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Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Parshat Shmini :-)
Parshat Para ספר במדבר
פרק יט פסוקים א-כב

In this week’s Parsha- parshas Shmini,
We learn about kosher food very clearly.
How does one distinguish between kosher and not,
We will review this for you in case you forgot.
The only animals that we can eat,
Must chew their cud and have cloven feet.
In order to make a tasty dish,
Fins and scales must have a fish.
The ones that are an abomination from the fowl,
The ostrich, eagle, vulture and owl.
The ravens the falcons and things like that,
The pelican, the stork, the  hawk and the bat.
Winged swarming things, you also can’t eat,
But some grasshoppers and locusts you can eat their meat.
All creeping things are an abomination,
Hashem tells this all to the entire nation.
Which animals have one thing allowed but not more,
Can you name these animals, in total there are four.

This week’s parsha, Parshas Shmini, teaches us the kashrus laws of which animals can and cannot be eaten. “These are the animals that can be eaten from amongst all of the animals of the land. All those that have split-hooves and chew their cud . . . (Perek 11:2-3).”
Here is a fun game that you can play based on the game of 20 questions.  Each person has to think about an animal and everyone around the Shabbos table has to ask questions to guess the animal.  You can only answer with a yes or no answer.  For example:  If you are thinking of a cow a person might ask: 
Is it a kosher animal?  Does it live on a farm?  Is it small?  Is it colorful etc…
There are many animals to choose from.  Try to look in your chumash to get ideas of different animals.  There are many animals to chose from in this week’s parsha.


This week’s Parsha is called Parshat Shmini- which means “the eighth”.  Here is an easy and fun Parsha cake in the number EIGHT.  Last time I made this everyone “eight” it all up…

What you will need:
2 bundt shape pans
Double the Chocolate  chip cake recipe
Frosting (optional)
Candies (optional)

“GREight”  Chocolate Cake: (double it to make 2 cirlcles)

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake
  • 2 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pareve milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 2 round tube pans.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl whisk together: pareve milk, water, oil, vanilla and eggs.
Slowly pour wet mixture into flour mixture while whisking.
Stir in the chips.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Let it cool and Frost.
Combine the 2 cakes together to form the number 8.  You can frost and sprinkle it with sprinkles or candies.

Have a wonderful Shabbat!

Friday, March 25, 2016



Parsha Desserts- leftover Purim snacks of course!!

Educated Guess:
The first day the Kohein does his service, he has to bring,
Oil and flour, a mincha as an offering.
The Kohein Gadol does the same, following the Torah way,
But he makes sure to bring one every single day.

The laws of the korbanos for the kohanim and what they have to do,
Is reviewed in this week’s parsha, there’s a lot to go through.
The Torah tells us how Moshe anointed the kehuna to Aharon,
And also to his sons who all were so well known.

After teaching all the rules and working very hard,
Moshe calls Bnei Yisrael to gather in the Mishkan’s courtyard
With a special kind of oil, Aharon was anointed,
And to be be a Kohein Gadol he was then appointed.

There is something in this parsha, that I want to see if you know,
What is it that is constant and always has a glow.
This had to be seen for an eternity,
Do you know the answer, look in your chumash to see…

(The fire must constantly be burning on the mizbeiach and the Koein is responsible to never let it extinguish.)

Parsha in Action:

Memory games give you the opportunity to exercise your brains and help improve your language and concentration skills and your memory.  What a perfect Shabbat to play a memory game since it is so important to REMEMBER what Amelek did to us so long ago.  Last week was Parshas Zachor- which means to remember. And since yesterday and today (In Yerushalayim) is Purim, we must always remember...

Sit around your Shabbat table  and the first person begins by saying a sentence in story form  'I went to the store to buy bread'. The next child repeats the sentence and adds an item. 'I went to the store to buy bread and milk..'. Everyone keeps building on to the story. You can change the game by everyone going around the room and saying a name and an item that begins with that name. For example:'Shira went to the store and bought napkins and met Meira who bought milk...' 

The child who forgets a line is out of the game. This is a great game that I play with my patients in speech therapy.  It is also a great language builder.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

More Mishloach Manot ideas.

Shul Mishloach Manot:

potato kugel
mint brownies
shot glasses

Homemade Mishloach Manot:
Don't spread yourself too thin!

Chummus with mushrooms, Tehina, tomato spread, avocado spread, pesto, eggplant spread, black olive spread, green olive spread.

