Thursday, December 14, 2017


Its the third night of Hannukah

His loving kindness has no end.

Delight in watching the candles, 
spinning a dreidel with someone you love, dearly, and if its your daughter who will be going away to college next year, treasure the moments preciously. 
Draw if you want, on Hannukah there are no rules, as far as I know.

But in the game of dreidel, there are.
If you spin a `nun` do nothing,
if you get a `gimel`, get the whole pot!
If you get a `shin`, you didn`t win yet, gotta put one back,
and if you get a `hey`, Hey, you get half the pot!!



These are blintzes, they are like a crepe filled with sweet cream cheese and cottage cheese, topped with blueberry compote and sourcream.

Happy Hannukah!

The LORD is my Light and my Salvation.  --Psalm 27:1

On each night of Hannukah, we first light the `Shamash` which is the  candle which is used to light all the others.  On our menorah the Shamash is all the way on the right.  On many menorahs it is in the center.
The second menorah you see in the foreground in the first photo is one I made for our lobby downstairs in the apartment building.  For Hannukah we are to put a menorah where others can see it, by the window or in a public place.  It is like what Yeshua says, not to hide our light but rather to shine our light for all to see.  Wishing you many blessings during these days of increasing light.

"You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket.  Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."   -- Matthew 5:14~16

Blessings and Shalom!


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Joseph and Cherry Blossoms and a Pomegranate

Joseph dreamed a dream

At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended the flocks with his brothers, as a helper to the sons of his father`s wives Bilhah and Zilpah...   ---Genesis 37:2b

We had some guests at last Shabbat,
so happy we could share a Challah.
It was the first time for most to try a pomegranate.
And to hear the story of Joseph.

I told a little of the story after our meal, and illustrated the colored coat (striped tunic, specially given to him from his father Jacob) with gingerbread (cookies) in the hopes of making an impression that they might want to read more.  Everyone wanted to eat more for sure!

After the girls went into another room (I just realized the girls are about the age Joseph was when he had the first two dreams, at the start of this week`s Parsha Vayeshev), I opened up the Song of Songs.  Because of the pomegranate on tonight's Shabbat table, I noticed particularly the verses with pomegranates, and because of the lily we had at our Shabbat, I also noticed those lines too.

I went down to the nut grove 
To see the budding of the vale; 
To see if the vines had blossomed,
If the pomegranates were in bloom.    --Song of Songs 6:11

It is rare to find a pomegranate in Japan, and it took me by surprise to see one in the supermarket where I have recently been going for Shabbat meal shopping.  Could God have put it there for me?  I remember the last time I had a pomegranate it was in December, around my birthday, and even made a post and a pancake about it , HERE.  Happy Birthday to all whose birthdays are in December!!

Blessings and Shalom,
Its already Sunday in Japan.

Challah French toast with pomegranate seed

Shavu'a Tov!!!  (have a good week!)

Continue reading below for a quiz challenge, and a SHALOM finding from this week`s Parsha Vayeshev

1。Here`s a   QUIZ!!! Challenge! about the drawing (pictured above, top of this post)!
In Joseph's dreams there were 11 of something in each dream.(you can see in  this week's Parsha, starting in Genesis Ch. 37 for Q's 1-3!)

1.What was there 11 of in the first dream? 
2.What was there 11 of in the second dream?
3.  What do the 11 represent?
4.What else is there 11 of in the drawing (though not in the scripture)?
5.  If you found an answer to question 4, WHY do you think there are 11 of these, what might they represent? 

2。Here`s the SHALOM finding!
This year as you know I have been on a mission to seek Shalom, I have also been keeping my eyes open for when  the word `SHALOM` appears in the weekly Torah readings.

