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26-Apr-2016

In Israel many stores and small restaurants close for the whole week of פסח (Passover). This way they do not need to clean out all the חמץ (Hametz - food and products that contain ingredients not kosher for Passover). If you want to stay open then it is an arduous task to remove everything. It is also expensive. Stores must be moved offsite, everything must be segregated and/or disposed. etc. 

 

For many merchants closing is not an option. If you are operating a large supermarket then customers need to have access to fresh products like milk and eggs and vegetables. The solution here is to place larg...

23-Apr-2016

I feel a great affinity with matzot. Unlike this beautiful Shmura Matzah מצה שמורה (made from wheat that has been guarded since it was harvested),  which is the careful and precise work of Isaac and Abe, I identify with the hurried, not quite planned and altogether improvised bread we read about in the Haggadah  הגדה (the account of the exile from Egypt). 

 

Every year I plan the Seder (and for that matter every Shabbat and every holiday). And every year something or somethings go wrong. I leave a dish in the fridge. I forget to fill the bowls with water so the salt is not quite dissolved. The A...

12-Apr-2016

When Avi left home to go to university Isaac was in high school and while we felt the distinct twinge of abandonment we were buffeted by still having one child at home - well maybe not exactly "at home" but sharing the same address.

 

Four years later, Avi did not return home but Isaac took off for college on the west coast and the temptations of easy living in Santa Cruz. 

 

We did a lot of visiting when the boys were in school but we also took advantage of being on our own and being freed of the responsibility of laundry, cooking, and the rest of it. Even worrying became easier because they were out of si...

7-Apr-2016

For 36 years since I purchased this צלחת פסח (Passover Plate)  from the אגודת ישראל (Agudas Israel Gift Shop) in Saskatoon,  I have protected it and used it only twice a year. Once for ליל סדר (the Seder meal on the first night of Passover) and once for the the second Seder meal on the that is only celebrated in (the diaspora). 

 

I love this plate. It is handpainted and very fragile. It takes up too much space on the table so it has to be removed after the first part of the Seder - Act 1 with the blessings and the plagues, the mortar and bricks, the tears and the the Exodus from Egypt...

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