Whole wheat Challot.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Tefilla instead of Korbanot.  Cake made by  the talented Bayla Barron
This week’s parsha teaches us that we are not allowed to steal.  Here is a game that is called steal the salami.
 The object of Steal the Salami is to take the "salami" back to your own side without being caught.
Split everyone into two parallel lines. Place an object in the middle, between the two lines. It could be anything you want.  A toy, a stuffed  animal that is in this week’s parsha etc..
Give everyone on one team a number, and then give the same numbers to the other team.
You must try to be the first person to grab the object if your number is called and then to bring it back to your team’s line untagged. As soon as you touch the object, the other person from the other team tries to tag you. If the other person tags you, you put the “salami” back.
Call out any of the numbers you gave out.  If the person brings the object back to their side untouched, they “stole” the salami.  Decide how many points you would like to play in order to win the game.

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 bat (daughter...) and Imabba meaning "with Abba" and Ima Abba written together!  Thanks Abba and Ima :-)

This week's Parsha starts out with the word Vayikra.  You will notice that the last letter in the word Vayikra, the aleph, is written in small.  Why is that so?
When Hashem told Moshe to write  Vayikra, “And He called”, Moshe did not feel comfortable writing it.  How could he write that Hashem called to him? He was just a man, how could he be important enough for Hashem to call him?  Moshe wanted to write Vayikar — “And He happened upon him.” This is written the same way when Hashem spoke to Bilam.  Hashem just happened upon him.
Even though Moshe really did not want to write the word Vayikra, Hashem told him to do so — “And He called”.  Moshe wrote the aleph at the end of the word, but wrote it in small.  The greater the person the humbler he is.  What an important lesson to learn from Moshe.


The first Korban in Vayikra,
Is described as the korban Olah.

Hashem told Moshe what Bnei Yisrael should bring,
When they gave to Hashem their burnt offering.

For this korban each brought on his own accord,
One was able to bring that which he can afford.

Each person on his own was able to  decide,
And he brought it either raw, or baked or fried.

Shlamim means peace because everyone,
Was able to have a piece of this korban.

Korban Chattat and Asham were the last two,
We learn about the karbonot and what one has to do.

There is something that the kohein sprinkles on all  korbanot,
Look it up in the parsha, see it and take note.
Can you guess what it is? Do you know the mitzvah?
Then you know the parsha puzzle to Vayikra!

Siddur Cake:
During the time of the Beit Hamikdash,  we would bring korbanot to Hashem.  Today we have tefilla instead of Korbanot.  Why not make a siddur cake?  Everyone will PRAY for more!

Here is what you need:
Moist yellow cake
Cake pan shaped like a book

Moist yellow Cake:
6 large eggs
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • Grease and flour the shaped pan.  Or use 2 9x13 pans.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Beat   the eggs until thickened and light colored.
  • Gradually pour  in the sugar, then the rest of the liquids.
  • Beat in flour and baking powder.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool slightly and then turn upside down to remove from pan.
  • Frost as desired. 
Have an amazing Shabbat!  Ruchie

Answer to parsha puzzle: It is a Mitzvah for a Kohein to salt all sacrifices on the Mizbayach)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


The shchina descending in a cloud... (heavenly!)
Happy Rosh Chodesh Adar II!  How about a chocolate cake?  Chazak Chazak Venitchazek!

Chazak, Chazak Venitchazake,
My mother baked a Parsha cake.
What is a Parsha cake you ask?
This sounds like it is a hard task.
It’s not too difficult you’ll see,
It’s fun for your whole family.
Friends and neighbors will be in awe,
It’s something that they never saw.
They’ll ask you when you learned to bake,
You’ll tell them it’s a “piece of cake”.
With activities you'll be able,
To learn Parsha at the Shabbat table.
Every week so much you will learn,
And all your neighbors will return.
Parsha activities are so unique,
You’ll be excited for next week…….


·  The parasha begins with an even more detailed description of the materials that dedicated to build it.

·  The garments of the Kohanim (bigdei Kehuna) are made: first the Ephod and the Choshen, then the shirts, hats, pants, belts and finally the tzitz.

·  When everything is done, the vessels are brought to Moshe. Hashem then commands Moshe to build the Mishkan, put all the vessels in their place and anoint them with the oil of anointment. Moshe finishes putting the Mishkan together on the first day of Nissan, in the second year of yetziat mitzrayim. After the Mishkan is done, the ananei hakavod (Hashem's glory) rest over the Mishkan.  

·        You need a bar of chocolate, knife and forks, a dice, and a bag with items of clothing that the kohen needed to wear. The first person rolls the die followed by each person in turn. When someone rolls a six he then opens the bag of clothing are and starts putting them on. Once he is completely dressed he can then start trying to eat the bar of chocolate, with the knife and fork of course, cutting one square at a time. While this is happening, the next player continues rolling the die until someone else throws a six.  The person who is eating the chocolate has to stop and get undressed while the next person tries to get dressed and start eating the chocolate etc... The game obviously ends once the chocolate has been eaten.

·        Count out and fill a glass jar with gold, silver and copper candy. Each child should try to guess how many candies are in the jar. The child with the closest guess is the winner of the candy.

