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Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Wishing everyone a wonderful month ahead filled with all good things!Happy Rosh Chodesh Kislev!
Happy birthday LE7 :-)!

Soup of the Week:

What a great week to make a nice pot of lentil soup!
1 cup lentils
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced small
1 onion, diced small
3 Tablespoons crushed garlic
10 cups of water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Place everything in the pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

Parsha Points:
  • Yitzchak was 40 years old when he married Rivka. 
  • Yitzchak and Rivka pray for children.
  • Rivka is pregnant with twins after 20 years of not being able to have children!
  • She gave birth to twins. 
  • The firstborn, Esav was red and hairy.
  • Yaakov is smooth and he is holding his brother's heel (ekev) and so he is called Yaakov.
  • Esav became a hunter, and Yaakov sat and learned Torah.
  • Yitzchak favors Esav and Rivka favors Yaakov.

  • Esav returned from hunting starving and exhausted.  He found Yaakov cooking a pot of lentil soup.
  • Esav sells his birthright to Yaakov for a pot of lentil soup.
  • There is a famine in Canaan.  Hashem tells Yitzchak to stay and promises him that his children will multiply into a great nation and inherit the land of Canaan.
  • Yitzchak settles in Grar (Plishtim).
  • Yitzchak tells Avimelech that Rivka is his sister. (Déjà vu?)
  • Avimelech finds out the truth and promises to protect Yitzchak and Rivka.
  • Yitzchak becomes very wealthy which leads to jealousy amongst the Plishtim.
  • Yitzchak moves to Beer Sheva.
  • At the age of 40 Esav married two Chitti women.
  • Yitzchak becomes old and is blind.
  • Yitzchak told Esav that he wants to bless him, but he should first go into the field and hunt for food.
  • Rivka overheard this and told Yaakov to go get the bracha for the firstborn.
  • She prepared for Yaakov goat skin since he was smooth and his brother was hairy. She placed the goat skin on Yaakov's arm and neck so Yitzchak would feel him and think it is Esav.
  • Yitzchak claims "The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav."
  • Yitzchak blesses Yaakov with spiritual and material gain.
  • Esav returns from the fields waiting to receive his bracha and then realizes it is too late.
  • Yitzchak gave Esav a bracha that Yaakov's bracha will only come true if Bnei Yisrael keep the Torah and Mitzvot.
  • If Bnei Yisrael do not then Esav will overrule.
  • Yaakov escapes from Esav's wrath and goes to Charan where he will stay by Lavan, his mother's brother.  
  • He is sent to Charan to search for a wife.
 Stay tuned next week as we find out, what happens to Yaakov........     

Parsha Puzzle:   
Yael Bracha and Racheli  had a class trip,
They were going to go to the store,
To buy candies and treats to take along with them,
And they picked up Tziporah next door.

They went to look around the shop,
They were not sure what they should buy,
Candies, cookies, pretzels, or gum,
Danishes or an apple pie.

Morah Chana said they could choose 3 different treats,
But that would be really so tough,
How can you choose only 3 items,
When you see all this really great stuff.

So they each chose 3 things, it took them some time,
And they all knew the golden rule,
Whatever you bring you share with the class,
They learned that at home and at school.

Yael Bracha was on line and she had an idea,
She ran back to the candy aisle,
She found what she wanted and got so excited,
She took almost the entire pile.

The girls looked at her and were quite surprised,
When they saw lots of small round red candy,
How do you think this is good for the trip,
How could you think this is handy?

Well I love lentil candy and this is just right,
And we are now going to go buy this whole batch,
But one thing she thought to tell all her friends,
To get some there’s only one catch.

They had to open their Chumash to this week’s parsha,
And in it they had to find,
The pasuk that states who bought what from whom,
And what was it that was on her mind…

Playing with the Parsha: 
In this week’s parsha Yitzchok calls Yaakov over and feels his skin. He says "the voice is Yaakov's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esav!"  Here is a fun game to play.  Blindfold one person who will be “it”.  It walks around the room blindfolded and tries to catch someone.  When he does, he has to “feel” the person and then try to guess who it is.  He could describe what he is feeling.  For example:  this person has a big kippa, this person has a watch etc...  Everyone could get a chance to be it.  When everyone had a turn, the first person is blindfolded again.  This time, someone tries to mimick their voice and “it” has to guess who it is.
Was it hard to guess?  How were you able to guess who it is?  If it was hard to guess someone, why was it hard.

Here is a great way for my father and I to learn a little bit of Parsha each week, even though we live far from each other. ( I like the play on words of Abba in the word Shabbat and Imabba meaning "with Abba" and Ima Abba written together!  Thanks Abba and Ima :-)!

