Monday, August 27, 2018

One Shalom Fan Story

It was a short meeting at a bus stop.
I sat down at the bus stop and an elder woman came under the shade of the bus stop stand.
I moved over a little for her to sit down in the shadier part of the bench, as the afternoon sun was coming in most everywhere and there was enough shade for about one person.

At first she said no, but then she sat down.

I took out a Shalom fan and offered  one to her.  She saw that I had the same one and she expressed thanks to receive it.

As we were synchronized there in the fanning of the same fan, and we both commented on how hot it was and where we were going.

Waving our fans in a synchronized `shalom` wave,
I looked up at the blue sky and how the blue in the background on the fan reflected the blue on this clear day.
I felt Heaven smiling.
I know that God likes moments like these, and His Spirit was moving with us and leading us in
joyful conversation.

She told me she is 89 years old!
I was impressed how vigorous and young she seemed and could get around so well in the city on her own.

All our conversation was in Japanese of course, and she said she does well,
except she has a pain in her knee that has been bothering her and slows her down.

I knew I didn`t have much time as my bus was to arrive in four minutes, so I felt brave in the Holy Spirit and asked her if I could pray for her.

She said yes!
I did my best to make the prayer in Japanese, asking Father in Heaven for healing of her knee.  A bus came by and I thought it was mine but it wasn`t so I continued a little more and right after she said her knee was feeling better!!

I told her a little about Yeshua, how He healed people who couldn`t walk and gave sight to people who couldn`t see and even raised others from the dead.  Amazingly, she listened to all this and I sensed she was hearing it!!  Then the bus with my destination came by and I had to hurriedly get on and say good-bye.

But even in what was like that split second, I felt our goodbye wave was orchestrated by God, and he put the scene in slow motion as I was climbing up the stair into the bus, looking at her and smiling and waving my shalom fan, and she was sitting at the bus stop,  smiling and beaming and waving her shalom fan, and our fans were waving, waving. As the bus pulled away and as the fans waving  seemed to come closer and closer together it was as if even with the distance that we were separating, in a `whish` God`s Spirit completely enveloped us
together,  in His great

note:  Photo is just an image from another time of the day!   drawings below other "true stories", but unfinished, just putting them here for now.  Blessings and....Shalom!!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Psalm 27:4~6

One thing I have asked of ADONAI,
that will I seek:
to dwell in the House of ADONAI 
all the days of my lfe,
to behold the beauty of ADONAI,
and to meditate in His Temple.
For in the day of trouble
He will hide me in His sukkah,
conceal me in the shelter of His tent,
and set me high upon a rock.
Then will my head be high above 
my enemies around me.
In His Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices 
with shouts of joy.
I will sing, yes, sing praises to ADONAI.

--Psalm 27: 4~6

PS Rainbow cakes and kugel

The Shabbat table stayed festive even as the week began.  A small gathering with friends we hadn`t seen for a long time became a kind of Elul snack party, and as my daughter won`t be here for the Fall Feasts, I made a few recipes that are traditional for the holidays like Classic Kugel and Rainbow Cakes.  Everyone seemed to like them. Where I grew up in New York,  kugel and rainbow cakes can be found in all the Jewish delis and bakeries.  But of course you can't find those here in Japan, at least not where we live.   I remember when my daughter was little I started craving Jewish foods, and as there was no place to get them,  so I started baking.  The rainbow cakes are fun to make, and it comes out as a surprise to taste them and all it once there is that Jewish bakery taste!

Blessings and Shavu`a Tov, have a great week!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Shabbat Table, Shabbat Shalom!

an extra  smaller challah joined the 2 loaves, like a family of challah!

Blessed are you, LORD our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

With trumpets and sound of the shofar
blast a sound before the King, ADONAI
                                Psalm 98:6

As I am on an Elul series, I could call this post Elul Shabbat!
This month is my favorite month (I also have other favorite months, but this is one of them, especially this time of year!), so when I was aware that we were nearing the beginning of the month,  I was watching for the new moon of Elul!!

I like how the shofar goes well as a centerpiece on the table.
We blow the shofar on Shabbat, and during Elul, so it has a double place on this Shabbat!

And a happy Shabbat to set a place for my daughter, as she was home for her summer holidays!!

I think the Challah came out extra shining to reflect my heart at being happy for my daughter being home on Shabbat!

I made a dish with one of our local special citric tastes, Kabosu.  It is like a lime but round in shape
and with a unique fragrance similar to a lime but a little different.  People where we live use kabosu on everything, and it is one of the specialties of our Prefecture!

Kabosu, like a lime, but as you can see they are completely round. Other tastes include ginger, oregano, salt, olive oil, and in this recipe apricot jam!

I think the Challah came out extra shining to reflect my heart at being happy for my daughter being home on Shabbat !!

