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Tuesday, December 20, 2016


pretzels and licorice!  Yum!
  • Yaakov loves Yosef more than all the other brothers and makes him a special embroidered coat.
  • Yosef's brothers are jealous.
  • Yosef dreams that 11 bundles of sheaves are bowing down to his bundle.                        
  •  Yosef dreams that the sun, moon and eleven stars  are bowing down to him. 
  • Yaakov sends Yosef to look for his brothers. 
  • When the brothers see Yosef in the distance they say here comes the dreamer.                       
  • The brothers plot to kill him.
  • Reuven, the eldest, suggests to throw him into a pit.
  •  Reuven plans on returning later to remove Yosef from the pit.
  • Yehuda suggests to sell Yosef to the Yishmaelim.
  • The brothers do not know how to tell their father.
  • They slaughter a goat and dip Yosef's coat into the blood. 
  • Yosef is sold to Potifar.
  •  The story of Yehuda and Tamar.
  •  Yosef becomes Potifar's personal assistant.
  •  Potifar's wife tries to get Yosef to pay attention to her.
  •  Since Yosef refuses, Potifar's wife puts him in jail.
  • The butler's dream.
  • The baker's dream.....    

What will happen next?  Stay tuned until next week to find out.........


Yosef was the favorite,
or so the brothers thought,
It bothered all the brothers 
and they all felt so distraught.
They were very jealous,
because Yosef got it all,
They plotted against him, 
they wanted him to fall.
They despised the special coat;
they just wanted to scream,
When Yosef thought he understood, 
and told them about his dream.
First eleven sheaves 
were bowing down to one,
The next was to one star, 
11 stars, the moon and sun.
One day Yaakov sent Yosef 
into the fields of Shechem,
The brothers were caring for the sheep;
he should look out for them.
When they saw him coming,
they all began to plot,
That they will get rid of him 
and let his body rot.
One brother decided 
 that without a doubt,
He’ll come back when they’re gone 
and let Yosef come out.
Who was this brother?  
Where was Yosef thrown?
What was inside of it,
look at Rashi it’s well known.


This week’s parsha talks about the jealously of the brothers towards Yosef. We learn in Pirkei Avot,” Veahavta lereyacha komocha,” love your brother as you love yourself.  Here is a game called do you love your neighbor….
All the players sit in a circle except for one person who will stand and asks someone, “Do you love your neighbor?” If he/she says YES, then everyone moves one seat in any direction and the person that’s IT tries to get a seat. If he/she does, then the person left standing is IT. However if he says NO then the IT asks, “Who do you love?” The person that was chosen then answers by describing something about  other people in the circle (ex. hair color, glasses, eye color, style of clothes etc…) and those people move to any seat they can get except for their own. 

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 :-)!

 Here are 2 divrei Torah:

When Yosef told his brothers his dream, that their bundles of wheat bowed down to him, they replied: "HaMaloch Timloch Aleinu, Im Mashol Timshol Banu"? This question seems to be redundant. Does Yosef dare think he will rule over them?
  The Gra explains that the word Melech, which  means King,  is one who is chosen and  accepted by the people. The word Moshel means a ruler by force. 
The brothers said "HaMaloch Timloch Aleinu?" will you ever be a melech, a king over us? They all agreed that of course he would not, since they would never accept him. "Im Mashol Timshol Banu" If you do rule over us, your power will be by  force and you will be a Moshel over us.
For this, the brothers hated him even more.

The parsha starts out by saying "Vayehshev Yaakov beeretz migurey Aviv". And Yaakov settled in the land of his father's sojourning, in the Land of Ca'naan.
Why does the Torah have to tell us this?  It states previously that Yaakov came.  Why is it repeated?  The medrash Lekach tov states that all these years that Yaakov was in chutz laaretz, he was wandering in Galut.  Once he came to Eretz Yisrael, he is considered settled.  Vayeshev. 
It is time to come home- don't you think????


How "pit"iful that Yosef was thrown into the pit but this is such an easy and fun parsha cake.
Bake your favorite cake in a bundt shaped pan.
Wait until it cools.
I made a marble cake to give it the effect of sand and dirt.
Either bake a cookie and shape it into a person or put a figure inside.
Add gummy snakes and there you have it!
This is so cute and you will be so hospitable!
The pit was empty but there were snakes and scorpions inside.
Answer to Parsha puzzle:   (Reuven came back to get Yosef who was no longer in the pit.  There was no water in the pit but there were snakes and scorpions.)
Enjoy and have a wonderful Shabbat!!!  
Stay tuned for Chanuka!!!!

