Thursday, September 17, 2015

Book Review: “When God is Near: On the High Holidays”

Shanah tovah!

I hope you too had a wonderful Rosh Hashanah.

The honor of writing the first Our Shiputzim post of the year goes to the one and only YZG (aka “Mr. S.”) – known to veteran readers for his Solomonic wisdom, his erudite halachic discourses, his ability to replace gas oven ignitors, and his previous book review.

Take it away, YZG!


“When God is Near: On the High Holidays”

by YZG

“When God is Near: On the High Holidays” is an incredible collection of sichot (talks) that were delivered by Rav Yehuda Amital zt”l - one of the two founding Roshei Yeshiva of the world-famous Yeshivat Har Etzion and a renowned Jewish thinker of the previous generation - over the course of 40 years.

The sichot, which were given during Elul and the Yamim Nora’im in the yeshiva, were collected and adapted by Rav Amital’s son, Rav Yoel Amital, a ra”m at Yeshivat Shaalvim.

Maggid Books recently released an English translation of the collection. Since I received a review copy of the book just before Rosh Hashanah, and since I want to publish the review before Yom Kippur – i.e. while it’s still relevant - this review will be fairly short.

Many of the nearly 50 sichot were published elsewhere – in particular, on Yeshivat Har Etzion’s website. However, this is the first time that they appear together.

Each of the sichot offers a glimpse at Rav Amital’s unique style and worldview, and the book’s essence is captured by the younger Rav Amital’s introduction. As he writes:

My father’s sichot are distinguished by their ability to penetrate the heart while at the same time appealing to the intellect.”

For example, one of the sichot on the Slichot prayer provides food for thought by explaining why prayer involves praising God as well as making demands and requests of God. Rav Amital’s intriguing approach gives meaning to Slichot in particular and prayer in general.

One of Rav Amital’s primary themes is that this time of year is about finding ways to improve ourselves - both in terms of our service of God and also in terms of our service to the Jewish community as a whole. I also appreciated his insights on the Biblical sources used to develop his ideas.

I highly recommend this book. Not only will it make the Yamim Nora’im more meaningful, it will greatly enhance the reader’s understanding of what God expects of us.

Note: I was not paid to review this sefer, but we did receive a review copy from Maggid Books.


Great job and thank you, YZG!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5776

.תהא שנת עליה וגאולה
May 5776 be a year of aliyah and redemption.

As you may recall, every year my mother prepares a very special family calendar. Here is a certain Shiputzim daughter’s beautiful contribution to the 5776 edition:

Feb2016Parshat Trumah – February 2016
(Roughly corresponding to Shvat-Adar I 5776)

לשנה טובה תכתבו ותחתמו לאלתר לחיים טובים ולשלום!

May you and your families have a wonderful, happy, healthy, prosperous, and sweet new year!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Seudah Shlishit… Glidah

Note: In keeping with a longstanding Our Shiputzim tradition, the waning hours of a [very long!] fast day are dedicated to blogging about food.

During the summer months here in TRLEOOB*, seudah shlishit tends to involve homemade ice cream. (Please consider this post to be an invitation to drop by one Shabbat!)

Initially, our repertoire was limited to chocolate, vanilla, and coffee flavors, but over the years, we’ve added a few more – including:


More Homemade (Philadelphia Style) Ice Cream

Philadelphia style ice cream (as opposed to custard style ice cream) has no eggs. Like our original recipes, the next four were adapted from a combination of several different sources.

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 1½ cups whipping cream (i.e. shamenet metukah, for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you)
  • 3/5 cup whole milk (we use 3% milk)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP cocoa
  • 135 grams milk chocolate – coarsely chopped

White Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 1½ cups whipping cream (i.e. shamenet metukah, for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you)
  • 3/5 cup whole milk (we use 3% milk)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 135 grams white chocolate – coarsely chopped

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

  • 1½ cups whipping cream (i.e. shamenet metukah, for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you)
  • ¾ cup milk (we use 3% milk)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup chocolate sandwich cookies – crushed

Mint Chip Ice Cream

  • 1½ cups whipping cream (i.e. shamenet metukah, for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you)
  • ¾ cup milk (we use 3% milk)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup thin chocolate-covered mints – chopped


Mix all the ingredients - except the cookies and the mints, when relevant - in a small pot over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and just beginning to form tiny bubbles. Remove from heat and refrigerate for a few hours or even overnight.

Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For the cookies-and-cream and the mint chip, add the cookies/mints when the ice cream is about 75% churned, and continue churning.

