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 ♫♫


Monday, November 13, 2017

From the Wells (Continued) and ever springing forth, Parsha Toledot


In the drawing in the post below, there is a well, where Rifka is drawing water for the camels.
I didn`t write much in that post, but maybe you already know what she was doing there at the well!?
She was there without yet knowing,  for a divine appointment to meet the servant of Abraham, who was there looking for a wife for Isaac and an heir for Sarah to continue the Generations---Toledot!!! of the promised seed of Abraham.

Toledot! The name of this week`s Parsha.
It sounds like an exclamation in itself, as it is, it translates as Generations!!

One thing we know about Isaac is that he dug wells.  We see that in this parsha.  I wrote a post last year about  ParshaToledot, and talked about the wells, making some connections that were new for me as I read it.  Please see HERE if you are interested.

Isaac dug anew the wells which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham and which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham`s death; and he gave them the same names that his father had given them.

---Genesis 26:18

But wells, once dug, they never finish if you dig anew, so this post will take up from the wells and let us keep digging until we reach the source!

The source, of course, is the source of all life, the one who gives us life, and the Living Water from which all of life springs forth.

In a later chapter, after the Tanakh and connecting into the Brit Chadasha, Yeshua meets a woman at a well.  Not just any well, it was Jacob`s well.
A Samaritan woman comes to draw water.  
"Give me a drink," Yeshua tells her,               ---from John 4:7
The author of all the books of the Bible, the Creator of all things,  brings us often to wells, to drink, to see our thirst, and to bring about divine encounters.  And ultimately to drink of the water of Salvation.

With joy shall you draw from the wells of Salvation.   ----Isaiah 12:3

Abraham`s faithful servant met Rebecca at a well, where she revealed the character of kindness that he is looking for in a wife for Isaac when she offered to draw water not only for him but for all his camels.

Connecting with the scene in John chapter 4 at the well where Yeshua asks the Samaritan woman for a drink of water, here too is a meeting between two people who are at first `strangers`.   She doesn`t yet know that He is the Messiah the Living Water, the source of all things.  Yet shortly into their meeting, the truth is revealed that He is the Messiah himself who has asked for this water, and she runs back to tell the others.  The well was Jacob`s well.  Jacob, son of Isaac,


Rebecca too doesn`t know at first that the one she draws water for is sent by ADONAI through Abraham on a mission , through which she will bring forth the generations---Toldot--- of Israel!!


I will stop the post there, but of course the generations just keep going!!

OH, just more thing just sprung up in connection with this talk of wells...
In a metaphoric we, we meet our Saviour at a `well`, don`t we!! When we are thirsty and don`t even know it sometimes, we find ourselves there.   God sends someone to meet us there, whether it is Messiah Yeshua Himself, or someone who will bring us to him, well...I just saw that connection, and now I am seeing one more!  In the past few parsha there have been encounters with strangers--- Abraham and Rifka both in separate scenes reveal their chesed in how they meet with the strangers with such kindnesss.  We really never know in each day who the `strangers` are that we meet.  The `stranger` that Rifka met was the one who was to bring her to her husband, the one that the Samaritan woman met was Yeshua himself!  And the ones Abraham met were angels of the LORD who delivered to him the news of the promise of his and Sarah`s Son, and brought his nephew Lot out of the destruction of the city of S&G.  Chesed is the work for kindness, but the meaning is much bigger than I even understand yet, but surely the Torah teaches us  to be kind to everyone.  That came from the wells!!

Oh how I love your Torah!!   ---Psalm 119:97
Wishing you well ! 

Blessings in Messiah Yeshua,

May your day be full of His great SHALOM!!!


The clouds from yesterday.  Looking up makes me think of the depth of the wells, reflected upwards, reaching towards Heaven.
The Ruach and the bride say, "Come!"
And let the one who hears say, "Come!"
Let the one who is thirsty come---
let the one who wishes freely take the water of life!

---Revelation 22:17

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Drawing--Rivka (Rebecca) at the Well

"Drink, my lord," she said, and she quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and let him drink.  When she had let him drink his fill, she said, "I will also draw for your camels, until they finish drinking."

---Genesis 24:18~19

This is a drawing from today,
drawing inspiration from the Parsha of the The Life of Sarah. 
Blessings and Shavu`a Tov!  Have a good week!  
Love, Shayndel

Friday, November 10, 2017

Bara and Challah for Sarah

The names `Sarah`, and `Rifka` (Rebecca) are embroidered in Hebrew letters on the layers of the Challah Cover.  Adding layers as we read the unfolding of the stories in the Torah!!  Rifka, in English her name is Rebecca,  is the wife for Isaac who we meet in this Parsha.
`Bara` (rose), `Challah`, Sarah, the words go together like a harmony of Shabbat for this Parshat

Can you see, there are little pink cherry blossoms on the rainbow cookies for my daughter! From one rainbow, many.  The promises of God are for generation to generation

Blessed are you LORD our God who sanctifies us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Sabbath light
Now Sarah`s life was 127 years--the years of Sarah`s life.

---Genesis 23:1

Chaiyei Sarah, The of Life of Sarah, is the Parsha this week.
We celebrate the life of Sarah, the wife of Abraham whose life was 127 years.