I would love to hear feedback.  Hope you are enjoying these ideas at your Shabbat table!

All the best!

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Shabbat Nachamu...
Shma Yisrael, good enough to kiss....

Numbers, numbers everywhere,
This week is number 10.
We know we’re counted in a minyan,
If there’s that many men.
From Adam until Noach
there were 10 generations,
From Noach until Avraham too,
when we became a nation.
We know we give maaser-
one tenth we give to poor,
these all sound so familiar,
we’ve learned this all before.   
Aseret Ymei teshuva,
Here we go again,
That famous number that we said-
The important number 10!
Dam, tsfardeya, kinim,
arov, Dever, and shechin,
barad, arbe, choshech,
makat bechorot for their sin.
In this week’s parsha do you know,
What 10 you should recall,
Can you tell us what it is
And also name them all?

(Aseret Hadibrot.  I am Hashem, No other god, Do not take the name of Hashem in vein, Keeping Shabbat, Honoring your parents etc…)

Hashem told Moshe that he would not enter the land that was promised.  Moshe really wanted to enter Eretz Yisrael because he loved it so much.  Whenever he had an opportunity to try to have Hashem annul the decree, he tried to do so.  In the beginning of the sedra Moshe begged Hashem (vaetchanan) to give him a second chance and allow him to enter the land.
One game that you can play is Mother May I. Have everyone stand in a line.  One person is chosen to be the Mother or Father.  Everyone else must stand facing the Mother or Father a distance away.  Everyone can only move one at a time following instructions by the mother or father.  Each person has to try to touch the mother/ father.  Mother/ father will chooses someone, and give them instructions such as: “you may take one giant baby step.” The chosen one must say “May I?” and do what they are told.  If someone forgot to say “May I” or does it incorrectly, they go back to the beginning. It could be something like- Mother may I take 3 giant steps, 2 baby steps, 4 hopping steps etc….. If one forgets to ask "Mother may I?" he/she goes back to where he started from. First one to touch the Mother wins.
There are lots of different steps you can ask people to do which have special names for example:
Baby – very small step
Bunny Rabbit – a hop with both feet together
Giant – a very large step.

In this week’s parsha we read the first paragraph of the shema.  What better cake to make then a mezuzah one.  It tastes so good you will want to kiss it too.

What you will need:
Apple cake recipe (see below)
Fondant or cookie dough 
The letter shin cookie cutter or make your own
Food coloring to color the fondant.
Applesauce  Cake Recipe (Thanks Yaffie!)
3 eggs                          
2 cups sugar
¾ cup oil
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup apple sauce

Mix everything together well in 2 well greased small rectangular pans.
Bake at 3500 for 1 hour.

Let the cake cool.  In the meantime, take a piece of fondant (batzek sukar) and roll out.  Work quickly as this tends to dry fast.  Mix in some food coloring and knead the fondant again.  Shape into the letter shin and let dry.  When the cake has cooled, put the shin on top.  No need to frost the cake.  If you have a pretty rectangular dish to display it, even better!

Have a great Shabbat!!!     Ruchie

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Shabbat Chazon....   Tisha B'av this coming Sunday.                                                                                                                            בס"ד     
Busy bumble bees- Dvorim...

In Sefer Devarim, Moshe speaks to every Jew,
Known as Mishna Torah -  repetition or review.
Going through the journey,  39 years in the midbar,
The miracles that happened, how they came this far.

Moshe told Bnei Yisrael the words of Hashem,
According to all that He commanded him.
The journey had a purpose, they had to understand,
Hashem wanted them to own His promised land.

We should be reminded of the miracles that were done,
And  remember that Hashem is the only One.
Moshe discussed the desert, each place he did describe,
and how the people chose a judge for every tribe.

Moshe reviewed Chet meraglim he spoke to them and cried,
He gave Bnei Yisrael rebuke, before he died.
What date is it written that Moshe gathered everyone?
Go look in a Chumash, when you find it you are done!

Answer:  The first day of the 11th month- Aleph Shvat. 