This week's Parsha tells us the story of Rivka Imeinu and how  when she was pregnant, the children agitated within her.  She was nervous and worried when this happened.  The posuk continues to state, "2 nations are in your womb.... and the elder shall serve the younger."  

Rivka relaxed when she heard the news that she was pregnant with twins.  She could not understand all the commotion going on inside of her when she was pregnant with only one. Now it was clear why she was feeling this way.

We all know the story about the twins fighting inside of her.  Meforshim say that when she passed by a synagogue, Yaakov would want to come out and when she passed by an unholy place, Esav tried to come out.  The conflicts between the two brothers were already there in the womb.  

The question is, if Yaakov was learning with a malach inside the womb, why was he so desperate to come out?  This teaches us that even in a place of holiness it is difficult to be with an Eisav.  One must always try to be surrounded by good influences.

Some miforshim say that we are each born with the characteristics of a Yaakov and an Eisav. We have to work hard and try our best to be the best that we can be.

Parsha Dessert

This week’s Parsha welcomes twins into the world- Yaakov and Eisav.  I bought lentil candies and put it in a soup bowl.  I added pacifier candies for newborn babies. 

Another fun way to wish them a happy “birth” day is  by making them a birthday cake. 

If you have time, you can make cookies in the shape of people and attach one cookie’s hand to the heel of the other.  You can add red hands (out of licorice or sour sticks attached by marshmallow fluff) to Eisav.

Have fun and be creative with your birthday cake!

Wishing you a wonderful and fun Shabbat!  
You can follow my blog to receive it weekly.
I would love to hear your ideas and comments.
Take care.  

Friday, November 14, 2014



We left off  last week's Parsha with Avraham's final tenth test- will he sacrifice his son?...

What is in store for us this week?
  •  Sarah dies at the age of 127. 
  • Avraham searches for a place to bury his beloved wife. 
  • Avraham found a plot of land belonging to Ephron the Hittite.
  • Ephron offers the  plot of land  to Avraham as a gift, but Avraham refuses to take the gift and pays 400 dunam for the land.
  • Avraham buries Sarah in the Cave of Machpela in Hebron.
  • Avraham sends his faithful servant Eliezer back to Charan, to find a suitable wife for his son  Isaac. (thanks Ayelet ;-)
  • Avraham made Eliezer swear that he would not take a wife for his son from the local Canaanite women.
  • Eliezer  sets out for his journey and arrives by the city well. 
  • He prays to God  for success in finding the right girl for Yitzchak.
  • He requests a drink of water, and the one who would answer: "Certainly, and I'll also give your   camels to drink as well," would be the proper choice for Isaac. 
  • Rivka approached the well and sure enough she ran to give Eliezer and his camels to drink.
  • Rivka turned out to be Avraham’s great niece and this was a perfect match!  “Mazal tov”! 
  •  Rivka ran back to tell her family and her brother Lavan came out to greet Eliezer and invited him to spend the night.
  •   Eliezer recounts the day’s events to Rivka’s family and they agreed to the match.
  • Rivka accepts to return to marry Yitzchak.
  • Avraham remarries Keturah (who mefarshim say is Hagar)  and passes away at the age of 175.
  • Yitzchak and Yishmael bury him in Mearat Hamachpela next to his wife Sara.
  •  Yishmael passes away at the age of 137.

We light the Shabbat candles,
every Friday night,
And now here comes the Shabbat Queen,
with our house all filled with light.

We sing Shalom Aleichem,
Greeting angels, then drinking wine,
Then we wash, Hamotzi, have some Challa
And everything looks so fine.

The food all smells delicious,
The challa, chicken, kugel, Parsha cake,
We can’t wait to taste all the delicacies,
That our mother worked hard to make.

Everything looks so beautiful,
We all see a special shine,
The work is all done, now we rest,
And our mother looks like she is on cloud nine.

Now that I have your attention,
You will see it lo and behold,
Can you guess the riddle for this week?
The clues are written in bold.

One more thing I will give you a clue,
When Sara died some things disappeared,
But when Rivka got married to Yitzchak,
These things suddenly reappeared.


In this week’s Parsha we learn that Rivka gave water to Eliezer and to his camels to drink.  Let us see if it is easy to fill a pail of water…

You will need:  
 2 pails, one filled with water
 Plastic cups      
Place a bucket full of water at the front of the line and an empty bucket at the rear. The object of the game is to transfer the water from the front bucket to the rear bucket. To do this the each person must pass the cups of water over their heads to the person behind them.
  Empty cups must be passed back to the front the same way.
Discuss  the chesed that Rivka did by providing water.  It was not an easy task, yet she ran to do so. 
Don’t forget to offer someone a glass of water when they enter your home.  If someone is cleaning the yard, a mailman or anyone else, you will make them very happy.