Freeze overnight before serving.

.צום קל ומועיל

Have an easy and meaningful fast.


*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How the war was won

Israel’s media outlets have spent the past week obsessing over what they’ve been shrilly referring to as a looming “culture war.”

Except that amidst all the breathless reports and pessimistic hand-wringing, our intrepid analysts and columnists seem to have overlooked a very important detail.

Namely, that their so-called “war” is already all but won… or lost, depending on one’s worldview.

The turning point came about a week ago, and fittingly, it occurred on the evening news itself.

You see, noted journalist Sivan Rahav-Meir was anchoring Channel 2’s 6:00 newscast, and she was interviewing Deputy Foreign Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely (who is – for all practical intents and purposes – the virtual acting foreign minister). The former didn’t hesitate to ask tough questions, but the latter held her own and responded confidently, knowledgeably, and assuredly.

Of course, under any other circumstances, a respected senior politician being interviewed by a respected news anchor on national television wouldn’t warrant a second glance – let alone an entire blog post.

But what made this moment so significant, IMHO, was that although both women happen to be sheitel-wearing, modestly-dressed, and religiously-observant mothers, no one (well, no one except yours truly… :-)) cared or even noticed.

Aside from the fact that one could characterize the exchange as a veritable Kiddush Hashem, it was – as it should be – a complete and utter non-issue, and THAT’S exactly why it was such. a big. deal.

And so, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, dear media types, but while you were preoccupied with the ineloquent rants of has-been actors and busy confusing a potential removal of state funding with censorship, you somehow missed that Israeli society and culture were quietly evolving in the meantime…

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yehi zichram baruch

Yom HaShoah 5775 coincides with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1945.

Tomorrow morning, as the siren wails and the entire country comes to a mournful standstill, I will think about the following Holocaust survivors:

- My great-grandmother z”l, who used her wits, courage, and determination to save her daughters and then survive the Kovno ghetto (where she lost her beloved husband) and then two different concentration camps.

- My grandfather z”l. A gifted talmid of both Rav Elchanan Wasserman zt”l and Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l, he left behind a remarkable letter for his descendants.

- My grandmother z”l. She was such an important part of my life, and I miss her greatly.

יהי זכרם ברוך.

May their memories be blessed; may they be meilitzei yosher for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, yblt”a, as well as all of Am Yisrael; and may we all be privileged to continue along their illustrious paths.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pesach 5775: Shmitah and brownies

Moadim l’simchah!

I hope you’re having a wonderful Pesach and enjoying the weeklong vacation.

B”H, thanks to YZG and the amazing Shiputzim kids, we had a beautiful seder and yom tov, and we’ve been spending chol hamoed visiting with family and going on various trips and outings.

It was on one of the aforementioned outings that we observed the following #onlyinIsrael sign hanging on the gate of a certain agricultural community:

IMG_6834Translation: “Shmitah is observed here!”

And speaking of Pesach, I know you won’t be surprised to learn that here in TRLEOOB* – as in many other households - we consider brownies to be a Pesach staple. (The Shiputzim kids made 7 batches this year.)

<quick explanation> As I mentioned elsewhere, although we don’t eat gebrochts on Pesach, we’re not fanatic about it. Basically, the only thing we avoid is matzah mixed with water. Other liquids are fine, and thus, the Shiputzim family’s favorite Pesach brownie recipe contains matzah meal but no water. </explanation>





Mezonot Pesach Brownies

Our electric hand mixer can handle four recipes at a time.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope vanilla sugar (can be included as part of the cup of sugar)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup matzah meal
  • 5½ TBSP cocoa


Beat eggs and sugars well. Gradually add remaining ingredients, and mix together.

Pour batter into baking-paper-lined pan (we use aluminum pans that are slightly smaller than 9x13). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Let the brownies cool before cutting.

Note: They freeze well. (We freeze the brownies whole and only cut them into squares immediately before serving.)

מועדים לשמחה, חג שמח ושבת שלום!

Have a fantastic chag and Shabbat, and enjoy your Shabbat Parshat Shmini/Isru Chag kitniyot!

*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog

Friday, April 3, 2015

Euphonic Friday: Erev Pesach 5775 Edition

The food is cooked. The table is set. Showers were taken, and here in TRLEOOB*, everyone is enjoying their traditional pre-Seder naps while listening to this newly-released song by Gad Elbaz:

!שבת שלום וחג כשר ושמח

May you and your families have a wonderful, joyous, and kosher Pesach, and may we all be privileged to celebrate together next year in rebuilt Yerushalayim!

