Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tashlich and Calendar of the Fall Feasts in 2017

Who is a God like You,
Forgiving iniquity
And remitting transgression;
Who has not maintained His wrath forever
Against the remnant of His own people,
Because He loves graciousness!
He will take us back in love;
He will cover up our iniquities,
You will hurl all our sins
Into the depth of the sea.
You will keep faith with Jacob,
Loyalty to Abraham,
As You promised on oath to our fathers
In days gone by.   ---Micah 7:18~20

Calendar of the Fall Feasts in 2017:
Rosh HaShanah   September 21-22 2017
・The scriptural name for this Holy Day is Yom Teruah, which means sounding of the trumpets, literally the day of the blast.  It is on first day of seventh month of Tishri, see Leviticus 23, Numbers 29.    
Rosh HaShanah translates as the `Head of the Year` and a new year on the Hebrew Calendar, this year 5778, begins
・Yom Kippur  September 30 2017
Day of Atonement, begins on the tenth day of the month of Tishri, a Shabbat of solemn rest and fasting,  the Holiest day of the year on the Biblical calendar, see Leviticus 16, Lev 23
Sukkot  October 5-11 2017
・Feast of Tabernacles, begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, Tishri, and lasts for seven days, Lev. 23, Num. 28, Deut 16, `tabernacle` and even sleep under the Succa!
After Sukkot, comes Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, celebrating the completion of reading one full year cycle of the Torah, and the love and joy of studying Torah.  The Torah scroll is rolled back to the beginning as we start again reading from Genesis, and the continual cycle begins anew.

Tashlich, which this post is titled, means `you will cast away`.  It is a Jewish custom of going to a body of water and symbolically casting our sins by throwing small stones or crumbs,  usually done on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, and the scripture above from Micah is read.

Yeshua our Messiah is the true atonement of our sins.  In this season as we observe the appointed times on G-d`s calendar in obedience and love, it is a time also of reflection and seeking Him for what ways we can move into the year ahead as better hearers and doers of His word.  Even as is it a solemn  time to seek forgiveness,  also this year I am finding a lot of joy, as God comes so close as we draw nearer to Him during His Feasts (and fasts, as Yom Kippur is a day of fasting).  Before Yom Kippur is a time to ask forgiveness to those we sinned against in this past year,  individually and in our communities and nations.  And a powerful time to pray for all to come to Salvation in Yeshua!
Blessings to all in this season of repentance and Return.
Blessings and Love, in 5778!!!, G`mar Chatimah Tovah!! May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year {in the Book of Life}!


If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.     ---1 John 1:9


Praise the LORD for He is good.
His steadfast love is eternal.

---Psalm 118:29

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Round Challah for Rosh Hashanah

L`Shana Tova!

Happy New Year 5778!



Clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of joy!
For ADONAI Elyon is awesome,
a great King over all the earth.

---Psalm 47:2~3

(dip the bread and fruit in honey for a sweet New Year!)

for Challah recipe,  please see sidebar,  Round Apple and Honey Challah...or click HERE
for more posts about Rosh Hashanah on Challah and Cherry Blossoms, click HERE

New Year 5778

When I woke up on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, I felt joyful.  
When I looked outside and saw the morning glories still opening anew, 
I thought,  Dear Lord,  `I just want to tell the world
about Your Glory.`  ...Something's new....all I want to do is sing to you.

The morning glories on `New Year`s Day`, actually it is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar, but it is a new year, 5778!

Even as it looks like the morning glories would be finished, a new flower bloomed just near the earth, as the ones above continue to blossom in Heaven.

Blessings for a new beginning, renewal and restart to all!
 L`Shana Tova!  Happy New Year!!!

Love ♡


Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!

Psalm 47:7 TLV

Shabbat Shuvah and a Challah of Return (1 of 2)

As for me, nearness to God is good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may recount all Your works.    ---Psalm 73:28

This Shabbat is called Shabbat Shuvah.
It means the Sabbath of Return.
It is the Shabbat between the Holy Feast day of Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year) and the Holy Fast day of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).  This whole ten day period is called the Days of Awe.

For the month before these days (see `Elul` posts below), we draw closer to God and prepare our hearts in reflection as we seek repentance and return to Him.

Hence, on this Shabbat it is all about


My challah this week too became all about return! No braided strands but one long strand (though it is my first time making this shape and, my strand could have been longer!).  You make the strand and then roll it from beginning to end into a spiral.  It naturally takes an upward shape of the spiral and can reflect our time of introspection and reflection and return.  As well as the circle and continuous eternal nature of God our Creator, who each year brings us together to these days of repentance and


thus says ADONAI-Tzva`ot,
`Return to Me`---it is a declaration of ADONAI-Tzva`ot---
`and I will return to you`, says ADONAI-Tzva`ot.

---Zecharaiah 1:3

Shabbat Shuvah and a Challah of Return (2 of 2)

and you return to the LORD your God, and you and your children heed His command with all your heart and soul, just as I enjoin upon you this day, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and take you back in love.     

