Thursday, October 17, 2019

Succa Sky and clouds of Glory

The sky canopy (above) and the succa canopy.The sky canopy draped in the heavens as the Succa was being constructed on earth!

On the first day you are to take choice fruit of trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and rejoice before ADONAI your God for seven days.
Leviticus 23:40

On the day the succa was being set up at the synagogue I didn't know where to look!! It was so exciting to see the succa as it was progressing and it was at the same time I coudn't stop looking UP to see what God was doing in His succa sky, forming and gathering the clouds in the shape of a welcoming Succa!!

I just learned this year that there is also an expression to do with Succot of the tents or booths of succa also being a reference to Clouds of Glory, or Clouds of Honor.
I love that expression of being under the Clouds of Glory, as we prepare to sit and dine and rejoice in the succa, and all this week of the holiday of Succot (until today as it is a big rain)!!! 

At night it was heaven to sit in the succa.  What does one do in a succa?  Eat! Sing! Rejoice!! The Feast of Succot is also known as the Holiday of  Rejoicing.  It is a commandment to rejoice the whole week of the 7 day holiday.  Its hard not to soar up to heaven when in the succa and with the people filling in it with song and feasting!!
Most of all、 the holiday is about God and dwelling with Him,  being reminded of the fragility of all life that is given and sustained by Him.

Blessings and Moadim l'Simcha.
Enjoy the Appointed days of the Feasts!


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Ha’azinu Challah and second “Challah-cast”

Give ear o heavens and I will speak!
Let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 
May my teaching trickle like rain, 
my speech distill like the dew.

Deuteronomy 32 1~2
first lines of Parsha Haazinu

For this week I made a special Challah for Parsha Haazinu.
And trying out  the second "Challah-cast" upload for the New Year! Which is a play on "pod-cast" , using challah as the basis for the "broadcast"!! Please note, these "Challah-casts" are IN PROGRESS!!! I know they need a lot of editing and I am trying out a new idea.  Feel free to let me know any comments!! This week I wanted to commumicate the  making a challah in the shape of the text of the song from the "Parsha" we are reading  in the Torah!  It might not be clear until somewhat into the 12 minutes of what I am doing, but if you are moved to watch it please do!!
Hope you enjoy it and that it communicates!! Did I say, it is a "Work in Progress!"

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful season.
Shavua Tov!
Chag Sameach Succot!!

Tonight starts the holiday of Succot.  Blessings and Shalom, Rejoice in His Tents!!

Shayndel (Joanne, live from L.I. !!)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Shabbat Shuvah--and trying out a "Challah-cast"

 I am trying out a "Challah-cast"  (like "pod-cast"), to start a new series for the New Year.

 I was inspired to try something new in the New Year and do a weekly series of "Challah-cast" video uploads to share about themes from the weekly Torah portion using "challah" as the basis to tell it!!!

My goals with it would be each week to share a little something about the week we are in on the Hebrew calendar and to relate some of the themes of what we are reading in the Torah portion for that Shabbat to tell some Torah insight or personal testimony or something that could be an inspiration to others, as we encourage each other to draw closer to God using the "ingredients" from our God-given lives!!

So that is the idea, and here is the first "Challah-cast" practice!! Practicing!

NOTE:  I removed this video for now!! Please see the newer posts for the updated 'Challah-cast", as this one really became "practice"!!!

It is for
Shabbat Shuvah is the Sabbath of Return, that comes between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

In terms of Challah, it is customary to make a challah in the shape of a "spiral" to represent "return" as well as to echo the creation in the shape, and give honor and glory to the LORD, our Creator.

Please watch if you can and let me know any comments to if it is something you might want to see more of, and if there is any ways that it would be more appealing for you , for example regarding the content, length of time, tone, etc etc.  A work in progress!  Please do let me know!!

Shana Tova!!

G’mar Chatima Tovah!
May you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for good year!

Tashlich and an Ice Cream Sundae

Who is a God like You, Who forgives iniquity and passes over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?  He does not maintain His anger forever, for He desires loving-kindness.
He shall return and grant us compassion;  He shall hide our iniquites, and You shall cast into the depths of the sea all their sins.  
You shall give the truth of Jacob, the loving-kindness of Abraham, which You swore to our forefathers from days of yore.   Book of Micah 7:18 ~ 20

This word Tashlich means "You will cast away", and refers here to the Jewish observance that is symbolic of casting our sins to the sea.  This custom dates back to probably before the 14th century, and is based on the final verses of the book of Micah (above).   At the synagogue I attend on L.I. for the holidays , there is a special  Tashlich at the Marina, and after we take a handful of bread to cast into the sea , representing casting out sin,  there is a treat!!

Ice cream!

God is good!!

He is pleased at repentance.  As a matter of fact, even before the creation God put into effect the plan of a Deliverer to redeem us.

I am starting to experience the "joy" of repentance.

I am starting to love "teshuvah".  

Tashlich is done on the day of Rosh Hashanah, at the beginning of the ten days of Awe, which lead up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.   I always thought  of the Day of Atonement as a heavy and sad day, and yet even though it is the most important and Holy day on the Jewish calendar, it is a day of lightness and joy.  People wear white and sneakers to synagogue and there is a divine Light shed on this holy of holy of days after the 10 days of Awe and Repentence and the work of preparing that starts way before that.  It is recited that on Rosh Hashana our names our written in the book of Life and then on Yom Kippur it is "sealed'.

May all our names be written in and sealed in the Book of Life for a good year!

Blessings and Shalom,



Challah journal---continuing in the new year, echoing Creation

A round challah, pomegranate seeds, apples, honey, and even yogurt--milk and honey!  are all symbolic of the Biblical New Year!! Happy and Sweet 5780 to you!  May we honor our Creator all the days through! 

Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything moving in them.

Psalm 69:35

A sweet and exquisite first day of the Year 5780 to all!

Rosh Hashanah morning. Before going to synagogue with my Dad, I took a bicycle ride down to the beach with a New Year's round challah (*note, it is a challah from the bakery)  in my back pack!  A challah adventure of the New Years kind.  When I was growing up on Long Island, my family always walked to the synagogue.  My Dad always said that it never rains on the Jewish Holidays!! So there is a kind of weather I associate with the High Holidays, and it was just that weather this New Year.

There would be feasting with the congregation later, but in the morning, a quiet time.  The ocean was High tide, and the sky was like it might have looked on the first day of Creation!!  Today the day, yes, the day the Big Shofar is blown.   When I set the round challah down on the beach blanket, immediately its shape echoed the sky and the sun rising already up above the horizon.  It is also an echo of "Return".  The High Holidays are about "Teshuvah", which means to return, as in to return to God our Father.  Not only personally, but nationally as a people as well.   The  circular shape,  it goes around and around, a reminder of the shape of His days, always bringing us closer and closer to Him,  the Creator of all things, welcome O welcome to the King of all Kings.