We designed and made a giant menorah for this Channukah. Due to special circumstances it took some creativity to come up with a new design. For more pictures view my other blog by following this link: Menorah & Channukia An Inovative Design
Some time ago, approximately a year, I wrote this poem during the time we read parasha Toldot. Unfortunately, one day my toddler decided to entertain herself by cutting some pages from my notebook where I kept it. When I found the poem, I noticed the last parts missing. This didn't bother me much, because I remembered asking my son to copy it for me on his lap top. About a week ago, I asked my son about it, and was upset to find that his file had been corrupted and he would not be able to retrieve it. After thinking it over for a few days, I finally decided that the only thing to do was to write a new ending. I'm not sure how the last poem ended, but I tried to keep the main message intact. Here is the result of my effort to save my work...
What then, is your pleasure or else your delight?
Would you crave for grandeur, position, or fame?
If all that pervades in your heart and your mind,
Be things so admired by others the same.
Can one hold so dearly admiration from others?
Perhaps it’s control, and the power it affords
Could be great possessions, vanity, or its lovers;
Trying to fill a great void, always looking for more.
One man sought adventure in the excitement of hunting.
This man lived for living though redundant may sound.
He hungered and lusted giving up to his brother;
With great haste sold his birthright without taking ‘ny thought.
A pious man had a different desire on his part.
He was whole and yet simple dwelling daily in tents.
Other goals filled his time, his whole mind, and his heart.
He would not fit the mold of this world with its bends.
Seeking something far better was the goal of such man.
To the goals everlasting, he would hold onto fast;
For he cherished true blessings, covenant, promised land.
Only in G-d’s Word he trusted, the only thing that does last.
Thereupon are two choices and two paths for the heart.
One seeks vanity, pride, and the lusts that do blind.
The other one has a vision based on faith from the start;
Reaching high to a destiny that is pure and sublime.
How will your life expose the desires that prevail?
Will your life hold true meaning? Decide now, make a choice.
Be distracted by things that don’t profit or avail,
Or take delight in G-d’s Word taking heed of His Voice!
I started another blog titled SHEMA. Most posts from this blog have been moved there, and will most likely be deleted from this one shortly. This blog will continue however, storing my collection of poems. Over the past few years, I have written several poems which I hope to gather and include in this blog soon.
My life has been touched by some very special people. I want this post to focus on one whom is no longer with us. One of the persons which has impacted my life the most, was a godly woman. She was a woman of faith which was actually an encouragement to my own mother. While my parents grew up secular for the most part without a particular creed or religion, they did believe in the existence of G-d. This woman whom I will call Mary, made it her personal responsibility to share the Word with my mom. She constantly invited my mom to church, and when my mom was too busy to attend, she would ask if in her place she would send my older sisters. This woman never gave up, nor would she be turned away so easily by rejection. She was an amazing woman, always showing concern for the wellbeing of others.
Mary’s story was one of triumph. Her young years were filled with sorrow and sadness, but she never let that determine her destiny. She could have blamed outer circumstances as reason for bitterness and resentment. Instead she rose above it all and became the amazing woman who touched the lives of many. Mary grew up with a determined attitude. She knew what she wanted in life, and she fought for what she valued.
This woman had a family of five children. The oldest around my mom’s age. So the gap in age between her and me was quite a large one. For many years I only heard from her occasionally. Running into her and every now and then, we would exchange a few brief words. At the time around my engagement, something changed drastically. I found myself visiting her almost on a daily basis. It was during those visits, that I got to know her in a more personal way.
She was always welcoming and greeted me with a smile every time I came by. Usually during my visits, she would share things about herself with me. There were times that she would pull out a notebook of poems she had written and share them with me. Other times we would sit and just talk about things such as faith and family. The talks were always so interesting and lively, being that besides so much knowledge she had a good sense of humor as well. She would answer my many questions, as I sat there in awe at the wisdom of this elderly woman. I’m not certain whether she realized an admiration on my part. Mary was a humble woman and many times wondered out loud why I would take the time to visit with her. Maybe it was the fact that I was in my late teen years coupled by the large difference in years between us that made her wonder. Yet she was always grateful and appreciative of my visits.