Blessings and Shabbat Shalom, a new Shabbat, by the time this is posted!!
Would anyone want to share a  `shofar` scripture in this month? Something fun for Elul I might make a post of some to follow in this week, please share any, or another scripture that is on your heart if you are moved to!!

Much love,

God is gone up amidst shouting,

ADONAI amidst the sound of the shofar.   

Psalm 47:7





Saturday, August 18, 2018


In His Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy.
I will sing, yes, sing praises to ADONAI.

--Psalm 27:6

 On the Hebrew calendar, it is the month of Elul!
The 6th month and last month of the calendar "year" as next month will be Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year, and the beginning of the Fall Feasts and end of one Torah cycle and beginning of the next!

 It is a Jewish tradition to blow the shofar every day of this month except the last day, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah.  Another tradition is to read Psalm 27 morning and night.  I love both these customs and when I found out about Elul just last year for the first time, I found doing them to be a wonderful way to deepen our experience of this special month.  In the Psalm, there are so many verses that bring us close to the LORD at this time of year and any time of course, but as in it there are references to the trumpet (offering shouts of joy), to the Succa (which comes after Yom Kippur, to dwell in the Succa), and maybe just overwhelmingly the theme of seeking His face, it is a wonderful Psalm to read and prepare for this time of repentance and renewal. 

 It is also said that "The King is in the fields" so this is another special aspect of this month as we can really seek the LORD very close by, as He is said to be in the fields, and there is a sense of His presence being very near.  So enjoy the month and a time to take stock of the past year and to seek Him for where we need to repent and also a time to clear and re-new, from things buried in our hearts, to things we put off, to seeking clarity and vision for the upcoming year, always with  thanks in each day.  And much more, but that is my brief introduction to Elul in this post!! 
 This is a little verse I wrote about Elul, and now that you read these paragraphs above, it might just make a little sense!  Happy Elul!!

Blow the shofar!
It`s Elul!!
This just might be my favorite month,
you know,
It is said, The King is in the Fields!

So sound the trumpet and proclaim His glory
 morning, noon and night
 Prepare our hearts for the Head of the Year

The LORD is our light,

Him shall we fear!

Fear in the sense of revere Him with awe
Read Psalm 27 and confess our sins,
Coming to the end of the scrolls 
prepare to usher a New Year
In!!  As we approach the season of coronation,
and to welcome the Messiah, the eternal King!!

The Beloved is mine and I am His.

Catching up!

Happy Elul!!

For my first  post about Elul please see HERE!! It is a post I wrote last year this time when I first became aware of this month on the Hebrew calendar!!
For a moving picture with sound (video) of me blowing my shofar, you can click HERE!! I still need practice in sounding the shofar, as you will hear!!

One thing have I asked of ADONAI, 
that will I seek:
to dwell in the House of ADONAI
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of ADONAI, 
and to meditate in His Temple.

--Psalm 27: 4

Challah Diary, Ein Od Milvado

The LORD is God--there is none other besides Him.
from Deuteronomy 4:35

In a recent weeks parsha reading (again, I am talking about a few weeks back as I am still catching up on posting!), Parsha Va`Etchanan, we find the words that in Hebrew say,

אֵין עוֹד, מִלְּבַדּוֹ

Ein Od Milvado

It means there is no other besides Him.

The challah book I use* that my sister gave me as a present has a section called "Challah Meditations" that comes after the recipes.  One of the meditations is these words!  I liked the idea she shares of meditating on God's word when making the challah, and started saying those words, Ein Od Milvado,  when I knead the dough.
 But I hadn`t realized exactly where  in the Torah it came from until I was reading in the weekly portion and noticed them (Deuteronomy 4:35) when I heard them spoken!  Out of many words that I didn't understand, at once I heard those words!

I love this meditation and it makes the challah making time a special time to focus on the LORD and to meditate on His word and on Him as we prepare for the Shabbat.   Another scripture that she mentions as part of this meditation is from Isaiah 11:9.  This one I say in English!

The earth will be filled with the intimate knowledge of the LORD 
as the waters fill the seas.

These words then stay with me like waves through the week.

Ein Od Milvado.

             Ein Od Milvado.

                            Ein Od Milvado.

Lord there is none like You.  You are the only source and the Oneness of all creation and all sustenance.

Blessings and Shabbat Shalom and  a blessed week to all.  Love, Shayndel

*reference:   Rising, The Book of Challah by Rochie Pinson

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Love and Words and Bread!

(note:  I started this post draft some time ago, maybe two weeks or so! I haven`t really been on the blog so much, maybe because summer heat, family, giving out fans, et al!! Look forward to visit you soon and meanwhile just catching up a little on a post or two!! Note when I say `this week`s parsha` or a week ago parsha, it is actually by now two weeks ago, will hope to be up to date shortly in  a post or so!! much love, Shayndel)
Diary/Reflections/Drawings on this weeks Parsha, Parsha Eikev, Because
If you love me you will keep my Commandments.    --John 14:15
Since God knows I love challah and I love making challah for His Shabbat, He showed me a scene, on Shabbat, of rolling hills of challah.   As soon as I saw them I ran to dance over them to meet him as He reaches down to me!!And made the drawing below (in the post below).