This week it appears twice (at least), in these scriptures:
Genesis 37:4 :
When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak to him in shalom.
Genesis 37:14
 Then he said to him, "Go now and check on the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flocks and bring word back to me." 
note: in this verse in the Hebrew scriptures, the word `Shalom` is used twice, for the shalom (welfare in this case)  of the brothers, and the shalom of the flocks
 I found this very interesting because in the first one (Gen. 37:4), it was about how the brothers hated Joseph and could not speak to him in Shalom.  And its the first time I noticed this form of Shalom being , rather `no Shalom`.

In the second one  (Gen. 37:14) is when Jacob asks Joseph his son to check on his brothers and see if they were well , in this case, in `Shalom`. 

When there is `No Shalom`, we can see in how in all the verses to come and the parashiot to follow, and the history from there, the lengths the brothers go to to try to get rid of Joseph, rather than face their jealousies and seek Shalom.

I learned from this Torah portion and coming on that place in the verse of seeing where there was `no shalom`.  It really spoke to me because there was a place in my heart recently where I wasn`t feeling shalom, and so I really stopped at that verse in Genesis 37:4.  I saw from this what happens if we let that go and don`t check on it,  and how it `snowballs` and creates dis-harmony in relations with others.  So how to get back to shalom in those times?  It is God`s shalom that is the peace that goes beyond understanding, so it is by seeking Him through seeking His presence, His word, and abiding in the vine, Yeshua, that brings us out  of the chaos of `no shalom` and back into His presence, the place where we find His Shalom!! 


Shalom I leave you, My shalom I give to you; but not as the world gives! Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.   -- Yeshua`s words from John 14:27


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Mayim Mayim---Israel Dance Circle in Beppu-- From a suitcase, (Beppu Art Month 2017)

When I walked down the street to get to the event with my suitcase, it struck me that I have everything I need packed in the suitcase!  Then I also saw that this dance was an offering.
Mayim Mayim comes from the Scripture in Isaiah 12:3 which says,
 Joyfully shall you draw water from the wells of Salvation.

Interestingly, In Japan, many people know the dance to Mayim Mayim.  This dance is taught in elementary schools as a folk dance, so people of all ages still know the basics and that is probably why everyone caught on so quickly!!  But no one know that it comes from Israel, or that

 When we dance to this dance it represents drawing from the wells of Salvation.
In Beppu, water bubbles up in springs from the ground.  In our hearts, may the joy of our Salvation spring forth as we dance with delight. Giving thanks to our maker, the Creator of Heaven of Earth.

When I got to the venue, I opened my suitcase, and from there the event began!!
The name of the event was "Israel Dance Wa", it was one of many programs in a month long arts event, Beppu Art Month.

So much to pack in one post, but first,  I  want to say Thank yous!!  Thank you to all for your help and prayers and to all who joined! and next, to  share a praise report in the form of a list of {
What to pack for An Israeli Dance `WA`!},

Wa, depending how it is written  in Japanese means  `Circle` and it also means "Harmony" 「和」

1.   Pack a suitcase with everything you need for an Israel Dance Circle!

(subtitle: let's all dance to Mayim Mayim together)

2.  Include:  music CD`s with the Israeli dances for Mayim Mayim, Hava Nagila, Hora, and more!
Costumes--in this case a specially designed t-shirt for the event!
Hospitality items---tablecloths for tables, plates and cups, a pot of hot coffee if its cold, and Israeli candy.  Dreidels to give as a thank you for those who join

3.   A backdrop or any props for making it festive

4.  Set up your backdrop

 5.  Grab a microphone and invite people to join!! Give thanks first to the God of Israel for the beautiful weather and for the chance to gather!

 Best to do this in an open space where there are many passersby so that you can begin to make a circle and have it grow!!

 6.  Warming up.
When you have enough people gathered, its time to Stretch!

4. Next turn on the music and let the songs fill the atmosphere
5.  Teach the basic steps
6. Together,  Rejoice!
Please join  in !  (MAYIM MAYIM , here and a few more clips  below!)

And, to recap in a poem of praise,

The Beppu Art Month
event went Well!!
There`s even a little
story to tell.