Here is a great way for my father and I to learn a little bit of Parsha each week, even though we live far from each other.  
( I like the play on words of Abba in the word Shabbat, and Imabba meaning "with Abba" and Ima Abba written together!  The word bat is in there too, so it is complete :-)!  Thanks Abba and Ima :-)!

In this week's Parsha, Avraham Avinu went to look for a buriel plot for Sarah. When Avraham approached Ephron to inquire, the people of Hittite were standing around him. What did Ephron answer? " I have given you the field, and as for the cave that is in it, I have given it to you,: in the view of the children of my people have I given it to you, bury your dead."   But later on when no one was around  Ephron said to Avraham, "The land is worth 400 silver shekel- between me and you- what is it?  Bury your dead." 
How did Ephron arrive at the number 400?  He said to Avraham ""between me and you- what is it?"  The middle letter in Avraham's name is resh = 200.  The middle letter of Ephron is also resh which equals 200.  So this is where he got the number 400. Between me and between you, the letter resh. 

Parsha Treat

Here is a cake resembling the well.  You will see how WELL everyone will finish this treat!

You will need:
1 chocolate cake baked in a bundt pan
2 skewers (shipudim)
1 small glass cup- to place in the middle
A bit of whipped cream with blue food coloring mixed in
(or blue Jello) to resemble water
Colored paper to fold on top
A toy  camel or jug to decorate.

WELL, there you have it!

Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing Shabbat!  Ruchie

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


  •  Avraham is sitting at the opening of his tent, when he notices three "men" approaching.                        
  •  The three angels inform Avraham and Sarah that Sarah will bear a child in her old age.
  •  Sarah responds to this news by laughing. 
  •  Two of the messengers make their way towards Sodom, while Hashem tells Avraham the plan to destroy the sinful city. Avraham tries to convince Hashem that there are righteous people in the city.     
  •  When not even ten righteous people are found in Sodom, Hashem proceeds with the city's destruction. 
  • Avraham's nephew Lot,  escapes the destruction with his two daughters.
  • Avraham then moves southward, and settles near Gerar. Avimelech,the  king of the Philistines, tries to take Sarah, but through Hashem's intervention, she is released unharmed.
  • Yitzchak is born to Avraham and Sarah. Avraham, who is now a hundred years old, circumcises his new son with great celebration. 
  • Sarah noticed that Yishmael, Avraham's son with Hagar, was a  negative influence on her child. She told Avraham to kick out Yishmael, and his mother Hagar
  • Hashem tells Avraham: "Whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her voice!"
  • Hagar and Ishmael wandered in the desert and soon ran out of water. Suddenly, a malach (angel) opened Hagar's eyes and showed her a well of water.
  • This is the final test for Avraham.  Hashem appears to Avraham and commands him to go and offer his son Yitzchak as a sacrifice. They travel to Mount Moriah, where Avraham binds up Yitzchak and is about to slaughter him. Hashem stopped him and  provides a ram instead.
  • Avraham then returns to his home at Beer Sheba.

 This week's Parsha teaches us about the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim and Bikur cholim.  A nice activity to do with your kids is visiting a sick person.  If you live near a hospital or nursing home, you could buy little treats and give them out there.  You could also bake a cake for someone you know who is sick and bring it over.  You can pick up the phone or send an email to someone you know who is not feeling well and let them know you are thinking of them.  These suggestions can really brighten someone's day :-).

If you are having Shabbat guests, this is a perfect week to talk about Hachnasat Orchim and making them feel good.  You might even want to serve the Parsha cake just like Sarah prepared cakes for the malachim.

Avraham broke his leg; he could not go to school,
And for the same reason, he could not attend shul.
The car he  wassitting in had skidded in the rain,
He got hurt, not that badly but was in lots of pain.
Baruch Hashem, he was buckled up in the car,
Or G-d forbid he would have been thrown pretty far,
When he was sent to the hospital and was seen by a nurse,
She said, “Bee thankful  to G-d, it could have been worse.”
The other people in the car were luckily not hurt,
Though one of the others gott some blood on his shirt.
Avraham was shaking and scared and at first unable to speak,
And the doctor told him that now he must rest for a week.
He thought staying at home might actually be fun,
But he was stuck in his bed; he could not walk, play or run.
He missed all his friends, what was there to do all day?
He wished he could feel better and go learn, run and play.
His friends allsurprised him; they each wrote a letter,
And when he read all their wishes he felt so much better.
In shul one late morning, the men could not begin,
They were nine all together, not enough for a minyan.
Since Avraham was 13 he could be counted with the men,
Because to have a minyan, you must have at least 10.
Two men were determinded to have their minyan
And knocked at the door of our hero, Avraham
They carried him all the way to the car
And brought him to shul, which wasn’t that far
We know Bikur Cholim we learn from Vayera,
What else in this rhyme talks about this Parsha?