*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog

Monday, March 30, 2015


Looking for some appropriate music for Pesach cleaning?

Here’s the Maccabeats’ latest video:

Happy cleaning!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael

Warning: The following post may exceed definitely exceeds the recommended daily allowance for political essays. Proceed at your own risk.

In shul this past Shabbat, our community’s Rav declared that he isn’t endorsing any particular party.

However, he stressed that each person should vote for the party that s/he believes would best protect and defend Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael v’Torat Yisrael (the People of Israel, the Land of Israel, and the Torah of Israel).

How should one determine which party best meets this criteria?

The Rav observed that the Hebrew word melech (king) is comprised of three letters:

  • Mem – which stands for mo’ach (the brain), which represents the intellect.
  • Lamed – which stands for lev (the heart), which represents the emotions.
  • Kaf – which stands for kaved (the liver), which represents ka’as, anger.

According to the Rav, it’s not coincidental that the Mem comes first, because when it comes to matters of state, the intellect must take the lead.

Similarly, the Rav continued, when deciding how to vote, one should be guided primarily by one’s intellect.

Therefore, even if one is upset or even angered by something that a certain party did or didn’t do, one should still make a rational, objective calculation about whether or not that party is nevertheless best able and most likely to protect and defend Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael.

As I noted above, the Rav was very careful to avoid endorsing or even recommending any particular party.

In contrast, I admit that I have much less compunction, and thus, I will state the following:

1) The would-be duumvirate known locally as “Tzippi/Bouji” has made it quite clear that Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael do not play prominent (or perhaps even any) roles in its members’ Leftist and post-Zionist worldviews.

2) Voting for any of the self-styled “Centrist” parties – including Yisrael Beiteinu, Kulanu, and most especially Yesh Atid – will enable Tzippi/Bouji to form and lead the next government.

My dear friends, please keep these two very important points in mind when heading to vote tomorrow.

May these elections herald besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Heblishization of the Megilah V

Shamelessly neglecting one’s blog is certainly no excuse for breaking a long standing tradition, and thus, the Our Shiputzim Editorial Board once again proudly presents:

The Official Heblish Translation


Megilat Esther - Chapter 4

(1) And Mordechai knew everything that was made, and Mordechai tore his clothes, and he wore sack and dust. And he went out in the middle of the city, and he cried a big and bitter cry.

(2) And he came until in front of the gate of the king, because there is not to come to the gate of the king in the clothes of sack.

(3) And in every state and state, a place that the thing of the king and his religion reaches to, a big mourning to the Jews and a fast and crying and mispeid. Sack and dust were offered to a lot.

(4) And the teenagers of Esther and her sarisim came, and they told to her, and the queen titchalchal-ed a lot. And she sent clothes to dress Mordechai and to get rid of his sack from on top of him, and he did not get.

(5) And Esther called to Hatach from the sarisim of the king that stood in front of her, and she l’tzavot-ed him on Mordechai - to know what is this and on what is this.

(6) And Hatach went out to Mordechai, to the street of the city that is in front of the gate of the king.

(7) And Mordechai told to him everything that happened to him and the parsha of the money that Haman said to weigh on the treasures of the king in the Jews to lose them.

(8) And the patshegen of the writing of the religion that was given in Shushan to destroy them - he gave to him to show Esther and to tell to her, and to l’tzavot on her to come to the king to beg to him and to ask in front of him on her nation.

(9) And Hatach came, and he told to Esther the things of Mordechai.

(10) And Esther said to Hatach, and she l’tzavot-ed him to Mordechai:

(11)All the slaves of the king and the nation of the states of the king know that every man and woman that will come to the king to the inside yard that will not be called - one his religion to kill,  except from that will the king reach out to him the wand of gold, and she lives. And I have not been called to come to the king this thirty days.”

(12) And they told to Mordechai the things of Esther.

(13) And Mordechai said to give back to Esther, "Do not imagine in your nefesh to escape in the house of the king from all the Jews.

(14) Because if you hachareish tacharishi in this time, space and saving will stand to the Jews from a different place, and you and the house of your father will get lost. And who knows if to a time like this you came to the kingdom?"

(15) And Esther said to give back to Mordechai:

(16) ”Go, bring together all the Jews who are found in Shushan, and fast on me, and do not eat and do not drink three days, night and day, and I and my teenagers will fast yes. And in yes, I will come to the king that is not like the religion, and when I got lost, I got lost.”