This week’s Parsha talks about the sin of the Meraglim (spies.)  Moshe recounts the tragic episode in detail. He reminds Bnei Yisrael how the Meraglim claimed that it would be impossible for them to conquer the nations in Eretz Canaan.   Even though Moshe protested, the Bnei Yisrael were afraid to enter Canaan. As a result, Hashem did not allow that entire generation to enter the land.

We have to be careful with our words and what we say.  Go around the Shabbat table and start a story.  No one is allowed to use the letter s in the story.  See how difficult it is to say a sentence without using the letter ‘s’.  After everyone finished asked how they felt.  It is not always easy to guard our tongue, but we must work very hard and try to think before we speak!

In this week’s parshah (44:1) Moshe talks about the Amorim who chased the Bnei Yisrael like bees. 
In Taamei Mesoret Hamikra, Rav Yehuda Hachassid writes that devarim, words, sound similar to dvorim, bees. The words of the Torah are like bees. To those who accept it, it will be as sweet as honey, and to those who refuse it, it will be harsh like a sting.
Let’s make BEEautiful Bee cookies. It will BEE the sweetest dessert!
You will need:
2 cups peanut butter
¼ cup margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
3 cups crushed cookies
½ cup chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon oil
Sliced almonds

Combine the peanut butter and margarine in a bowl.  Beat until creamy. Add powdered sugar.  Beat until well mixed.  Stir in crushed cookies by hand.  Shape rounded teaspoonfuls into ovals.  You can wet your hands to make it easier to shape.  Place onto waxed paper.
Combine the chocolate chips and oil in a microwavable bowl.   Microwave for 50 seconds, remove and stir.  Continue microwaving for 10 seconds until chocolate is smooth.
Pour the chocolate into a small plastic bag.  Cut a small tip from the corner.
For each bee, squeeze 3 stripes of chocolate over each oval.  Insert slivered almonds on each side for the wings.  Add chocolate chips for the eyes.
Refrigerate- no need to bake!

Enjoy! Have a great Shabbat!
Hope you have an easy and meaningful fast. 
May we be zoche to see the building of the Bet Hamikdash speedily in our days.                            Ruchie

Thursday, May 12, 2016


In this week’s Parshas Emor, It talks about the Yamim tovim.
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, And the Shalosh regalim.
Pesach we were taken from slavery,
On the 15th of Nissan we were set free.
We read the Haggada as everyone awaits,
We have matzah and marror and can’t eat Chometz.
Then we count seven weeks, until Matan Torah,
Where Bnei Yisrael all answered “Naaseh Venishma”.
From Pesach to Shavuot we count 49 days,
And we try very hard to mend in our ways.
Rosh Hashana on the first of Tishrei,
We ask Hashem for a good year, we beg and we pray.
We hear the shofar very loud and so clear,
That we should have an amazing good year.
Yom Kippur we daven and ask Hashem to forgive,
To seal the sefarim and give us health, let us live.
Then comes Succot, the chag we all love,
With our Succa, hadasim, aravot, etrog and lulav.
On Shabbat we can’t do 2 things that on Yom tov we could,
If you know these 2 answers, you’re really quite good!

This week’s Parshas Emor talks about all the different chagim.
Here is a fun yom tov game that you could play.  Prepare slips of paper before Shabbat with all different kinds of items that are related to the Yomim tovim.  Place it in a box and pass it around the table.  Each person picks out one slip and acts out what is on their paper.
Here are some examples:
Har Sinai
No leather shoes etc…

You can have another envelope with dates of Yomim tovim and everyone has to guess which Yom tov it is.  This is a great review and fun to play.

This week’s Parsha talks about the Yomim tovim and the Shetei Halechem.  What better Shabbat to make delicious Challot to share with your family.  When my family first started making something related to the Parsha, we used Challot.  It was fun for everyone to guess how it was related to the parsha.  However, as the challa was rising many times the shapes of the items were changed.  One time I made  a lulav and Etrog for Succot, and when one of the guests guessed that  the lulav was a duck’s leg I decided it was time to make Parsha cakes instead….  Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Challa:

9 cups room temp whole wheat flour 
  1 egg
1 heaping cup honey
heaping 1/2 cup oil with 1 t vanilla mixed in
package of yeast
1 3/4 C warm water

dissolve the  yeast in the warm water--add about a teaspoon of sugar to the yeast to help it proof. Meanwhile place the other ingredients in the mixer. Add yeast/water. Mix. Add a little more flour if necessary. Let rise for 2-3 hours, braid, let rise for another 20-30 minutes, brush with egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake.