What I find so remarkable about this woman, is the fruitfulness of her life. She always shared her faith with the people she met along the way. And the thing I now wished I would have asked her about, is one that has constantly been on my mind. Three of her children which were her sons, the other two were daughters, went on to become ministers. One of them actually was the one that conducted my wedding ceremony. How, I wonder, did she raise her children. I know of her children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren; they have continued in the faith even many years after her passing away.
The impact this woman had is one I wish I had, at least on my descendants. It’s not so much the fact that she raised three ministers, that is the most admirable. What left an impression on me is the fact that she taught her children well. How many times in Scripture we read of a new generation that did not know G-d. 7 “And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. 8And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 9And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. 10And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. 11And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: 12And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. 13And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.” Judges 2:7-13
It’s heartbreaking to think that G-d’s children would not walk in his ways because the previous generation had failed in teaching their children. This is something I’m constantly repeating to my own children and one of the main reasons we chose to home-school. I pray Hashem gives me the wisdom and diligence to teach my children so that my future descendants will continue to love, serve Him, and walk in his ways.
This is a lesson I get from the Patriarchs. They took such special care to transmit what they valued (the fear of Hashem and love of His Word) to the following generations that even to this day they’re still baring fruit. How amazing is that! We read about Abraham: 19 “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Genesis 18:19
Mary knew the importance of teaching the next generation too. She was diligent and loving, and while I may never know how she raised her children, I can to this day see how effective she was. She was a successful woman in my opinion. May Hashem grant us all, that love Him and are seeking to serve Him, the effectiveness in transmitting to the future generations the fear of the True and Living G-d. May he strengthen us and give us a vision to see past our immediate circumstances and instead focus on what counts to eternity.
This week I began cooking on more of a regular basis. What I mean by regular is actually daily. As strange as that may sound, for the mother of ten; I will proceed to explain how this has come to be the case around our home. Yes, of course we do have regular meals; although I'm not necessarily the one who prepares them.
The days when I used to cook daily are all a blur now. A faint memory is all that's left. Why and when did I stop cooking? The answer is quite simple really. As our family grew and our home education began to take on more of a formal approach, we began to teach the kids some basic cooking skills. With time they begin experimenting with new recipes. Mostly at the beginning, the cooking was along side mom or dad. But shortly after, the kids were allowed to cook on their own due to their progress in learning.
So many benefits stemmed from this first decision to teach them cooking. To begin with, working with recipe books proved to be an excellent way for learning fractions. All I recall, is one day asking my daughter how she had come up with the correct quantities for doubling or tripling the ingredients. She went on to explain to my amazement how she had added the fractions. She was at the time around six or seven I think. This was such a surprise to me, specially since I had not deliberately introduced her to fractions. Besides learning a necessary skill for life which is great in itself, another added benefit was teaching character; for in preparing meals for others, one also learns to serve. As if this all wasn't enough we had the added benefit of more help to get things done around the house, which is actually pretty terrific.
Cooking and baking has been a natural learning process around my home. My older kids I taught, naturally, However my younger ones mostly picked up this skills from their older siblings. I don't think a week passes by without the younger ones 8-12 baking some cookies, trying a new recipe, or preparing a dessert for Shabbat. I have then come to the conclusion through personal experience that work and education go hand in hand. What an advantage it has been to us, the freedom to teach at home with more of a hands on approach.
To conclude, I'd like to add that I'm proud to say the students have exceeded the teacher. The food the kids help make is always tasty and prepared with such creativity. I want to specially give credit to my two dear daughters. They do an excellent job. I'm glad to think that in this area at least they are preparing well to be future homemakers. And as for the boys, it's great that they can depend on themselves when necessary too. So now I'm off to start my new week preparing dinners, and as crazy as this may seem, I'll be asking for my daughters' input and opinions. It seems to me they have a much better idea when it comes to deciding on the quantities I'll be having to cook. =)
We will be working on memorizing Psalm 145 as a family. I think it is such a good way to tune our hearts to Hashem and His Word. This Psalm is part of the Mincha prayers and one of my personal favorites.