(17) And Mordechai went over, and he did like everything that Esther l’tzavot-ed on him.

Laughing out loud

¡ɯıɹnԀ ʎddɐH

םירופ חמש!


P.S. In case you missed them, be sure to check out the Heblish translations of Esther 3, Esther 5, Esther 7, Esther 10, and Mah Nishtanah.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Netanyahu’s speech to Congress

Earlier today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a brilliant and very effective speech to a joint session of Congress.

Like many Israelis and also many of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, I confess that tears came to my eyes during the speech – especially when the prime minister cited a pasuk from Sefer Devarim:

חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ אַל תִּירְאוּ וְאַל תַּעַרְצוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּךְ לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַעַזְבֶךָּ.

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid and do not be dismayed of them. For Hashem, your God, is the One Who goes with you; He will not release you and He will not forsake you.”
(Devarim 31:6)

For those who missed it, here’s the full speech:

Two excerpts:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come here today to tell you we don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don’t have to gamble with our future and with our children’s future.

“We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.

“Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East.

“Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.

“And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.”

And also:

“We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.

“This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.

“But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel. I know that you stand with Israel.”

As we head into Taanit Esther and then Purim, may we be privileged to witness besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) and also the fulfillment of the Megilah’s words:

כַּיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר נָחוּ בָהֶם הַיְּהוּדִים מֵאֹיְבֵיהֶם וְהַחֹדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר נֶהְפַּךְ לָהֶם מִיָּגוֹן לְשִׂמְחָה וּמֵאֵבֶל לְיוֹם טוֹב לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָם יְמֵי מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה וּמִשְׁלֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ וּמַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיֹנִים.

“As the days on which the Jews rested from their enemies and the month which was turned about for them from grief to joy and from mourning to a festival; to make them days of feasting and joy and sending portions to one another and gifts to the poor.”
(Esther 9:22)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Netanyahu’s 2015 AIPAC speech

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed AIPAC’s 2015 Policy Conference earlier today:

May the prime minister’s dedication, commitment, and efforts be blessed with success, and may they lead to besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael according to Torat Yisrael.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Baruch Dayan Emet

Israel mourns the terrible loss of Major Yochai Kalangel HY”D and Staff Sergeant Dor Chaim Nini HY”D, who were killed by our enemies in the North. May Hashem avenge their blood, and may their families be consoled among the other mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.

Seven other soldiers were wounded in the same incident, and may they all have a speedy and complete recovery.

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת חַיָּלֵי צְבָא ההֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, הָעוֹמְדִים עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ וְעָרֵי אֱלקינוּ מִגְּבוּל הַלְּבָנוֹן וְעַד מִדְבַּר מִצְרַיִם וּמִן הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל עַד לְבוֹא הָעֲרָבָה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה בָּאֲוִיר וּבַיָּם. יִתֵּן ה' אֶת אוֹיְבֵינוּ הַקָּמִים עָלֵינוּ נִגָּפִים לִפְנֵיהֶם. הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׁמֹר וְיַצִּיל אֶת חַיָלֵינוּ מִכָּל צָרָה וְצוּקָה וּמִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחְלָה וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם. יַדְבֵּר שׂוֹנְאֵינוּ תַּחְתֵּיהֶם וִיעַטְרֵם בְּכֶתֶר יְשׁוּעָה וּבְעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחוֹן. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם הַכָּתוּב: כִּי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם איבֵיכֶם לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם וְנאמַר אָמֵן.

May He who blessed our fathers, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our country and the cities of our God, from the Lebanese border to the Egyptian wilderness and from the Mediterranean Sea to the approach to the Aravah, whether on land, in the air, or at sea.

May Hashem deliver our enemies who rise against us stricken before them. May the Holy One, blessed be He, protect them and save them from every calamity and peril and from every affliction and illness, and may He send blessing and success to all their endeavors. May He subdue our enemies beneath them, and may He crown them with the coronet of salvation and with the crown of victory. And may the verse be fulfilled through them: "For Hashem, your God, walks with you, to fight your enemies for you, to save you." And let us say: Amen.

(The Prayer for the Welfare of the IDF)*

May we soon be privileged to witness besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael.