Regular Challa  
 6 cups flour    
1.25 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 t salt
1/2 cups  oil
1 t vanilla
1 cup warm water
1 package of yeast

Same general instructions as the whole wheat but it needs to rise longer. You also need to play with the consistency of the dough by adding more flour/water; it should be as soft as possible but not sticky.

Answer to playing with the parsha:   ( On Yom tov you are allowed to cook and carry without an eiruv)
 Have a wonderful Shabbat!  Ruchie

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


putting a key in the Challa- and it's all about Shabbat!
No Talking Lashon Hara

1)Yoni was sad and a note you did send,
Always try to be nice to your friend.
A child in your class broke a leg when he fell.
Go over to visit, go wish him well.
An older woman just got off the bus,
Give her your seat, get up without a fuss.
Give Tzedaka and help those who are poor,
You’ll feel even better than you did before.
If someone is sad, try to make him smile,
You’ll see that your efforts are really worthwhile.
Treat your friend like you want him to treat you,
If you know the answer, you just guessed this clue.

2) In the garden I grew a tree,
It seemed like I waited until eternity.
When will my tree bear its fruits?
I looked at the leaves and at all the roots.
The tree just grew but it still was bare,
I waited a year and another year.
But wait, now look a fruit came along,
Can I eat from one I waited oh so long…
No you can’t have from any of them,
These are the fruits that belong to Hashem.
You must have patience, you need to wait,
This teaches a lesson that is so great.
During the  Beit Hamikdash in the 4th year,
The fruits were taken to Yerushalyim and eaten there.
What is this called do you know?
If you do you are a parsha pro.

One of the most important mitzvot is “ Veahavta lereiacha kamocha, “love your friend as yourself.” The great Rav Hillel explains this to mean "What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend." Rabbi Akiva added, “Zeh klal gadol baTorah.” This is a great principle of the Torah, that man should love and treat everyone equally as he loves and treats himself. This, according to Rabbi Akiva is perhaps the most important Mitzvah and possibly the most difficult to observe.
Many times it is easier to see the faults of a person and not his good traits.  We don’t always take the time to tell someone how we appreciate them. We are quick to judge and are also quicker to tell someone their faults.  At your Shabbos table is a great way to teach the lesson of Veahavta Lereiacha kamocha.    Go around the table and have every person say something nice about each person.  You will see how good it feels when you say nice things to each other and see your siblings, parents and guests smile and feel good about themselves.
Don’t forget to continue to do that throughout the week.  Say nice things to your family, teachers, street cleaners, , friends and more.  It costs nothing, but you will feel like you are worth a million bucks!  
This week’s Parsha teaches us “Lifnei Iveir Al titein Michshol”.  This literally means not to put a stumbling block in front of a blind person.
The simple explanation for is that if you are leading a blind, don't purposely put something in his way or make him fall..
The real meaning of this mitzvah is that you should not try to trick someone or give them wrong advice.  For example if you offer someone a ride and then when he is not looking you leave without him.
Here is a fun game to play called blind man’s bluff.  Choose someone who will be blindfolded.    Cover his eyes with a scarf or towel and make sure he cannot see.  Then spin him around and stand next to him.  Have him get from point a to point b by explaining to him what to do.  He will be totally dependent on you.  You can try to put chairs and blocks along the way, but make sure you guide him to go around it.  This is a good parsha lesson!

This week’s mitzvah is a reminder that we don’t own our fields, or what grows there.  Everything belongs to Hashem. We are given the mitzvah to leave a corner of the field for those who are needy. The fallen fruit of your vineyard you shall not gather, for the poor…you shall leave them,” (Vayikra 19:10).  We learn the mitzvah of Peah and Shechicha.   Here is a great cake to make, although you will see it will be completely gone…

What you will need:
9x13 inch cake
Green food coloring
Candies that look like fruit
Chocolate rock candies (optional)
Plastic toy tree (optional)

Vanilla  Leket cake:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  1. Grease a 9x13 inch pan
  2. Preheat oven to 350degrees F.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs.
  4. Gradually beat in the sugar, then the rest of the liquids.
  5. Beat in flour and baking powder.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
 When the cake has cooled, place the coconut into a plastic bag.  Add some drops of green food coloring and mix well.  Add more food coloring as needed, to make it look like grass.  Spread the coconut over the cake, making sure to cover the whole  thing.  Add the candies and tree on the corner of the cake.  You can add the rocks on the side as well.  Enjoy your sweet parsha treat :-)

This week’s Parsha teaches the mitzvah of Peah, leket and Shichicha.  What a perfect cake to remember about what each mitzvah is about.  Try to “leave some cake over” for everyone to have.

