Thursday, September 26, 2019

Shana Tova!

on the small print on the honey it says,   Because you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you.  Isaiah 43:4

"May you and your loved ones be inscribed in the Book of Life, May you have a happy healthy and peaceful New Year"

Wishing you a Happy and Sweet and Blessed New Year!

See you in 5780! 
please note I will be taking a blog break in honor of the High Holy Days. Sorry to have been "absent" in the last week or so, with all the shofar blowing and getting ready for the holidays, and now its time to deliver a Challah to my daughter and make my way to spend the holidays with family abroad!! I look forward to see you on my return and in the New Year!
Shana Tova is the New Year Greeting for Rosh Hashanah.
It means Good Year!
Rosh Hashanah, means "Head of the Year" 

The round challah represents the celebration of the Creation of the world which we celebrate at Rosh Hashanah,  and most of all we celebrate and honor our Creator and King!! The round challah also can be seen to represent a crown!  This period begins what is known as the "Ten Days of Awe" , a time of repentence and return leading up to Yom Kippur, and then the holidays of rejoicing of Succot and Simcha Torah!! Blessings and a beautiful season to all!

For You met him with the best blessings. You set on his head 
a crown of pure gold.
Psalm 21:4

ADONAI reigns, let the earth rejoice!
Psalm 97:1

Blessings and Love!


Monday, September 23, 2019

Hearing the Voice of Heaven

Its smaller than you (or I) might think.

It's deep and
even quiet.

Yes, the thundering ,
the voice that breaks the cedars--
that is His voice!

But today it was a quiet voice
From the One
who conquered death.

It was the
sound of


Sweet Sound of the Shofar

More Elul reflections and stories and a little on Parsha Ki Tetze

 1.  The big Shofar and the little shofar, continued

This "blurb" (paragraph, below italics) is from a Prayer Sheet I am working on as part of a series of prayer sheets over one year to pray from the parsha (weekly Torah readings).   Each prayer sheet contains scriptures that have to do with themes from the parsha, and just in the blurb I write a little something to introduce the week.  This is for Parsha Ki Tetze (readings from Deuteronomy 21:10 ~ 25:19) ,
"In this week we read detailed commandments for all kinds of different situations like the mother bird and her young, and relationships including husband and wife.  It may be hard to even imagine in our human minds that the God of creation would care so much as to give us detailed do’s and don’ts of so many scenarios in everyday living.  And yet our God, who is the God of creation, and Maker of all things, is the Father who attends to every detail of our lives!!   Why even this morning, I had set my alarm to a certain time, and yet HE woke me an hour earlier to say to get up!!, that there was some place He wanted me to be!!"
This is what I reflect on in this week---continuing from something I started in the previous post about the "Big" Shofar blast at Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah) and the  "little " sounding of the shofar in Elul.  In Elul, I feel like a child as I approach and spend time with my Father and King, who is "in the field".  What I meant in the paragraph above, the unbelievable truth that the same King who is the Master of all Creation is also the one who attends to all the tiny details of our days  and cares so very much about all the ways we carry on in our every day life.  How He is present and active in our days to even the smallest details of waking us up earlier than the alarm we set if need  be!!!  (This very life which is given by Him!!) 

All this to say, that we are coming closer to that Coronation day and the Fall Feasts.  So even in the month of Elul as I start out in a sheer joy and delight of having this month to hold on to my Fathers hand and learn from Him in a  Father-daughter relationship, growing deeper in intimacy , I am aware in my spirit that its also time to buckle down and revere Him for who He IS as the King and Creator of the world and Judge who is holding a Feast for all His people to attend,  during the days of Awe and Repentance.   Time to to prepare my heart, my best clothes, be on my best behavior and get ready to attend the feasts.  I can feel that shift coming closer, and  move from leaping and jumping and exclaiming, to a posture of bowing down to His Holiness even as I go out with my little shofar in the latter part of Elul.  Whew.

Praise God!
  Our Father, Our King.