What You Need:

Apple Cake Delight (recipe below)
People figures or cookie figures
Paper Towel roll
Green construction paper
Round red stickers

Apple Cake Delight:
3 apples, peeled and slice thinly
Sprinkle cinnamon/ sugar to cover the apples
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ cup orange or apple juice

Grease a bundt pan. Slice the apples and place them in a bowl.  Mix the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and sprinkle over the apples.
In another bowl, beat the oil and eggs.  Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in vanilla and orange juice.
Pour half of the batter into the bundt shaped pan.  Place the apples over the batter.  Pour remaining batter on to the apples.  Bake for 1 hour or more.  The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool.
Make a tree by cutting strips ¾ of the way down the green paper.  Roll it into the papertowel roll and fan out.  Place stickers on the paper.
Place the tree inside the bundt cake and lean the people figures against the tree.
Place a figure on the side to represent Avraham.  You can take a round paper plate and cut a triangle and form it into a tent.  Cut 4 doors around.

Answer to Parsha Puzzle: Hashem wanted to destroy Sedom and Avraham pleads with him not to destroy the city if ?are were at least 50 righteous people there. He goes down in numbers until he reaches 10. Avraham did not ask for less than ten men, because less than that is not a community; the minimum number for a minyan (quorum) of men. 

Wishing you a wonderful and restful Shabbat!  All the best!                                                  Ruchie

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Lech Lecha- Feet Cookies...

Rikki and Shira were both excited,
They could hardly wait,
They wanted Abba to come already,
He came back a little late!
They missed their Ima and they were ready,
To go into the car,
They had to drive to see their Ima,
She was a little far.
She was in the hospital, with a new baby,
It really was a joy,
they waited to hear the exciting news
they had a little boy!
The Shalom zachor will be Friday night,
they even got to bake,
their mother’s friend Devorah,
Helped them bake a cake.
Their Abba picked a mohel,
One who is well known,
He was their father’s mohel too,
His name is Rabbi  Krohn.
What a perfect Shabbat,
The teacher said in school
Can you guess why davka Lech Lecha,
To have a brit in shul?


In this week’s Parsha,  Hashem told Avraham to get up and go.  Avraham did not ask any questions and went to where Hashem told him to go.  This game is a good follow the leader game.  It is also a good game to play when you are traveling with your siblings in a car.  Since Avraham traveled in the Parsha this is a good game to play.
Follow the Leader. This game requires at least four people. One person starts an action, like clapping his hands, raising both arms up and down, or repeatedly touching his head. All must follow this person, but at any time any other person in the group may start another action. The object of the game is for everyone to watch and follow the new action when it starts. The person who gets caught then becomes "it."


 Here is a fun activity to do for Parshat lech laecha...

Take a piece of colored paper and fold it in half. Cut a rectangular shape on the top middle part. Staple both sides of the paper and you now have a suitcase.

Ask the kids what a suitcase has to do with Avraham Avinu in Parshat lech lecha.

You can play the game: I went on a trip and brought apples, bannanas... (in alphabetical order) and each one takes a turn and sees if they could remember all of them. You can start with food items, then clothing, then games etc...

You can have the kids look through magazines and cut out things they might want to pack and place it in the suitcase they made.

You can have a guessing game where you put pictures in the suitcase and one picks out a picture and gives clues to the other person and they have to guess who it is.

You can decorate the suitcase with stickers, markers, glitter etc... 

Here is a great way for my father and I to learn a little bit of Parsha each week, even though we live far from each other.  
( I like the play on words of Abba in the word Shabbat, and Imabba meaning "with Abba" and Ima Abba written together!  The word bat is in there too, so it is complete :-)!  Thanks Abba and Ima :-)!

 In this week's Parsha, Hashem tells Avraham to look up at the sky and count the stars.  If one looks up at the sky the stars seem very small and far away, but in reality they are very huge.  According to the sfat emet, so too are Bnei Yisrael, in this world they are small, but in the world to come they will be very big.  Each and every one is important and is a shining star!


In this week’s Parsha, Hashem blesses Bnei Yisrael  that they should multiply like the stars in the sky and the sand in the sea.  Why not make star cookies with sprinkles on them to resemble the sky and the sand.
Remember my dear children; all of you are special stars that shine.

What you need:
Cookie dough recipe
Star shaped cookie cutters
like the stars in the sky and the sand in the sea...
Cookie dough: 
  • 1 1/2 cups margarine, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream together margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Pour the sprinkles on the cookies.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
You will be the star of the meal with these yummy cookies!

Answer to parsha puzzle: ( this week talks about the brit mila at the end of the Parsha).
                     Have a wonderful Shabbat!