I couldn`t resist the word play.  Bara, Challah, Sarah

Bara=Rose  (in Japanese)
Challah= Special bread for the Shabbat (Hebrew)

 With Challah, and some pretty bara (roses!)

may we celebrate the life of Sarah.

The Jewish sages say that Sarah`s challah stayed fresh from week to week.
She was quite a maker of Challah, and surely her light shone in all she did!

I also celebrate my daughter today.  She is applying to college, and has passed the first of her big tests for where she wants to go.  I made rainbow cookies to celebrate her.

I noticed two things when we were saying the prayers for Shabbat.
One, is that we mention Sarah`s name every week when we say the blessing for girls,

May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.
Ye-si-mekh Elohim ke-Sarah Riv-qah Ra-chel ve-Leah
--Blessing for Girls, it is customary for parents to bless their children on Shabbat.

`Bara` means rose in Japanese, and `Bara` means `He created` in Hebrew!

The second, is in the kiddush (Friday night blessings for the Shabbat), we say the word `bara` !
Bara, which means rose in Japanese, means `He created` in Hebrew.

Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He ceased from all His work that God created for the purpose of preparing.   ---Genesis 2:3
Blessings and Shabbat Shalom! 
Rejoice and Celebrate the things in our lives, and give thanks to the LORD in all we do!

Notes:  Cookie Recipe, HERE, Yummy Peanut Butter Cookies from Joy of Kosher.  To make the rainbow, use seven colors choco-pens (chocolate pens) to draw the rainbows, and add some cherry blossom petals and cherry blossoms with pink. 
The Challah Recipe is a Whole Wheat Challah, see link at sidebar under My Favorite Challah recipes.

For the Weekly "Parsha" , Torah Readings, see the weekly readings list  HERE , next weeks Parsha is Toldat, which means, Generations.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Parsha VaYera (post in progress)

For God so loved the world that He gave
His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall
not perish but have eternal life. ---John 3:16


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Kabosu Zatar!

Kabosu Zatar!

Behold, I am doing a new thing.

--Isaiah 43:19

Cooking Parshacally is leading to a whole world of new discoveries!
We are told in the scriptures that  if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
So why shouldn`t it be so with each of our endeavors, whether the smallest, to the biggest out in our lives, when we do them with Him in our hearts!!!
Even in the small things in our lives, in our homes, in our kitchens, we might see a glimpse that shows us that indeed we are to live in the newness of being made a new in Him. 
Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation.  The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.    ---2Corinthians 5:17
I don`t know about you, but sometimes I get impatient and wait for the `big` things to happen in my life, and  wanting to see right away changes I hope for will be put into place immediately, but its not always like that.  So when we see the little details of our life expressing something about that `newness` it is an exciting thing.  A glimmer into how God works in the details of our lives, and reveals small things as we turn our hearts to Him.  The vibrant green of a Kabosu `lime` that was given to me by a neighbor,  and making it into a new flavor was just such a moment.

When I was making the Shabbat dinner this past week, which revolved around the Challah for Abraham (see story in posts below!), this new discovery came about, of Kabosu Zatar.  It also has a connection with that Rainbow from Parsha Noah, as the vibrant green of the fruit seemed to come straight out of the rainbow.

Cooking Parshacally.
does any of this sound Greek, Hebrew or Japanese to you?
Well, its not Greek as far as I know, but there is Hebrew and Japanese, and as far as I know I made the term
`Parshacally` up!

 So here is a glossary of words you will need to know for this post:



Parsha (from whence `Parshacally comes)

 Instead of telling you what they are right off, I will try a multiple choice and  even if you have no idea when you see the three words, you may be able to match them to the definitions!

So here are the three definitions!

1.  A citrus fruit native to Oita, similar to a lime, but distinct in itself for its wonderfully round shape and its distinctive aroma that goes so good on all Japanese cuisine!!  In Oita, we use it on most all foods!  Is it....A. Zatar    B. Kabosu    C.  Parsha

2. The portion of the weekly reading from the Torah, read each week by people in Synagogues, Congregations, around the world.  Corresponding to the weekly Shabbat and Feasts.
Is it....A. Zatar    B. Kabosu    C.  Parsha

3. A middle eastern spice mix that is widely used in Israel,  possibly all the way back to the  Biblical times.  Is it....A. Zatar    B. Kabosu    C.  Parsha

Let me know how you do with the matching! 
And anything in the details of your life that have revealed the `re-newal` in your heart!

Links to find out more about Zatar: HERE: About Zatar on My Jewish Learning,
My special Kabosu Zatar uses Kabosu Zest (in place of lemon zest) mixed with salt for the `sumac`.  An alternate to `sumac` is generally lemon zest and salt, so hence that is where the Kabosu came to be in the Zatar!
One of my favorite Shabbat recipes that uses Zatar, here cooked with Kabosu slices in place of lemon, recipe see HERE and at side bar:

Link to Wikipedia for more about Kabosu HERE

For more about the Parshiot (plural form of Parsha), see the weekly readings HERE, or on the side bar. (post in progress, links to follow)

Already its Friday in Japan, wishing you Shabbat Shalom and a blessed day!!