Preparing Simchat Torah Dinner

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)

Kiss Me Where

OMG
OMG, so I had a major mess up last night. 


I go to a Sephardic synagogue and they have a custom of not just shaking hands, but kissing (not really) each other by sort of tapping each other first one cheek to cheek and then the other side. 


So this lady friend comes into shule (with her fiancee who walks away for a moment) while the dancing is going on with the Torah for the holiday, and she makes the signal moves for the cheek to cheek greeting to me.


But this whole custom is still being sort of unfamiliar to me, and I mess it up big time!


I must’ve turned my head to the left when I should’ve turned right or something, and rather than end up cheek to cheek, I end up in this very awkward lip on lip kiss with her.


(Oh shit, that didn’t just happen, did it?)


We both sort of jump backwards, and my wife is standing there in disbelief cracking up at the whole thing. 


This lady quickly turns away, and I quickly turn the other way, and I am just looking up at the ceiling thinking what did I just do. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)