2.  More sweet sounds as we get closer to Rosh Hashanah

Yesterday I bought a few jars of made-in-Japan honey to give as Rosh Hashanah gifts, including one to bring to my daughter for a Sweet New Year.  On the way home, I  stopped to blow the shofar at the river.  So I took a few of the honey jars out of the shopping bag, with the apples that I also had bought to go with the honey, arranged them on the steps, and started to feel an early sweetness that we associate with the coming of the New Year!!   note:  it is a Jewish Holiday tradition to have apples and honey in the New Year!!  We are in the last days of the year 5779, the new year will become 5780 on the biblical calendar at the end of September.

3.  A butterfly meeting in Elul!!

This was sooooo Elul and such an amazing gift from God!!  I saw a butterfly and I knew she was the one who I prayed for in the Matot and Masei postings (here) from last year!! She had the same markings and was flitting around showing off how well her wings were working!! I tried to get her to stop and sit on my hand as she did that time, but no!   She was too busy flying with her wings all perfect and being who she is in wholeness, health and vibrancy---this day she wanted to just show me that!!!   I was so happy and want to remind you of what the Holy Spirit showed me----don't ever stop praying and believing for healing for those you love, and don't ever ever think its too silly or a waste of time to spend a whole day with a butterfly with a broken wing.  She will come back one day and fly to show you that she is healed and  show you even how good she flies and how she was meant to be, perfectly created and perfectly healed!!  Oh, and don't take it personal if she doesn't have the time to spend the whole day with you this time, she is doing what she was meant to do --fly!--- and just wanted to thank you for taking the time with her when she was broken and needed someone, and show you that He hears your prayers!!

4.  Elul transitions into Rosh Hashanah and the Fall Feasts.

In taking out my little shofar everyday of Elul I meet with wonder that is particular to this Hebrew month!!  I find new things in each day that can only be described as  "in Elul".

In this month of preparation for Rosh Hashanah and the  Kingdom Feast time, I find that Elul is a time of seeking and reflection in preparation.

I just heard a rabbi teaching about the shofar who described the shofar blowing as a form of prayer without words.   I really love that, it was a beautiful point to hear!

 5.  Ice cream and Shofar

I am not really a big ice cream eater, but the other day somehow it just welled up in me,  I wanted an ice cream!! So I got an ice cream and brought it with me to a place by the river where its an open space to blow the shofar!! And what happened was that I was able to offer a sweet sound to the LORD by having the ice cream and delighting in it and in Him as I sounded my call for returning to Him.

6.  My Elul lesson

 Big You
little me
is the way its gotta be!!

That means I am "little" and God is "Big" and when I recognize that and especially He is not only Big, He is Infinite, and Everlasting, and yet He comes to meet little me in this wonderful divine-human partnership , oh that is har-mon-y!!  I also am learning that when the Huge God meets us in the "small things" , that is truly a miracle.  May we be thankful for the many daily miracles that we might have skipped over in this year, and go into the new year with a grateful heart and prepare for His return in readiness to meet Him in all our days!

Blessings and renewal to you as we get closer to the New Year and Fall Feasts of the KING!!  Still some time to prepare!! Wishing you a Happy, Sweet New Year, Shana Tova!!! 


For your maker is your husband—ADONAI Tzva’ot is His Name—- 
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.  He will be called God of all the earth.  

                                    Isaiah 54:5 (from the Haftarah reading from Parsha Ki Tetze)

Shabbat Shalom!

Days of the Fall Feasts 2019:
(note:  all days on the Hebrew calendar begin in the evening, which follow the Creation where God said first there was evening and then morning, one day)

The month of Elul Sept 1 ~ 29

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah  (Feast of Trumpets, Head of the Year)
September 29 ~ Oct 1

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
October 8 ~ 9

Succot (Feast of Tabernacles)
October 13 ~20

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah (Joy of the Torah as one year Torah Cycle is complete
and scroll back to the beginning)
October 20 ~ 22

New Parsha/ Torah Reading Schedule for the new year 5780, 2019-2020

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Elul story by the sea

Blowing the shofar at Elul is like the little shofar before the BIG Shofar Blast that we are approaching at the Feast of Trumpets.  Lining up our little selves with our BIG and great LORD and King!   I love taking my little shofar and blowing it each day of this month of Elul  in "preparation" .  As you may have noticed from the number of Elul posts!!  

