tablet expires in June 2014.
  3. Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Blessed Sára Salkaházi.
  4. Christmas, as always was a difficult day for me. While it is the anniversary of the arrival of Patrik, it carries many, many negative memories attached, and just my internal clock sets an alarm for it… Luckily, Christmas is over for another year, and hopefuly next year I’ll be all better and we can take a short winter vacation to the Zohar Hot Springs and a nearby kibbutz. Hopefully the schools on’t have a problem with releasing the kids for a few days.
  5. I couldn’t avoid it any more, I needed to get new glasses. Multifocal ones. I might enjoy reading actual books once again after I get them, and not just e-books, where I can make the font size gigantic.
  6. Just because Putin has signed the ban on  US adoptions of Russian orphans, there is no reason to give up on caring for the orphans of Russia. Especially now is the time to support them. There are many ethical organizations that work with Russian orphans and other underpriviliged and disabled children. Missionaries Valera and Maude Motovilov of Yoshkar-Ola, capital of Mari El, are among these people. Their blog can be found here, and I have friends, who have seen their work first hand. They are also keeping in touch with special needs orphanage graduates as well as working with the community, spreading the gospel. My brother, one of the first children adopted by Westerners from Russia, is also about moving back there and hopes to establish good relationships with the orphanage he once lived.
  7. Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year!
    shabbatshalom

7 Quick Takes Friday

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  1. So yesterday was Thanksgiving Day for US Americans, and since we have afew of those around here we did have a nice dinner, complete with turkey, pies, mashed things and green beans. And other food that I didn’t fix. The turkey I killed a while back, because yes, I know how to kosher slaughter birds. That skill came very handy in Hungary where the nearest kosher butcher’s shop was 45 minutes away, plus it was pretty expensive.
  2. For quite a few of our kids it was their first Thanksgiving. When they got home from school, one of our boys confused by the amount of food waiting for them asked whose birthday it was. Actually it was my SIL Maya’sand our friend Roland’s birthday, and we got to celebrate with them. In addition to them, Kevin’s parents, his brother and his family from Jerusalem, my friend Nathan and two American-born lone soldiers joined us for Thanksgiving dinner that went a whole lot better than last year. I’m told the food was nice. Unfortunately, there are no leftovers.
  3. So, what are some of the things I’m grateful for? For being a Jew, not a gentile, for being free, not a slave, for being a man, not a woman, for being gay, not straight, for being me–even if most of the time I don’t like myself. The first three, of coure, allude to the morning payer. I think there will be a post coming up about this.
  4. I’ve been listening to some Hungarian pop music. Like this song from Jamie Winchester. Yes, Jamie Winchester is Hungarian music. 😀 While he is from Ireland, he has been a force in the Hungarian music scene for as long as I can remember.
  5. Chanukah is coming! With about two weeks left, it’s time to stock up on jelly for the sufganiyot and get out the decorations and buy a lot of candles… I’m starting to be excited. So here is a funny:
    ‘A woman goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Chanukah cards.
    She says to the clerk, “May I have 50 Chanukah stamps?”
    The clerk says, “What denomination?”
    The woman says, “Oh my God. Has it come to this? Give me 6 Orthodox, 12 Conservative, and 32 Reform.”’
  6. It’s raining.
  7. Shabbat Shalom!

7 Quick Takes Friday

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  1. This is the 749th published post on this blog. 
  2. There are 2042 approved comments, I guess about half of those are my replies to other comments. Yes, I usually reply to comments. That was something I learnt to do on LiveJournal. 
  3. This blog has been hosted on WordPress.com, Blogspot and now I am back to self hosting, like with my previous blogs. 
  4. This year 4 977 unique visitors visited my blog 10 910 times, generating 24 889 page views. Yeah, not that much. 
  5. The top ten search words for my blog are:
    Hm, that is pretty much not a surprise. 
  6. Other than MWOP and Facebook, one of the top referring sites is Conversion Diary! Surprise!  It seems some of you Quick Takers actually do click on my link. 🙂 Thank you for Jen for hosting 7 Quick Takes and thanks for reading! All 242 times. 🙂 
  7. My most viewed post is Mazel Tov, which is surprising as it’s less than 2 weeks old. The overall most read page is The KosherKola Klan
+1. Shabbat Shalom!

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