All the talk of water
and of springs
makes us want to
rejoice and sing

So it is fitting that the event
is to dance Mayim Mayim

Did you know that in Japan,
everyone knows this dance!
I was thankful for this
wonderful chance
to share that it comes
from Is-ra-el

And that the words come from
Water (Mayim),
 and the Salvation well

I posted the Hebrew that says
Be-sa-son (meaning Joy)

on the trunk of a palm tree!

Gather and see!

A bear with a fountain on his yellow shirt,
and a girl who is wearing a Mt. Fuji skirt

formed the backdrop for the outside event
 There was a great roof, so no need for a tent.

Children and shoppers, moms, dads and friends
joined in for the dances
they learned the steps quick and we all held hands.

In Japanese Yoroko-biび」means joy,
so I end this post with a thank you to
each girl and boy,
along with a little Hannukah toy!!

Blessings and Shalom!!

I packed all the dance
in a suitcase
With thanks for the chance
to rejoice in that place

Arms lifted high
towards a clear and blue sky
Hands held together!

Praise ADONAI!

 Joyfully shall you draw water from the wells of Salvation. --Isaiah 12:3

あなたがたは喜べながら救いの水を汲む   ーイザヤ書12:3

Ushavem Mayim bessason mimainei haYeshua.
---words in transliterated Hebrew from Isaiah 12:3 which are the lyrics for the folk dance and song, Mayim Mayim

This event was a part of Beppu Art Month.  The location was at Beppu Tokiwa, outside in the large entrance space plaza, so that passersby could join in.  The event was called `Israel Dance `Wa``
Wa in Japanese has several meaning, depending on what Japanese character is used.
I wanted to express a double meaning of WA , Harmony,
with Wa, Circle。。。and post note, p.s. I just noticed another play, as WA is the first two letters of...WATER!!
*yes! Water, Water
 Mayim means {Water} in Hebrew

Photo credit: thank you Taeko-san! To whom I just handed the camera and asked her to take a few photos at the last minute, and she took the videos too!

Please see related post from an earlier guest interview with Teresa, from Rejoice in the Dance.  Thank you Teresa for teaching the dance steps, and sharing her inspiring vision.  See post HERE.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Ladder and Turtles, Jacobs`s Ladder Parsha

Like in a can you find it picture, how many ladders, and how many turtles can you find?!

The flaming yellow leaves seemed to be bursting over the top of the ladder

He dreamed:  All of a sudden, there was a stairway set upon the earth and its top reaching to the heavens--and behold, angels of God going up and down on it!   
---Genesis 28:12
When I saw so many ladders recently on my travels in my days, I realized it is timely to write a post about the Parsha Vayetze, the parsha that includes the story of Jacob's ladder.

This week is already past the Parsha Vayetze and Jacob`s ladder, but even though it has past I still keep passing by ladders in my days and even had a perfect encounter on a ladder (not pictured, this story is from another occasion with a ladder)  When it happened, I was so engrossed in being in the experience and being on the ladder,  that I only realized after how it fit in with this weeks reading!  Hence, no photo but just these words to mark the occasion.  Two of us were on either side of a ladder going up and down putting up a `backdrop`of a girl with a Mt. Fuji dress and a Bear with a Jerusalem shirt...if I had a photo of me holding the life sized drawing of a girl, and another helper climbing the ladder to put up the fountain of water and the bear, and then me going up and she going down....can you see how that would have been just perfect?

Well, there was another photo too that I didn`t take.  After seeing these ladders by the castle today (pictured above), I was invited to sit down in a corner near the Castle gate, and have tea and coffee with the ones who were going up and down these ladders.  Really you aren`t going to believe this, but its true, I didn`t take the photo again because I was so engrossed in being in the experience, and being invited for coffee with the ones who had spent all day going up and down the week of Jacob`s ladder Parsha...but I will just tell you that the coffee was so perfect and I am one who usually doesn`t eat sweets, but the sweets they gave me I ate and they were so delicious.  One was a bun with white bean paste, and another was hand baked senbei (rice crackers) dipped in Miso and baked with citric yuzu. 