·        Go around and collect items on a tray. Lay them all out and pass the tray around. Remove the tray and have everyone list what was on tray. The one that lists the most objects is the winner. Discuss how Moshe had to inspect everything in the mishkan and make sure everything was all right.

In this week’s Parsha, Moshe asked the Bnei Yisrael to donate their time, their talents, and materials for the construction of the Mishkan. The Bnei Yisrael responded with a lot of enthusiasm.

Hashem created every one of His children with special talents. Every person is unique. Go around the Shabbat table and have everyone think about one of their talents and how they could help another person.  For example, if someone is musical, have them think about going to an old age home and performing there.

Then everyone should take a turn and say something good that they did for someone this past week.  It could be helping out a friend, your parents etc…

Our family does this activity every Shabbat.  We all try to think of how we could help people all through the week.  You should have as much enthusiasm helping one another as the Bnei Yisrael did!

You cannot plow, reap, gather, knead,
Winnow, grind, sift or plant a seed.
Bad from good you can’t separate,
You cannot bake, so please just wait.
You can’t shear, bleach, comb, spin or dye,
You can’t sew, weave, tie or untie,
Thread a loom, arrange thread, prepare,
Remove material or tear.
Slaughter, skin, salt, smooth- almost done,
We learn all these from the mishkan.
Making ruled lines, cutting or a trap,
There will be so much time to take a nap.
One cannot build, carry or destroy,
Follow Mitzvot, you will have such joy.
Blow out a fire or ignite,
Melachot you should do them right.
You cannot add the final touch,
Can you guess???  You learned so much!!

The Shechinah descended in a cloud:

What you will need:
1.   Chocolate cake
2.   Chocolate cream
3.   Rich’s whip

Use 3 separate bowls.

Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 cup sugar
1 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup non dairy creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all the ingredients together and beat with an electrical mixer.  Pour into a round 8 inch pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate cream:
100 grams margarine
¾ cup sugar
6 tbs. cocoa
2 Tbs. oil
1 Tbs. vanilla
Place all these ingredients in a bowl.  Mix in a mixer for about 1 minute.  Put in 2 eggs one at a time.

Rich’s whip:
Use 4 small containers of Rich’s whip or 2 large one.  Pour them into a bowl and mix  in a mixer until it becomes stiff- about 5 minutes.
· Place the cooled chocolate cake on the bottom of a trifle bowl.
·  Spread the chocolate cream on top.
· Whip the Rich’s whip and spread  it on top. 
This resembles the Shechina in a cloud. This is a “heavenly" dessert!

Enjoy!  Have a great Shabbat!
Looking forward to seeing you next week!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


The King's Treasure Chest

Arba Parshiot:
Things you will need:
•             Small white board that erases
•             Moon shaped cookies
•             Elite Chocolate with cows on them
•             Chocolate Coins

Purim is here and you all must admit,
Pesach will be here before we all know it.
Between all the planning, we forget to take note,
That we also  read the arba parshiot.

Since we get so distracted, we kind of forget,
Which parsha we read or haven’t read yet.
It is important -and we really do care,
But we just don’t have the time to prepare.

Shkalim comes first; please don’t let it melt,
But now you can see why the chocolate gelt.
And Parshat Parah- yes the chocolate cow,
You’re catching the theme, are you getting it now?

Parshat Hachodesh, cookies shaped like a moon,
By then you sure know Pesach is very soon.
Yes we remembered that there is one more,
How could we "forget" that there’s Parshat Zachor?

Write things to remember, but don’t you mistake,
Make sure you erase the zecher of Amalek.
To make it easier for you, you could write what you can,
A happy Purim to you from the whole _____ clan.

Beach Theme:
Things needed for this Mishloach Manot:
beach bag
peanut butter
Spring (brand) drink
tuna fish
Munch & Crunch (optional)

Look inside the beach bag and you will sea,
The rollspeanut butter and jelly.
Or make a sandwich with tuna fish,
wave goodbye and have your wish.
So if it suddenly springs to mind,
To go relax at the beach, and unwind.
The marshmallows will fill your tummy,
Munch  on the chips they are yummy!
Life is a beach that is for shore (sure)
A  Happy Purim to you and many more!!

Haman's Garbage:
Things needed in this Mishloach Manot:
Small garbage can with lots of “ junk”  to fill inside….

Can you believe it’s Purim, can you believe it’s here?       
Where has all the TIME gone by?  It passed another year.
This holiday is busy, this holiday is fun,
And now take in a deep breath, cuz all the work is done.

You changed your mind & finally , your costume is complete,
You figured out what you’ll be, boy that was a defeat!
The stores were all so crowded,  lists which you wrote,
What will be made for the seuda and put in mishloach manot.

So much JUNK is out there, you were not sure what to buy,
you want everyone to be happy; you don’t need them to cry.
So much GARBAGE is sold; you’ll buy it if you’re willing,
And boy we are sure by now the dentist makes a killing!!!