How do we  prepare for the Day of the Big Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah, Rosh Hashanah)  and the Big Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) ?  One daily way is, Repentance in the small things (big things too of course, but hoping that some of the big ones have been clear and of course Salvation is the only way to do that!)!   Seeking God for where we need to clear out those parts of us that still need to be gotten right  -- the bitterness in our hearts, unforgiveness, what else? --- ask Him to show us---there are always those places---!!

When we seek Him with a desire to see His face and to  draw closer to Him, He answers!  Sometimes it is through the Holy Spirit showing us a cloud that takes the shape of the shofar and gets longer and wider!! Sometimes it is with a blue sky that appears on a super cloudy day. ...  you had brought a raincoat with you on your ride, as it was getting grayer and grayer and then as you meditate on His greatness,  the next time you look up what do you know,  the sky has cleared and is all blue.  Can we "blow away" the clouds ?? No, we cannot do anything in and of ourselves.  Can we ask Him to show us where we need to grow and stretch and enlarge our tents?  Yes, we can seek His face and we can take a step each day to draw closer in wanting to know His heart.   The story of Elul, from Shayndel's reflections today,  is to step out in action and take the small steps to seek Him.  As we read each day of this month in  Psalm 27, Your Face Lord I seek!  

In Your behalf my heart says:
"Seek My face!"
O Lord, I seek Your face.

Psalm 27:8b
(JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh )

Blessings and a happy Elul day to you!!



Enlarge the place of your tent, 
stretch out your tabernacle curtains.
Do not hold back--
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.

Isaiah 54:2  
(from this week's Haftarah reading)

A shofar "centerpiece"on the Shabbat table during the month of Elul
S H A B B A T      S H A L O M !!!

Shabbat Shalom!

Related post on this blog, with a little more explanation about Elul, HERE

For a Torah Teaching on repentance in the month of Elul, Teshuvah (Repentance) and this week's  Parsha Ki Tetze , HERE .  This teaching and inspiration is on a weekly podcast by Jewish pop singer and Torah Teacher Ari Goldwag  

Elul Postcards!

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

Psalm 27:6b

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Psalm 27:1a 

H A P P Y     E L U L  !

Monday, September 9, 2019

Captions from a SHALOM FANS Show!!

Not in any particular order, I am posting some photos from my recent SHALOM FANS show!! It was an invitation for people to come and greet each other with the Hebrew word, SHALOM and make their own "SHALOM" fans!!  And they (the people!) in turn became "fans of SHALOM"!! You will see some such fan-fare in the captions!! Enjoy! And please take some origami paper and color pencils and a blank fan and make your own!! 
The event was on the first day of Elul, hence this Elul fan (right, above)  with the scripture from Song of Songs!
Welcome! Hello ! Shalom

A little elementary school girl made this Shalom fan, she wrote the word herself, seeing it in the gallery, Shalom!!

A lot of origami paper of different patterns was set out to use for one side of the fan, and to use in collage on the designs.  Give your fan a unique Japan flair in combination with the Hebrew words and Jerusalem theme.

One visitor made this drawing, and the words in Japanese say "Beautiful, like a flower blossoming"


Shayndel and Shirah!

PALM TREES, decorating the walls, became "PSALM TREES"You are invited to write out a Psalm and add it to the trees!! PSALM TREES!

Fan made by a Shalom fan who came to the exhibit
Photos display from my Israel trip, from Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee, including a few with "Shalom Fans!", palm trees.   There are places where Yeshua walked and will return

Painted fan!  "Morning Glories"  to me they are a flower of "ELUL" and speak of God's mercies new every morning!!