After the coffee, my host on the makeshift  seats made from upside down cartons insisted I have tea.  It was tea that was made from water from the spring!  `Waki-mizu` in Japanese, my host said.  You have to know a little backdrop, that I have been consumed with `waki-mizu`, spring water, and as you know , wells, for the past few months at least.  So even as I ordinarily would decline a cup of tea after a perfect cup of coffee, I accepted the tea made from water from the spring.  And from a Beppu spring yet!!

After the encounter, I realized I didn`t even take a photo but there were the miso senbei (a kind of sweet made from miso ) that I was given, so I took a photo of the senbei as a concrete reminder that it really happened, and it wasn`t just a dream.  Just to remember that sometimes we really do encounter strangers who may just be angels!  I think at those moments its sometimes good not to take a picture, because if we meet strangers who are angels, they are usually worthy of giving our full attention to!!

the pile of  miso senbei that he gave me
Jacob woke up from his sleep and said, "Undoubtedly ADONAI is in this place---and I was unaware."  So he was afraid and said, "How fearsome this place is!  This is none other than the House of God---this must be the gate of heaven!" --Genesis 28:16~17


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Rachel and Jacob at the Well

Jacob resumed his journey and came to the land of the Easterners.  There before his eyes was a well in the open.  Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it, for the flocks were watered from that well.   ---Genesis 29:1~2
Well, yes,
more drawing and  talk of wells.

How are you , are you well?
Yes, I`m well.

I made a fun and exciting `Shalom` discovery when reading this week`s Parsha Va-yetse  ,  that in Hebrew the word `Shalom` appears  twice  for the words `well` and `well` in one of the dialogues in Genesis 29:6. Not in the case of the `water well` but in the case where the word `well` is used in the sense above, as in `are you well?`

The Hebrew writing in the drawing is from Genesis 29:6, where Jacob meets Rachel.   First Jacob inquires about his relatives and how the family is.  And in the very same line, we meet Rachel.

The verse goes like this:

וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם, הֲשָׁלוֹם לוֹ; וַיֹּאמְרוּ שָׁלוֹם--וְהִנֵּה רָחֵל בִּתּוֹ, בָּאָה עִם-הַצֹּאן. 6

And he said unto them: 'Is it well with him?' And they said: 'It is well; and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.' 

I highlighted in blue to show how in Hebrew the word `Shalom` in the place of both `wells`

Hence in the drawing, I drew the word Shalom in the Well and Shalom in the sky,
I put twelve sheep in the drawing,  and do you know why?

Because there at the well was a meeting between Rachel and Jacob.
You might say that meeting went well.  Jacob moved the big rock off the well, and then everything flowed from there,
he watered the flock.

Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and broke into tears.   ---Genesis 29:11

Saw Rachel, and gave her A kiss at first sight,
and you know what happens in the pages after that,
12 sons were born , who became the 12 tribes of Israel (Jacob`s name was changed to Israel in the next Parsha)
Of course, other wives were involved who mothered the sons,
but here at the well
it all was begun!!

PS note:  speaking of Shalom, if you haven`t yet entered the first Challah and Cherry Blossoms giveaway, please read the end of the post below and enter! Up until Dec. 3, and be eligible to win a book, Shalom in the Psalms!   

PSS  did you notice Rachel`s dress? I gave her a dress that  is yellow with a pattern of pink cherry blossoms! 

PSS I hope that even those who don`t read Hebrew, that you are starting to recognize the word `Shalom` even in the Hebrew letters!!! Wishing you well!

Blessings and Shalom   ♡  Shayndel

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Shalom Tenugui, Flowers from my daughter, and a Shalom gift for you...

menu notes:  `Thanksgiving` recipes for this Shabbat include cranberry sauce from dried cranberries, creamy sweet potatoes with cardomon, and perfect roast chicken

Shabbat Shalom!

