Thursday, April 10, 2014

#BlogExodus Day 8: Learn

In all of our Hebrew school classes we have been working on Hebrew as usual but this week we all practiced the 4 questions and got ready for Seder which is Monday night.  In my Kitah Aleph class we watched this video which allows you to pick your own Pesach adventure.  Click on it and you will see and enjoy.

If you need to practice the 4 questions, just click.  There are so many great sites and great Pesach parodies I could fill pages and pages.

Kitah Aleph watching a Pesach Video
I look forward to hearing about everyone's Pesach seder and you can check back here as I try to catch up on #BlogExodus.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#BlogExodus Day 7 Bless

Still doing #blogExodus and today as you can see we have BLESS.  My family is the first thing which comes to my mind when I think of bless. This Pesach my kids will all be together for both Seders.  I am very excited.

I told Arthur we have one rule, if the 5 of us are not in the same place we must keep our cell phones on.  I guess we will be able to turn off our phones for the first time since last summer.  Can't wait to set the Seder table, make charoset and  have Seder together.  This is bless, blessing and to be blessed.
Nathan and Shula's Wedding Sept 2013

Monday, April 7, 2014

#BlogExodus Day 6: Clean

I do like the idea of cleaning my house to get ready for Pesach.  I don't really like doing it.  It feels good to get rid of all the jars which have been in the refrigerator for unknown amounts of time.  I suppose you could also look at Pesach and also see it as a time to clean house in other ways as well.

Time to finish old projects, time to think about new projects and plan out the year ahead.  This is coincidentally the time of year I plan my school calendar for the upcoming year.  It is fun to look ahead and think about what I might create next year.  Creating new programs has always been one part of my job I have always enjoyed.

(Note to readers:  I had a funny article about how my family blames our cleaning help for losing objects they have lost and then the cleaning help actually finds whatever is lost.   They told me I couldn't write about that.  If you want to hear the stories let me know as I changed the blog but I don't think my family ever reads it, although they claim they do)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

#BlogExodus Day 5: Prepare

Here are some good ways to prepare for Pesach:

Go to Kosher Jewel with the crowds, buy huge basket full of Pesach food and spend under $300.00. comment on what is in other people's basket's, and ask in Hebrew where is the Shemen Zayit (olive oil)
First shopping run for Pesach

Start your Google Doc Pesach menu, so your daughter can also comment on the menu.

Rejoice that you gave off 2 weeks of Religious School for Spring break

leave Pesach preparations to see Divergent!

Friday, April 4, 2014

#BlogExodus Day 4: Free: Kitniyot Rebellion who is with me?

I know that Pesach is the holiday of Freedom; however the week of Pesach in particular does not on the surface seem freeing to me.  As the main cook and bootle washer at my house the week of Pesach highlights to me how dependent my family (read ME) is on restaurants, pre-prepared and packaged food. We usually eat out as a family a few meals a week.  Then there are the stops at our favorite kosher restaurants, which for us is like going into the Cheers Bar...everyone knows our names at these establishments.

I suppose you could say that Pesach frees me of this food dependence and I am forced to cook and create new dishes not just for Seder but the whole week.  I do think about each meal, who will eat it, how will we transport the food if we are at work/school?  We are fortunate enough to live in an area where my local grocery stores sell ready made Charoset, which I would never buy because the way I make it is the best!

Last year I was in Israel for Pesach and most of our meals served Kitniyot and it was a change for me.
(Kitniyot, (Hebrewקִטְנִיּוֹת ,קיטניות‎, qit'niyyot) (legumes) is a category of foods that may not be eaten during Passover by Jews following traditional Ashkenazi laws and customs. Long-standing tradition in other communities and recent rulings have given support in certain cases for variation from this practice.    Kitniyot are grains and legumes such as rice, corn, soy beans, string beans, peas, lentils, mustard, sesame seeds and poppy seeds)
There is already a Kitniyot Liberation Front
The week of not eating Chamatz but eating kitniyot seemed to go by much faster.  Granted I did not have to cook ANY meals last year so perhaps this is why the week went faster but just the options of food seemed tastier to me.  I think I might start a family revolt for Kitniyot.  I know I will be happier and I think my family will be too. It is healthier for vegetarians as soy and other proteins are allowed. Last year in Israel it also meant we could eat falafel and hummus.  So I am seriously thinning about adding Kitniyot because that would be freedom.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

#BlogExodus Day 3: Enslave: What makes you a slave?

There are many things which enslave us, yes technology, whether it be email, Facebook or twitter.  Sometimes you can even be enslaved by your favorite TV shows. Although DVR and On demand features give us the opportunity to at least watch our TV shows at a time when it is convenient for us  Gone are the days when everyone stayed home to watch a certain show. These are first world enslavements.

My Rabbi, Ike Serotta once said that today with all of the gadgets which make our lives "easier" and making getting in touch with people "faster" it has added not just another level of stress to our lives but in the long run these time savers have made our day even longer.  I can barely remember a time when I didn't start my with reading and returning my emails.  Yes, I get much work done, I am in touch with many more people and agencies but my life is more hectic and my day broken into many parts.

I enjoy social media and I believe I have found a happy equilibrium in participating in social media and taking time to attend to longer tasks that take more concentration.

I know there are also serious things which can enslave us: poverty, substance abuse, human trafficking and a range of ills which affect us in 5774-2014.  Just by writing and keeping up with #BlogExodus we can be a part of something bigger and share our vision for our families or for the world: Let nothing enslave you!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#BlogExodus Day 2: Tell (me about being a part of a family)

OSRUI Segel, Faculty before the Shave
Blogging today will be easy in that I have much to tell about last night's event of 36 Rabbi's (there were actually over 50) Shaving for the Brave a St. Baldrick's event.  I came to support the whole community of Rabbi's about to shave their heads and in some cases their faces all in the name of raising funds for pediatric cancer research.  All in all by the end of the evening we had raised over half a million dollars and it is still not too late to donate.

We began the evening with t'filot to frame the task that was in front of us.  After a moving t'filah with over 500 Rabbi's in attendance, some with their families. They covered the stage in plastic; 8 barbers standing behind 8 chairs and the first group, including Rabbi Phyllis and Michael Sommer began to have their hair shaved off.

During the shaving which began late in the evening and lasted for over  2 hours was sometimes hard to watch, I know some of the participants were nervous and I think for a woman to shave her hair is such a brave thing to do.  For the men although they look very different  in a few weeks they will begin to look normal.  For the woman this process will take so much longer.
Some of the Women who shaved for the brave.  

I am so proud of being part of something bigger.   I met Phyllis at OSRUI when we were both on Faculty.  Being part of the OSRUI family is also being part of something bigger.  I have known Phyllis since she came to Chicago and have shared ups and downs with her and her whole family.  I know that I will be here and the OSRUI family will be there, the Rabbinic family, Am Shalom and too many more families to name.  It's good to be part of family.

Rabbis Michael and Phyllis Sommer