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Monday, July 16, 2012



40 years in the desert- dessert!
We went away, but not alone.
We’re two and a half, and on our own.
We’re really big, we can decide,
Where we should go, whatever side.
We thought it would be good for flock,
But our leader Moshe was a bit in shock.
Are we acting like our fathers before?
And not help out if there is a war?
We did agree that Moshe was right,
And we will come and help them fight.
We promised to give our brothers a hand,
Before we go back to live on our land.
Moshe listened and accepted our plea,
As long as we followed and we did agree,
Who are WE and which cities did we dwell,
If you look in the chumash you will know as well.

(Reuven, Gad, ½ shevet Menashe.)


Sefer Bamidbar is about a journey, moving from place to place for forty years. In Parshat Masei, the Torah summarizes the entire journey the Bnei Yisrael took from Mitzraim until they were about to enter the Land of Eretz Yisrael.

This is a memory game in which each person in turn tells what he’s taking on a journey, going through the letters of the alphabet. The first person thinks of something that begins with the letter A, the second person thinks of something with  letter B, etc. Each person has to remember and say all the preceding things. For example, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking an apple.” “I’m going on a journey and I’m taking an apple and a banana.”

To make it more challenging think of things that are associated with the journey through the desert. For example:  “I am going on a journey and I’m taking an aron, bamidbar etc…


What better way to review Sefer Bamidbar then a number 40 cake.  This cake will be eaten quickly.  It definitely won’t take 40 years to finish it.

What you will need:
Chocolate cake recipe (double the recipe for this Parsha cake)
1 bundt shaped pan
1 rectangular pan
Frosting/ sprinkles if desired.

Chocolate Cake Recipe:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups cold water
1/2 cup cocoa
2/3 cup oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together.
Pour the batter into a Bundt shape pan.
Make another batter and pour it into a rectangular pan.  
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. (Thanks Annette!)
When the rectangular shape has cooled, cut out a square on the top middle of the cake and another one on the left hand corner, to make the number 4.  Keep the leftover pieces to nosh on (it will be gone quickly!).  Take out the round Bundt shape and place it next to the 4 so it looks like the number 40.   Frost and sprinkle as desired.

Have a great Shabbat :-)!     Ruchie

Tuesday, July 10, 2012



We are sisters, we do care,
We found out something’s not so fair!
A part of land was important to us,
So we decided to make a fuss.
Each family received a share,
For someone who’s no longer there.
The father had to have a son,
But our dear father, he had none.
So we were brave, righteous and wise,
We wanted Moshe to compromise.
Our father was not part of Korach’s crew,
He was a kind and honest Jew.
We stood in front of Moshe and the judges too,
And Moshe was not sure what to do.
Moshe then spoke right to Hashem,
Who said, yes give some land  to them.
Because of us the law was known,
What is our name and what do we own?

Answer: (bnot Tzlafchad:  Machlah, Noah, Choglah, Milkah and Tirtzah.- and they received an inheritance of their father’s land)


This past week on the 17th day of Tamuz, marked the beginning of a three week period of mourning for Jews, which ends on the ninth of Av- Tisha B’av.  Jews all over the world fast to remember the many tragedies that have befallen on us on this day.

One of the well known tragedies  that happened on this day, is the city walls of Yerushalayim were breached, which was the beginning of the destruction of Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash.

Take a box of Lego, Duplo or blocks.  Go around the Shabbat table and ask each person a parsha question (you can look inside your Chumash to help you). You can also ask them a question about the three weeks/ 9 days.  Every time someone gets it right, they “build” a tower.  Talk about Achdut and how people work together to build it. 

Then, suddenly when you feel like it, go and break the tower without any reason.  Listen to everyone’s reaction.  Talk about how the Jews felt to have the Beit Hamikdash destroyed.  Nice lesson.

This week’s parshah talks about Rosh Chodesh. Pinchas 28:1-15 is the Torah reading for Rosh Chodesh on a weekday. Pinchas  28:9-15 is the maftir Torah reading for Shabbos Rosh Chodesh.  In honor of Rosh chodesh here is a moon shaped cookie recipe.
1 cup fresh almonds coarsely ground
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine softened
1 egg yolk
2 drops almond extract
Combine all dry ingredients. With your hands work in margarine and egg yolk. Mixture will be dry. Chill the dough. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Take about 1 heaping tbs. of dough and roll between your hands, shaping into crescents. Lay on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 20-min. Remove carefully and cool on rack.   Enjoy! 
Have a great Shabbat!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


In this Parsha you will find,
The donkey spoke what was on her mind.
And even though Bilam was a heavy load,
The donkey stopped in the middle of the road.
The Malach had me in his hand,
And Bilam did not understand.
The donkey quickly turned away,
But Bilam wanted her to stay.
Bilam hit the poor donkey,
and threatened her that he will use me.
“Why did you hit me three times just stam?
The donkey asked the shocked Bilam.
I am there when you need me and you know it is true,
Did I ever think to ride on you?
I once was used in a big fight,
If you see me, you might catch a fright.
Never use me for a game,
Because I am sharp and I try to aim.
Do you know what I am?  I think you do.
because now it’s time, to guess this clue…

Answer (the sword)


As the Bnei Yisrael traveled through the midbar on the way to Eretz Yisrael, they camped together in thousands of tents. When they camped they made sure that no two tents had openings facing each other. This ensured that no one would be able to look into anybody else's tent and invade their privacy.
In this week’s Parsha, Bilaam is impressed by the fact that the children of Israel have set up their tents so that no entrance is overlooked by any other. He utters the sentence 'Ma tovu ohalecha Yaakov mishkenotecha Yisrael. 
He was impressed at how much respect they have for each other.
It is important to give everyone respect and appreciate the differences between each person.  Go around the Shabbos table and talk about what it means to respect someone.  Then ask everyone to tell you:
  • What I like about me
  • What I like to eat
  • What I like about my family
  • What I like about school
  • What I like to do
  • What I like to think about
Everyone might have a different answer, but it reflects their feelings.  Everyone must respect each other’s answers.   A good discussion to follow is, how to keep inside what someone tells you about themselves, in order to protect their privacy.

Here is a cake that resembles Bilam and his Donkey.
What you will need:
Chocolate Cake
A man figure
A stick figure
A donkey figure

Chocolate Cake:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups cold water
1/2 cup cocoa
2/3 cup oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a 9x 13 inch pan or 2 loaf size pans. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Once the cake has cooled assemble the figures on top, to make it look like Bilam is going to hit the donkey! 

Enjoy!  Have a terrific Shabbat!