What you will need:
Orange Chiffon Cake
Green sour sticks
Frosting for writing and covering (optional)

Orange Chiffon Cake:
5 eggs separated
1 ¼ cup sugar
½ cup oil
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 cup orange juice
1 ½ cups flour
Powdered sugar- (optional) for the top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whip yolks with ¾ cup sugar until thick.
Pour in the oil slowly and continue whipping.
Add orange rind.  Slowly add flour with the orange juice, alternating between the 2.
In another bowl whip the whites and gradually add ½ cup sugar until it is firm.  Beat 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, gently fold the rest.
Pour into oiled baking pan.
Bake 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool.  Decorate with powdered sugar or frosting.  Cut the sour sticks as shown in the picture to resemble, peah, leket and shichicha.
Answer to Parsha Puzzle:  (Vehahavta lereiacha Kamocha) 
  (Orlah.  You wait until the 5th year to be able to eat from them.  This teaches us to have patience and show that everything belongs to Hashem.
                                   Have a wonderful Shabbat!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Metzorah And Shabbat Hagadol

Look what happens to a house struck by Tzoraat....


This week’s Parshat Metzora talks about a person who was stricken with tzaraat. Tzaraat was a punishment from Hashem for a person who spoke Lashon Hara 
( evil speech). 

Lashon Hara hurts many people. It hurts the listener, the one being spoken about, and all those who hear about it after. 

Hashem gave us the power of speech and we have to use it wisely.  If someone talks bad about someone else it is very hurtful.  

Once you say something to someone, you can never take it back.  Imagine counting feathers and then taking it outside on a windy day and letting it go.  

After a while, if you try to collect the feathers, you will never be able to retrieve all of them.  So too is lashon Hara.  Once you tell one person, it spreads.

A great game to play is telephone.  Have one person at the table whisper a sentence to the next person.  The next person will then whisper what he heard to the next one and so on.  No one can repeat what they whispered.  The last person has to say what he heard out loud.  Most of the time, it is different than what the first person said.  So to is lashon hara.  It never comes back the way it started.  Good lesson!

Bracha’s dress was not so nice,
and Sara came home with some lice.
Shalom sang low in a play,
and Moshe misbehaved today.

Chaya’s family is poor,
Devorah’s clothes are all over the floor.
Esti’s baby is not so cute,
And  Racheli cannot play the flute.

You cannot wait until Tova’s call,
So you can really tell her all.
You really have to think this twice,
besides that all this isn’t nice.

You know that you really should,
always judge people for the good.
And anyway we learn this week,
Guard your tongue from what you speak.

There is a pasuk and a famous Rav too,
If you know it, you guessed this clue…


This week we will make a cake in the shape of a house and tzaraat all over it. (Ok and an erev Pesach cake to get rid of all the leftovers! :)

What you will need:
9x13 inch pan
Red sprinkles

Lemon Cake
9T margarine                                                                                   
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cup sugar  ¼+1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs                                                                                           
 3/4 cup pareve milk substitute
2 1/4 cup flour                                                                       
 grated rind of 1 lemon

Cream margarine and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs.  Sift dry ingredients, and add alternately with milk to egg mixture.   Stir in the lemon rind.  Pour in a greased and floured 9x13 inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 for around 25 minutes, until cake springs lightly to touch. 
*Optional glaze: Combine ¾  cup sugar with the juice of 1 lemon.  Spoon onto hot cake.  Return to oven for 5 more minutes. 

When the cake has cooled cut ¼ of the top of the cake.  Cut that in half diagonally so that you have a triangular shape.  Place the triangle on top and now you have a cake that looks like a house!  Sprinkle to cake with red sprinkles- and there is the house with Tzraat in it.

Answer to Parsha Puzzle:(Mi haish hechafetz Chaim, Ohev yamim lirot tov, Netzor leshoncha meira… 

Have a great Shabbat!  Ruchie