----Deuteronomy 30:2

Round Challah with raisins, Recipe HERE

Our Shabbat Shavuah meal recipes HERE and HERE

Monday, September 18, 2017

An Interview with my Brother! Challah and Cherry Blossoms Guest Interview

This interview took place live on Skype! My brother Jim is in the U.S.  I am in Japan.
I wasn`t quite sure what the interview would be about when we started.  Jim was recently interviewed on his local radio station in NY about a walk he  particpated in just last week for Alzheimers, in honor of our mom who passed away two years ago.  So as I have been doing some interviews on my blog, I thought it would be nice to do an interview with my very own brother, while he was making the circuit!
When I asked about the walk, Jim turned the interview around and asked me a question--he asked how that connected with my blog and the themes of Challah and Cherry blossoms.
So I went with another line of questions, and asked him about.... Yes!
Challah , and Cherry blossoms!
It turned out to be a nice time to wish each other a Happy New Year, and to remember our mom who passed away two years ago. She loved cherry blossoms .. ..
Abbreviations used are Sh=Shayndel, J=Jim.  My brother calls me `Jo`.

Shayndel:  Hi Jim!
  Welcome to Challah and Cherry Blossoms.  It`s an honor to have you here.

Jim:  Hi  Jo.   Thank you very much.

S:  Jim,  I`ll start by asking,  do you have any memories of Challah from our childhood? 

J:  At any Jewish Holiday celebration there was always a challah.  But I don`t think they were homemade.

S: Oh!   I don`t even remember there was challah, so thanks for sharing that memory. 

What about cherry blossoms.  What comes to mind when you think of cherry blossoms?

J:  My times in college in Washington D.C.

S:  Did you know the cherry trees there come from a gift of friendship from Japan...

J:    I didn`t know they were a gift from Japan!
Now when I see them, I will always think how they came from Japan.

S:  Jim,  I know in this past year you have taken on a lot of new challenges...  as we are coming to a New Year with Rosh Hashanah this week, do you have anything that you are looking to better about yourself in the New Year, challenges, etc?

J:  Continuing to open up my heart in new ways, take one day at a time, stay positive,
and always keeping love for mom alive every day.
And to have lots of Challah and honey to start the New Year.

S:  That`s great! So Jim, you will be visiting Japan for the first time next year, and at Cherry Blossoms time!

J:  Yes! And now I remember, Mom used to love cherry blossoms in Japan.  It was one of her favorite things about visiting.  The best was seeing her daughter and granddaughter and son-in-law but then after that it was the Cherry Blossoms!

S:  She loved the Cherry Blossoms! That was so special.  
You will love them too...(note to readers, our mom passed away two years ago, and until the last years of her life, she always came to Japan to visit us every year at Cherry Blossoms season!)

This was great having you, Jim, thanks so much!!
We look forward to seeing you in Japan for the Cherry Blossoms!

And, to round out the interview,

Please accept this round challah as a thanks for being our guest here today.  It`s a sweet raisin challah, for a sweet New Year!  You should receive it on time for Rosh Hashanah.

Sorry though, it`s not homemade!

round Challah from Challah Connection!

J:  Thank you Jo!   Happy New Year.

S:  Happy New Year!

Link notes:
Chabad article HERE are some reasons for having a round challah 
on the New Year !

Sunday, September 17, 2017

SHALOM on a Typhoon Day, fifth Challah Cover, Getting to know You

Challah and Cherry Blossoms Diary

Today home on a typhoon day,  sewing the fifth challah cover.
The Hebrew letters on this Challah Cover say...
As I am sewing, it struck me how this year of studying the Torah has  been a year of getting to know our Creator, giver of the Torah. 

I was feeling happy and peaceful at the thought, and a song came to mind.  Not a Hebrew song, not exactly a worship song.  But rather a song from a musical.  Do you know this song?  It is called `Getting to Know You`.  It`s from... oh, I am laughing now after the fact to  realize what musical it is from...

it`s from `The King and I`!!!

Yes, reading God`s Torah is getting to know Him, getting to know more about Him.  Learning to Love Him, seeing the wonders he does and most of all,  the wonder of Who He Is!

getting to know you , getting to feel free and easy,, while I am with you, getting to know what you see! haven`t you noticed, suddenly I`m bright and breezy?!...
because of  all the beautiful and new things I`m learning about YOU day by day!!!   When I am with you, getting to know what you say...---words from the Rogers and Hammerstein song, Getting to Know you, from The King and I

In the Torah portion this past week, in Deuteronomy, we read  how the words in the Torah are not meant to be difficult or baffling, but rather that they are to be very close to us, in our mouth and in our heart, to do them.  (Deuteronomy 30:11 ~14).

The Torah brings peace to our heart.  Yeshua our Messiah and Savior is the Prince of Peace.
As we near the end of the Torah on this cycle, getting ready to scroll back to the beginning,  may your days be filled with His great Shalom.

