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A Parasha Ponder…Parashat Chukat

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A Parasha Ponder…Parashat Chukat

No Comments 17 June 2010

In this week’s Torah portion, Hashem instructs Moshe to speak to the rock to bring forth water for the people. Instead of following these exact instructions, Moshe is flustered by the congregation’s nagging and hits the rock. Furthermore he calls the people “you rebels.” Moshe’s reaction does not please G-d, and Moshe is consequently punished.

Luckily for us, the bible is not filled with perfected angels treading on clouds, but rather with actual people living on the rough terrain of life, providing stories we can learn from.

How Moshe reacted makes me think about what regular people do in frustration. Most of us (not me,) raise our voices and find some way to bully our viewpoints through. Who of us can say (maybe me) that we have not once used name-calling to try to inspire someone to improve?

Parents, teachers, and spouses especially hold very close mirrors that can reflect a lasting picture. Calling a person lazy, stubborn, dumb, sickly or annoying is like placing a permanent and damaging brand on his or her self-image. While it is better to say: You are acting lazy, dumb, sickly, and/or annoying, it is still better is to say: You are helping me so much, I love what you are saying, you look better today, thanks for being so kind, showing such patience…

And when loved ones just don’t inspire these words, I say, hold your tongue and look harder.

An Afikoman Bag to Make With Your Kids

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An Afikoman Bag to Make With Your Kids

No Comments 20 March 2010

Its easy to get wrapped up in Passover planning and forget the real purpose of the holiday. Our kids. The memories we create year by year are what they carry with them forever. So, as I started planning my Passover menu, I put down my pen and said to Sarah, “Lets make a Pesach craft.”  Inspired by Kaboose,we gathered some

    • watercolor paints
    • watercolor paper
    • ribbon or raffia
    • hole punch
    • watecolor pencils
    • stencils
    • kosher salt
  1. Cut  a large piece of watercolor paper into 2 large pieces- about 11×13 inches.
  2. Mix your watercolors paints with water to create the colors of your choice.
  3. Spray or spread a thin layer of water on top of the watercolor paper. Blot it slightly with a paper towel so its not too wet.
  4. Paint and splatter paints onto the watercolor paper to your hearts content, letting the colors bleed onto each other.
  5. Sprinkle some kosher salt on top of the colors, the effects are fun to watch.
  6. When dry, stencil the words afikoman in English or Hebrew on a separate piece of watercolor paper using watercolor pencils. Watercolor pencils are fun to use. After drawing your design, wet the design with a brush and watch a mere colored pencil drawing turn into a watercolor design.

  1. You can also stencil flowers or any other design on a separate paper.
  2. Punch holes approximately 2 inches apart along the perimeters of both pages along 3 sides of the pages in order to leave an opening for the afikoman.
  3. Make sure the holes on both pages line up!
  4. Thread a ribbon or raffia through the holes- its a great sewing lesson for little kids!
  5. Make a knot or bow at the end.
  6. Glue the Afikoman words, and your other stencil embellishments onto one of the painted papers.
  7. Enjoy your child’s masterpiece!
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