JERUSALEM FAN, EAST GATE, on display with a gold ribbon!
Fan made by a child visitor to the show and workshop, can you see that she wrote SHALOM!! The newest "SHALOM fan!!"   Doubly!! A "fan" of shalom and a "shalom fan"

The other side of Shalom---Love!!! and a little peek at the artist of the fan!
One visitor and friend worked diligently on this origami collage JERUSALEM Fan!! So exciting to see new Jerusalem fans!! Yes, that's another double or triple entendre!! NEW JERUSALEM fan, New JERUSALEM fan , and a "new fan" of Jerusalem (i.e. the one who made it).  It doesn't take much to become a Jerusalem fan!! First, turn your heart to the Apple of God's eye.  Next see how brilliant she is and you will see the glistening colors and hills come alive, and you will want to return and Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

Glimpse into the Gallery, songs played on guitar,   praising our Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom, Yeshua

AHAVA= LOVE in Hebrew
AHAVA fan!! Fan of Love!! On display!

SHIR= Song in Hebrew
SHIRAH= Sing! A Bi-lingual Fan!  On display!

Blessings and Shalom!!


Thursday, September 5, 2019

An Elul Story about Love. And goldfish.

Aren't all Elul stories,
about Love?!

Thank you everyone, the Shalom Fans show went really well! I will share about it and some pictures in the next post.  But first, another story is coming, so I want to share it today as an Elul Love Story.

As you know, this is my favorite month. As are many of the months, but particularly I have an affection for Elul.  I love the custom of blowing the shofar every day in preparation for the big Trumpet blast at Rosh Hashanah.  I love reading the Psalm 27 every day.  I love that it is said that "the King is in the Fields".  God knows I love that  so He often meets me here in this month just as I am.  Nothing fancy, just the everyday things He uses to show me a parable or something I need to learn in this month of repentence and reflection before the New Year and blowing of the BIG Trumpet coming next month.

A long time ago my husband told me his idea of what love is. It was when our daughter was in elementary school and at the time we had goldfish.  My husband is very good and raising fish and knows a lot about fish as he's from a fishing island.  Well, maybe that is not why he knows goldfish, but anyway, we kept those goldfish for all the years of my daughters elem school years, and from what I understand they usually don't live that long, so it was a tribute to his being able to raise them.  The goldfish family had babies and the parents always stayed near each other in the tank.  The generations of goldfish were there through her elementary years, and maybe even through around jr. high, I can't remember exactly how long we had them.

So here is what my husband said about love.  He said, see the two goldfish , (the parents), they always stay near each other.  That is love.
He didn't even say that many words, but basically showed me that that is his idea of love, the pure simple act of staying by each other.

At the time, that wasn't my idea of love. It was too simple and not passionate and exciting for my likes.  I had not yet been saved, which,  by the way, which is a super important point, because what I know about love and faithfulness now is sooooooo different than any idea I had before receiving Jesus as my Savior.

Just look at God and Israel!! How much they sinned and how much transpired in all the years, and yet He is faithful and He is with His beloved all along, and has never left Israel.

I  hadn't realized then how deep what my husband said about love was.
And in the interim years we have had  difficulties and even separation, and yet today we are still side by side each other.  As Jesus is healing our relationship.  And still in a time of healing for sure, but today,  I think that is a miracle and that God wanted to remind me of that what my husband said those years ago, and  show me that parable of the goldfish.

Hope it might bless someone out there, and that if there is someone you love that you might be growing far from, or giving up hope in, believe in the love of God that is Faithful, and not dependent on circumstances. His love is a covenant love, which is what our love is in marriage.  This story can also be for love of parents and other family or any relationship really, it is about staying with the ones we are given by God and not giving up on the family or covenant relationship given by God.  And how deep is His love for us that we cannot fathom.  And that love is there so we can pour it into the love for others and to saying no  to the darkness out there that is seeking to break up relationships.  As nothing can separate us from His love, may we also believe more in the love relationships in our lives that are modelled on the Father and His love for His Son!!

Blessings and Love and Shabbat Shalom!!