Shalom means Peace (and other meanings as well) .  These are some scriptures that mention the word Shalom, peace.  Please share any of your favorites as well!

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom.  In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!   --- Yeshua`s words from John 16:33 TLV

For thus says ADONAI:
Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream.    ---Isaiah 66:12

And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding , will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua.   ---Philippians 4:7

 ADONAI gives strength to His people.
ADONAI blesses His people with shalom.    ---Psalm 29:11

"Yes, you will go out with joy
and be led forth with peace.
The mountains and the hills
will break forth before you singing,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands!"

---Isaiah 55:12

Seek Shalom and pursue it!   --Psalm 34:15
Shalom be upon Israel !  ---Psalm 128: 6


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Thank You Lord

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth
The colors shine bright as we kindle the lights. 
Each week brings us closer to You.

How precious is Your love, O God!
The children of men find refuge
in the shadow of your wings.
They drink from the abundance
of Your House.
You give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with You is the fountain of life---
in Your light we see light.

---Psalm 36:8~19

Shabbat Shalom!
This is the last Shabbat of the year 5777!

May it be a Happy and Sweet New Year to all !!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mayim Mayim

mayim mayim  マイム・マイム hey mayim bessason!
Trying out this drawing,  to use for a flier to announce an upcoming event!
Would it make you want to join?!

You can see in the drawing, the return of the Jerusalem dress, and there is a new line of clothing, the Mt. Fuji dress!
Also a fountain of salvation t-shirt, and the Jerusalem long sleeve t-shirt.  Seamstress anyone?  We need the costumes by November!!

See post below, interview with Teresa,  for more about Israeli Dance!

Shabbat Shalom!


Sunday, September 10, 2017

36 views of Mt. Fuji cookies!

 Mt. Fuji cookies, using `Savta` dough recipe.
On Challah and Cherry Blossoms!

Use pink for the  blossoms and white for the snow!
It was a recipe from Joy of Kosher, but what `savta` means ,
I didn`t know!

So as I am posting this I looked up "what is Savta?"
It means `grandmother` in Hebrew!!  So I plant a hope that one day I will have a grandchild my grandchild will ask , oh please Savta Shayndel, make us a batch of our favorite Mt. Fuji cookies!!

The first batch, today!  Try them for your grandchildren...or children...or for you...enjoy!!!

To find the recipe, you can click HERE,
for Mt. Fuji shaped cutters, HERE.(actually is a different one than the one I used, I can`t find a link to the one I used, but if you are in Japan you can visit the shop called Tokyu Hands and find it there!

Blessings and Shalom!

Shavu`a Tov---Have a good week!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Psalm 27, morning glories, and a little about Elul

 One thing I ask of the LORD,
only that do I seek:
to live in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD,
to frequent His temple.

---Psalm 27:4

This month is Elul, the sixth month on the Hebrew calendar.  It is the  last month of the Biblical Year 5777.  The first day of the next month will be the `Head` of the year, Rosh Hashanah,  also known as the Feast of Trumpets.  Rosh Hashanah is the start of the Fall Feasts and days of repentance leading up to Yom Kippur.  The month of Elul is a time of preparation for the Fall Feasts and a time to seek forgiveness as we reflect on the past year and seek to better ourselves and draw nearer to God in the year to come. 

There is a Jewish custom to blow the shofar and read Psalm 27 every day in the month of Elul (excluding the last day, the day before Rosh Hashanah).  I have been incorporating these and love reading the Psalm in the morning and evening.   I have a small shofar, and don`t get a big sound, but the morning glories reaching out over the balcony seem to amplify the sound...   It feels as though they are echoing the call of the shofar to wake up to God`s glory!  

With blessings and Shalom to you in this month of Elul!

Your face, Lord I seek!

---Psalm 27:8

It is good to give Praise to our Maker and rejoice and give thanks to Him as we seek repentance and to draw closer to Him in this month of Elul!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Shabbat Shalom!

 we say the blessing over the candles, the wine
next, the blessing over the bread

Happy to share a challah with you, friends around the world!  So glad you stopped by! 
 I`ll break off a can dip it in salt...

 Shabbat Shalom!

And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.2The heaven and the earth were finished, all their array.  On the seventh dayGod finished the work that He had been doing, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work that He had done.  And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done.  ---Genesis 1:31~2: 3

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Elul Story, Jerusalem dress

I sacrifice in His tent with shouts of joy,
singing and chanting a hymn to the LORD.

--Psalm 27:6

Blessings and Shalom!



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Elul Morning

Let morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.    

---Psalm 143:8

It is the Hebrew month of Elul.
The King is in the fields!
May we treasure this month , a time to draw near and seek His face as all the year,  reflect and give thanks for all that is dear,
Repent for all our wrongs.
Sing the Song of Songs,
especially this line*
`I am my beloved`s,
and He is mine`
Shabbat Shalom!


*Song of Songs 6:3