Love this picture that my daughter took in Israel of the Challahs for Shabbat.
So fresh and delicious.
Plenty for all.
G-d’s blessing for a restful Shabbos.
Thank you for sanctifying us with your mitzvot. 😉
(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)
It was great going to Magen David Synagogue today to help prepare for the big Simchat Torah Dinner tomorrow night.
First, we started with great ingredients.
Then all the prep.
The cleaning, slicing, dicing, mixing, laying it all out, and braising.
Then the cooking–stovetop, and oven.
And before you know, it comes out all done and ready for the scrumptious shul dinner to honor the Torahs.
I want to thank all the women and men that helped out today and many other times to prepare.
But especially, I want to call out Naomi Elimelech who coordinates everything and is the brains behind all the delicious and healthy food.
She and her husband, Itzik, who is also the President of the synagogue, are truly wonderful, caring, and giving people and a role model for all of us–and it’s not just the cooking!
B’tayavon everyone and Chag Sameach! 😉
(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Reflections Before Yom Kippur.”
“I get up in the middle of the night, and I’m still 3/4 asleep. My mouth feels dry, and I walk over to the mouthwash to refresh. I reach for the bottle, but I grab the image in the mirror…”
Hope you enjoy this true story and the parable for living our spiritual lives and not just reach for the ego image in the mirror.
May you be sealed for another year in the book of life. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
So this was one of those amazing types of photos–like a one in a million.
It was taken in Synagogue in front of the aron (ark) where the Holy Torahs are kept.
On Sabbath and holidays, after services, devout people often go up to the doors of the ark to say a personal and silent prayer of devotion getting up close to the Torahs (G-d’s sacred words to us).
What you’ll see here is that someone is dressed (for Purim) as Superwoman.
The juxtaposition of Superwoman to the Holy ark is accentuated by the words above the ark, which translated from the Hebrew states:
“Know before whom you stand.”
A cautionary note and reminder that before the ark, we are literally standing before the presence of G-d (and to conduct ourselves with the utmost respect and propriety)
So in this picture, we have Superwoman standing before G-d, the most super of them all!
When I think of how minuscule we as human beings are before our Maker, it is magnified for me that even the most super of human beings infinitely pales when standing in front of the majesty and omnipotence of our L-rd.
Superman and Superwoman prostrate yourselves before Hashem, even as we all must do. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with compliments to Monique for the photo)
So there is a Jewish commandment to put a mezuzah on your doorposts.
Reminiscent of ancient times when Jews were slaves in Egypt and G-d told the Israelites to put the blood of the Paschal lamb on the doorpost.
When they did this and the Angel of Death killed the firstborn in each home of the taskmaster Egyptians–he passed over the doorposts of the Israelites that had the blood on it as commanded by G-d.
So too these days, the Mezuzah has the holy prayer of the Shema Yisrael on it:
“Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One”.
And it is believed to be a symbol of G-d’s divine protection for the home.
This week in Synagogue, Rabbi Haim Ovadia told some miraculous stories about the Mezuzah from when he was the Rabbi in Bogota, Columbia.
He told of how the cartels would raid the buildings where the people in the community lived. The cops would be told not to respond to the calls for help for at least an hour. But what was a miracle was that apartments with the mezuzahs were not harmed. Later, the people found out that the cartels, thank G-d left them alone, because they didn’t know what a mezuzah was and thought it was some sort of fancy alarm system!
Another story, was the boss who put mezuzahs on the offices at work, and what happened? The profitability of the business went up. When they looked at why this happened, they realized that the boss would stop at the mezuzah to recite the Shema, and the workers thought the boss was there paying more attention to them and so productivity went way up.
Finally, the last one was really funny. They couldn’t easily get mezuzahs in Bogota, so when they heard someone was coming from a trip to Israel, they asked him to bring 5 mezuzahs for the home. When it arrived, they opened it up, but lo and behold, the parchment with the prayer inside was missing from them. When they asked what happened to it–the person said, I already know how to put up a mezuzah on the doorpost with 2 nails and a hammer, so what do I need the instructions inside it for!
G-d is glorious and the holiness that he bestows on us with his commandments is amazing. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)