About the Shalom Tenugui:
A Tenugui is a long rectangular shaped cloth with a long history, traditional in Japan.  
I designed this Shalom Tenugui, its something I have been wanting to do for long time, and recently had an opportunity to collaborate with a graphic designer who put my drawing into graphic form!
The design features the Hebrew letters which spell Shalom with a pattern of Cherry Blossoms in the letters. Around the Shalom in the background are graphics of Mt. Fuji, On-sen (hot spring mark), Challah (whole loaf), and a slice of challah.   It can be used as a Challah Cover, a table runner, a decorative cloth, or to wrap a gift or to be a gift in itself.
This past Shabbat I used it as a challah cover.  As you can see the little challah patterns reflect in the Challah itself.  It came about as a personal expression of how Japan and Israel have been coming together in my life.  A way to share a message of shalom and for all things to come together in God`s great Shalom!!

The flowers were gift from my daughter on thanksgiving day, though on that day it was actually Labor Day in Japan.  So I would like to give a gift to you, please read the end of the post to find a fun giveaway!!

Wishing you a belated Happy Thanksgiving! 
IF you are inspired to, please share your favorite scripture about Thanks or about Shalom (peace!)

I will share one too,

Blessings and ....Shalom!,

ADONAI bless you and keep you!
ADONAI make His face to shine on you 
and be gracious to you!
ADONAI turn His face toward you 
and grant you shalom!

---Aaronic Benediction, Numbers 6:24~26


Shalom in Psalms, A Giveaway gift for you!

  When I just went to look up a `Shalom` verse to share, a book came up!!   The title  is just so perfect, two of my most favorite themes, Shalom and Psalms, its called Shalom in the Psalms!

 So I did something impulsive and ordered it!

Then I saw there is a way to give this book to you too, so I set up a giveaway on Amazon, so it will be sent directly to one person in this week through Dec. 3!!
 Please if you would like to be eligible for a free gift giveaway copy,
click Here
I hope you will be the one who receives the free gift giveaway !!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Onigiri Cafe and Pastel Art---Beppu Hospitality!

The teacher`s postcard on the left, mine on the right
This post takes you on a little Challah and Cherry Blossoms Excursion.

On this week at the Onigiri Cafe there is a special event, where you can enjoy an onigiri and learn to draw with pastels.
It is a month in Beppu called Beppu Art Month, and all over the city there are doors open to creative events.  As Beppu is a city famous for hot springs, the creativity is also springing forth in this month.

I will also be doing an event this month, so stay tuned!

Thank you for stopping by.

And Yes,  I am always throwing in a new word here and there!
This time it`s Onigiri!

Onigiri are wonderful rice balls!
Well, actually they are very simple and basic, and pressed into shape by hand, so maybe it is in that, their simplicity and their closeness to the hand
that makes them so wonderful.

Often Onigiri are triangle shaped, and can be filled with all sorts of delicious fillings.
At the Onigiri cafe, the specialty is,
The `O` is an honorable prefix.
Nigiri means the act of pressing and shaping by hand.

To make, form the rice is formed into a ball, and then hold in one hand with another hand `cupping` over it and pressing in to make the shape.  Often they are wrapped in toasted `nori`, or seaweed.

To eat, you can hold it perfectly in your hand, and find the surprise inside when you get to the middle.
The onigiri here is served on the seaweed, so you can wrap it yourself!  And my favorite  at the Onigiri cafe is (photo below) kinpira gobo (burdock root sautee!) onigiri.

Our Father in Heaven, sanctified be Your Name.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
--Matthew 6:9b~11

Blessings and Love,


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Drawing from the Well, Cont`d

Love is patient, 
love is kind,
it does not envy, it does not brag,
it is not puffed up
it does not behave inappropriately,
it does not seek its own way,
it is not provoked,
it keeps no account of wrong,
it does not rejoice over injustice
but rejoices in the truth;
it bears all things,
it believes all things,
it hopes all things,
it endures all things.

---1Corinthians 13:4~7

Blessings and LOVE to you today!
 ♫n ♫♫