How this 650-year-old French synagogue withstood centuries of anti-Semitism

I decided to re-blog this article about a historical shul. Pretty Amazing!   CARPENTRAS, France (JTA) — The synagogue in this Provence town is Western Europe’s oldest functioning Jewish house of worship — and one of the prettiest on the continent. The Synagogue of Carpentras, which this year is celebrating its 650th anniversary, has a Baroque-style interior…

Bread Therapy

So today is Tu bi Av. Lovely to spend it alone, feeling miserable and listening to the sound of the rain outside, isn’t it? So the whole day I was working on my computer feeling like you know what. Finally, I realized that I had to do something therapeutic. So I decided to make the…

Summer Vegetarian Delights

Summer is the best time to experiment with vegetables. It is, of course, easier to do if you live on the land, or in one of those countries like Israel, where everything tastes delicious. My digital nomad, daughter, currently in Croatia with RemoteYear is munching on red currants that we very rarely get here, for…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses Vaetchanan / ואתחנן

Fittingly, after the 9 of AV, we are reminded by Moshe Rabbeinu what we have to do in order to stay alive on the “good land”.     ו  וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם, וַעֲשִׂיתֶם–כִּי הִוא חָכְמַתְכֶם וּבִינַתְכֶם, לְעֵינֵי הָעַמִּים:  אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁמְעוּן, אֵת כָּל-הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה, וְאָמְרוּ רַק עַם-חָכָם וְנָבוֹן, הַגּוֹי הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה. 6 Observe therefore and do them; for this is your…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses Deuteronomy / דְּבָרִים

This past Shabbat we have said “Be Strong, Be Strong, Let Us Be Strengthened – חזק, חזק,להתחזק for the Book of בְּמִדְבַּר – Numbers. This week, we are starting to read the last cycle of the year – the book of Deuteronomy – דְּבָרִים. For me, this is a momentous Shabbat. My younger daughter is leaving to…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Matot-Masei / מטות־מסעי

This Shabbat we read the two last Torah portions of the book “Bamidbar / Numbers”. And here’s how they start:     ב  וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-רָאשֵׁי הַמַּטּוֹת, לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר:  זֶה הַדָּבָר, אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה. 2 And Moses spoke unto the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, saying: This is the thing which the…

My Cookbook Collection

I always say that I am crazy about cookbooks, especially Jewish ones that double as the Jewish food history books. I almost never use the exact recipes though, even for baking, let alone for cooking. I love to experiment with ingredients, always adding and subtracting stuff depending on what I have in my pantry or fridge,…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Pinchas / פינחס

There are plenty of great comments on this Parshah.  I am just going to direct you to one of them, from Rabbi Alex Israel. He teaches at Pardes Institute. There are many more if you’d like to read about Pinchas and the census. For me, this Parshah is all about the women, and how they have…

Nasty Sushi Parasite On The Rise In Western Countries

Originally posted on Buying Seafood:
Sushi, ceviche, crudo, poke…all of them seem crazy popular right now from what I see online and I understand why. Raw or “acid cooked” fish tastes great, looks great, and if prepared correctly, has no ill-health effects. However as I talked about in my post about sushi grade fish, if…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Balak / בָּלָק

I love this Parshah! Almost until the very end of it, it talks about the beauty and strength of Israel, almost to the point of modern Anti-Semites saying that “Jews own everything”. Israelites’ flight from Egypt and miraculous things that happened to them in the desert instilled such fear in the neighbouring nations that they…

Some Observations

This was an interesting week for me: challenging, exhilarating, nourishing, disturbing, all at once. Last Sunday, I have started a week long Jewish Professionals Institute at Mechon Hadar. My reasoning was mostly financial – since I wouldn’t be able to afford going to Jerusalem this year to study at Pardes, I decided I would take…

A Random Step

This Sunday I am embarking on a new adventure. I am starting a week-long class at Mechon Hadar. Again, not without trepidation. This is not exactly the place where the level of observance and Yirat Shamaim is according to my view of the world. And yet, I’ve decided to try it. For a very practical reason – there…