Well in our Purim story, it’s Haman we do mock,
When he rode Mordechai around, boy was he in shock!
And Haman’s wife and daughters had a very nasty plan,
On  Mordechai they'll dump their whole GARBAGE CAN!!!

They were all so happy; they were having so much fun,
Until they realized that the trash was on their poor Haman.
So in honor of the story, we’re giving you some JUNK,
Be happy and be merry as you get a little drunk!

You can learn a lesson; you can learn something new,   
Be careful with your garbage, see who you’re giving it to.

Italian Theme:

Things you will need:
  • Strainer
  • breadsticks
  • biscotti
  • garlic
  • pasta
  • pasta sauce
  • oregano
  • garlic bread
Do you like Purim, or do you find it a pain?
So much to do and all of that strain
Don’t you wish you could just leave your home,
Go to places like Venice, Milano or Rome.
We know that’s too hard, so we brought it to you,
The pasta, the sauce and oregano too.
You’ll enjoy these delights, we can guarantee,
We added the breadsticks and some biscotti.
The garlic was included- I’m not quite sure why,
I guess it’s a sign to ward off the evil eye.
Enjoy your fresh garlic bread, it is so divine,
And you could top it all off with some Italian wine.
Oh- if you can’t find the wine- then you must not recall,

Right when you got this- you finished it all!!!                                                                                                                   

     Ginzei Hamelech:

Ginzei Hamelech 
The King’s treasure chest,
We put in all this treasure, found only the best.

But the real hidden treasure is right in front you can see,
It is the chesed and care 
from friends and family.

Enjoy these rich treats, 
We hope that you have fun,
Wishing a Happy Purim 
To everyone!!

What you will need:
Chocolate coins, treasure chest box, necklace candy, any treat you desire.

     Hodu Vead Kush:

Achashveirosh had 
a lot of possessions- rechush,
He ruled from Hodu 
all the way until Kush.

So here for you 
is a kush- chocolate cake,
And a Hodu (Turkey) sandwich for you to take.

Wishing you happiness, and lots of good health,
Happy Purim to you and enjoy all your wealth.

What you will need:
Chocolate cake, Turkey Sandwich

      Shushan Habira:

One Hundred Twenty Seven lands 
Achashveirosh did own,
In Shushan Habira 
he sat on his throne.

Bira- the beer,
and Shushan that’s the rose,
This is the theme that for this year we chose.

Enjoy your great Purim, 
time quickly passes,
And don’t forget; 
look at life through rose colored glasses!

 What you will need:
Beer, Chocolate rose, rose shaped muffin, rose colored glasses


Did you notice we have a theme?
Mazal of Adar is Dagim.
We even added extra spice,
We thought it would look very nice.

Munch on crackers with tuna fish,
And make sure to tovel the pretty dish.
We hope you like the things we sent,
We’re fishing for a compliment

What you will need:
Fish dish, fish spice, fish crackers, jelly fish, water.

  Vayimalei Haman Cheima:

Everyone bowed down to Haman 
except Mordechai,
He simply refused, 
he did not even try.

Vayimalei Haman cheima,
he was angry 
what should he do?
Cheima also means butter, 
we prepared some 
with a roll for you.

Peanut butterbutternut squash 
and a butterfly you can see,
A Happy Purim to you
and your whole family!

What you will need:
Peanut butter, butter, butternut squash muffins, butterfly...

Naddeda Shnat Hamelech:

The King couldn’t sleep, 
he was twisting all night,
Something he felt 
was just not quite right,
He asked his servants 
to bring his memory book,
He opened it up
 to have a good look.
He found out a story 
that he did not know why,
He never rewarded 
this man Mordechai.
Maybe he should have   
tried to count sheep,
And drink milk and cookies
 to fall back asleep.

What you will need:
milk, cookies, notebook.

Migadol vead Katan:
Achashveirosh made a party 
and invited everyone,
It tells us in the megilla- migadol vead katan.

BIG COOKIE, little cookie and the same with the wine,
little chocolate we think it’s divine.
So here is a little something it was not a BIG deal,
Have a wonderful Purim and enjoy your Purim meal!

What you will need:
big chocolate, little chocolate, big petit bars, little petit bars, big wine, little wine.

 Venahafoch Hu:

Etihw rehto eht dna kcalb syas eno fI,
Thgir syas eno dna gnorw syas eno fi
?od uoy nac tahw ?yas uoy dluohs tahw
!uh hcofahanev yas ffo ti hgual tsuj
Enjoy this opposite theme, and the inside out,
Because having fun on Purim is what it is all about.
(read this poem from right to left…)

 What you will need:
Bag to turn inside out, anything you want that you could put upside down or backwards.

I would love to hear your creations.  More to come...
Have a great week!