In this past weeks parsha is the famous scripture that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (see Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 from this weeks Parsha Eikev)

You may not be surprised, I am particularly attracted to scriptures about bread.  

Also this parsha is, as I talked before a few posts down, getting to the end of the fifth book of the Torah cycle and the cycle is winding down to the end. Which means also winding up to the beginning, and all over this book we see....

1. Love

what a Love story the Torah is between God and His people!!

This is another drawing/collage to express the Love story that is written in His word.

It is the word AHAVA, Love, in Hebrew letters.  More than a drawing, I guess you could say its a collage and an idea for another fan!  (Those who know the LOVE sculpture and the AHAVA sculpture, both famous worldwide, will see how they influenced my design with added Japanese touches!)

Equating love with the keeping of God`s commandments is expressed throughout the Torah and throughout the book of Deuteronomy it is emphatic.  .

In the book of Deuteronomy (called Devarim in Hebrew)  several times the commandment is "These words which I command you this day...."  are always in context with "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart".  This time as I was reading those scriptures repeatedly, it was a very clear connection between loving the Lord and keeping His commandments.

2.  Words

Devarim, Word.  AHAVA, Love.  Mitzvot, commandment.

When asked what is the greatest commandment, Yeshua replies it is to Love the Lord with all your heart.  And after that to Love your neighbor as yourself.  In this reply, He leads us to the entire word of God, and as He is the Living Word, He leads us to Himself.  When we read the Words (Devarim) it helps us to understand what it means to LOVE.

3.  Bread

This week`s parsha (actually its last weeks as I started this post then but now posting it and its already a week later!)  has the famous scripture that man cannot live on bread alone but by the words that come out of the mouth of God.

As you might imagine, as a person who loves to make Challah, I am particularly attracted to scriptures about bread!  

When I made the drawing in the post just below), it seemed fitting in the parsha Ekev!! Though I learned the Parsha is very specific to the land of Israel and its blessings, I saw this vision of dancing and running on mountains of rolling challah!! It could be that the bread is what will take us back to the Land!!

I am the Bread of Life      --John 6:35

No one comes to the Father except through Me.    --John 14:6

Love, Words, Bread.
These are the words that stood out for me in this week's reading.
What words that are in your heart this week?

Love and Blessings!


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Parsha Eikev, a Love Story

Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Multiplying fans--first edition

Seek shalom and pursue it.   Psalm 34
The Hebrew letters for `shalom` are the basis of the design on this fan, with Japanese motifs and even `challah` in the letters

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

Philippians 4:7

The sky has been blue and dotted with clouds.  
Its summer and its hot but somehow reassuring to know the seasons are given in their place.  For a cool summer activity I have been giving out shalom fans. 

In summer in Japan fans are given out with all kinds of messages.  Mostly commercial for like cell phone companies and etc, so I had the idea when I see them, that  if people are carrying fans, to make one with a message of Shalom.  

So this year I made my first edition of Shalom fans, 
in collaboration with a graphic artist who formatted my drawing into a design for printing.

Can you see the little challah in the Hebrew letters?! There are loaves and slices! As well as Mt. Fuji in the background on one side, and an elongated hot springs mark on the other, and of course cherry blossoms in the  letters that say `Shalom` !

Its really nice to  hand one to a friend or to a stranger on a hot day.  
Sometimes I tell about it and the meaning and depending on how far I can get in the conversation, but other times I will just hand one to someone and am learning that just that gesture is sometimes more than enough.  I tend to sometimes rely on words, and today when I just gave it to some people who looked hot in the sweltering sun, I realize that Yeshua was teaching me something about Him in that moment.  It was freeing to just to give without a whole explanation. 

I have a lot more to distribute and  pray that He will multiply the knowledge of Him through this summer project and that I too will learn more about  His great shalom!! 
Funny I thought it was for me to `teach` others  with this large package of shalom fans, but now I see that it is I who have a lot learn!!

Shabbat Shalom!


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Shalom Fan and Shiro Sagi

I am making some new Shalom Fans!
I took this one with me on my way and found much peace throughout the day.

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.     
--John 14:27

Walking on the way
on this sunny day
A Shalom Fan in hand,
well actually in my bicycle basket,
I passed a quiet stream,
when something still and white
attracted me in sight.
You`ll see behind the fan
that it was...

a white heron!

Shalom to all who are far and near!
Stay tuned for more original Shalom Fans  on Challah and Cherry Blossoms.

Shalom = Peace in Hebrew, and is the word of `greeting` in Israel

Today two words in Japanese:
Shiro=White  白 しろ
Sagi=Heron   鷺  サギ

Linking this post to Gracefull Tuesday 
on Abounding Grace