* Special thanks to the official Our Shiputzim Hebrew-English translator for providing the above translation. For more information, please contact me at OurShiputzim at gmail dot com, and I’ll gladly forward all serious inquiries to her.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Euphonic Friday: Open Your Heart Edition

Six months after Eyal Yifrach HY”D, Gil-Ad Sha’ar HY”D, and Naftali Fraenkel HY”D were kidnapped and brutally murdered by terrorists, their classmates and families released a beautiful song in their memory.

Entitled “Ptach Libcha B’Rachamim” (“Open Your Heart With Mercy”), the song contains poetic allusions to the three boys’ names, focuses on the incredible unity that we all experienced during the summer, and serves as a heartfelt prayer that the unity be rekindled.

Noted Israeli artists David D’Or and Ilan Kenan wrote the lyrics and music, and the song was recorded by renowned singers Koby Aflalo, David Broza, Yishai Ribo, Yonatan Razel, Avraham Fried, and David D’Or.

Here are the moving lyrics:

פתח ליבך ברחמים על בניך
קולם לדורות ישמע
בשמים ניצבים לעד דבריך
ובארץ המצא לנו נחמה
איכה היו השלושה לאחד
וציוו לנו חיים
עלו לתומם כאייל נעקד
על מזבח הבנים
שמים בכו מעל לגלעד
והארץ רעשה
מתוך נפתולי הלב שרעד
חייכו בתמונה השלושה

פתח ליבך.......

ובין מייצרים בקרוב עלי מרעים
התגלו במסך האבק
שקרים שבתוך מנהרות מסתתרים
מזימות שנורו למרחק
הרוח נשבה ישנה חדשה
וקרבה לבבות רחוקים
מתוך תעצומות הנפש ביקשה
לא ליפול גם כשלא מבינים

פתח ליבך.......

ובתוך הטירוף בין מרדף לנרדף
תעלה זעקה לשלום הנכסף
והעם שעייף משינאת החינם
יתאחד בחיבוק אחים

פתח ליבך......

May the coming week be filled with besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael.

!שבת שלום ומבורך

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fine Arts Friday: 5775 Calendar Edition

Warning: The following post may exceed the recommended daily allowance for maternal boasting. Proceed at your own risk.

So, in case you were wondering – and I can’t imagine that you weren’t - here’s the thing about neglecting one’s blog:

It turns out – and yes, this came as quite a surprise for me, too - that when one allows days weeks months to go by without making time for blogging, one finds oneself with a rather extensive collection of partially-written posts.

I mean, consider the following images, which have been rattling around my Drafts folder since before Rosh Hashanah.

As veteran Our Shiputzim readers will no doubt recall, every year my mother puts together a family calendar, and the various grandchildren prepare the artwork.

Here are the Shiputzim kids’ beautiful contributions (I warned you that there would be boasting… :-)) to the 5775 calendar:

Jan2015Parshat Shmot - January 2015
(Roughly corresponding to Tevet-Shvat 5775)

May2015Bikurim (Shavuot) - May 2015
(Roughly corresponding to Iyar-Sivan 5775)

As always, please be sure to click on the pictures for a much better view.

Stay safe, warm, and dry, and have a wonderful Shabbat!
!שבת שלום ומבורך

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pre-storm housekeeping

As the entire country stocks up and braces for last year’s major winter storm – because why shouldn’t we take it for granted that this week’s storm will be an exact copy of the blizzard of December 2013? – now’s probably a good time to take care of some blogging housekeeping by finally sharing some post-Chanukah thoughts.

But first, I hope you all had a wonderful, joyous, and light-filled Chanukah!

IMG_6199Zot Chanukah 5775

And now without further ado, some post-Chanukah notes:

1) Before he summarily and abruptly resigned, the former education minister decided, for reasons best known to himself, to shorten Chanukah vacation – to the dismay and indignation of schoolchildren across the country.

And since it soon became apparent that the change was – like many of the former minister’s so-called reforms – hastily conceived and poorly implemented, the kids weren’t the only ones who were annoyed.

Because the result was that no two Shiputzim kids had the exact same vacation schedule, and thus, your humble blogger spent much of Chanukah asking, “Remind me again. Who is off tomorrow?

2) Due to a bit of car trouble (hopefully more about THAT in an upcoming post), we found ourselves homebound more than we originally planned.

But it turned out that our unintended staycation had a silver lining.

With nothing else to do, the younger Shiputzim kids had a chance to watch both “The Princess Bride” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” and now YZG and I can say that we’ve fulfilled two of our essential parental obligations…

Winking smile

Stay safe, warm, and dry, and enjoy the snow!