I often think about how we sometimes without hesitation memorize all sorts of things that interest us like music lyrics for instance. But when it comes to the Word of G-d, we don't seem to have the same willingness; sometimes reasoning that it's too difficult.
Some time ago, I remember going to the library with my kids to supplement their reading. One of my kids decided to get a Ripley's Believe It or Not! Book. After reading through it a while he shared with me with great amazement about a person that had memorized incredible amounts of books by heart. While I can't recall the name of the man who broke this record, I do remember one thing. The man was a Rabbi that had memorized the Torah along with several other works related to the Jewish faith. The love and dedication this Rabbi had are just amazing to me.
I hope we can learn a lesson from this. If we set our minds to it we could memorize more than we actually think we can. If we love His Word, than it should motivate us to learn it by heart. When I find myself having to make decisions in life, I often recall G-d's Word, and it guides my way. This brings to mind the Psalm 119 -"Oh how love I thy Law, it is my meditation all the day,". If His Word is in our hearts constantly than we'll be able to meditate on it throughout our days.
1. I shall exalt You, my G-d the King, and I shall bless Your name forever and ever.
2. Every day I shall bless you, and I shall praise Your name forever and ever.
3. The L-rd is great and very much praised, and His greatness cannot be searched.
4. Generation to generation will praise Your works, and they will recite Your mighty deeds.
5. Of the majesty of the glory of Your splendor and the words of Your wonders I shall speak.
6. And the strength of Your awesome deeds they will tell, and Your greatness I shall sing.
7. Of the remembrance of Your abundant goodness they will speak, and of Your righteousness they will sing.
8. The L-rd is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and of great kindness.
9. The L-rd is good to all, and His mercies are on all His works.
10.All your works will thank You, O L-rd, and Your pious ones will bless You.
11.They will tell the glory of Your kingdom, and they will speak of Your might.
12.To make known to the children of men His mighty deeds and the glory of the majesty of his kingdom.
13.Your kingdom is a kingdom of all times, and Your ruling is in every generation.
14.The L-rd supports all those who fall and straightens all who are bent down.
15.Everyone’s eyes look to You with hope, and You give them their food in its time.
16.You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing [with] its desire.
17.The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds
18.The L-rd is near to all who call Him, to all who call Him with sincerity.
19.He does the will of those who fear him, and He hears their cry and saves them.
20.The L-rd guards all who love Him, and He destroys all the wicked.
21.My mouth will speak the praise of the L-rd, and all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
Decidi con el deseo de compartir con los lectores de habla Hispana, escribir un poco de mi blog en este idioma. Mi vida es una sencilla, sin embargo, una que me llena de satisfacion. Soy casada y junto con mi esposo hemos abrasado la fe Judio Messianica. Tambien hemos sido bendesidos en grande manera con el privilegio de una familia de diez hijos. Por gracia de El Todopoderoso desde de que nuestro primer hijo era aun muy chiquito desidimos educarlo en casa. Esto ah sido una gran bendicion, mas de lo que podria esplicar en un pequeno blog como este. Esto de educar en casa aun que sea algo muy peculiar en algunos lugares, es algo permitido y legal en Estados Unidos. Claro algunos de los estados son un poco mas tolerables que otros. Lo bueno es que nos encontramos en un lugar donde somos libres de hacer esto. Mis dias los paso en casa libre para estar con mi familia, servirlos, y alludarlos en su educacion. Donde vivimos esto es algo fuera de lo comun, lla que la costumbre por aqui es de que la mujer tambien trabaje y aporte a las necesidades de la casa con un sueldo propio. Me alegra decir que mi esposo no comparte de este pensar, y me apolla en que me quede en casa. Como mastra de mis hijos soy responsable de lo que ellos aprenden o no. Para comensar nuestro dia, primer procuramos dedicar un tiempo a la lectura de las escrituras. Esto es vital, lla que la fe debe tener prioridad al conocimiento. Despues de esto, cada quien por su cuenta se pone a estudiar dependiendo de su edad y el material de estudio disponible. Sin entrar mucho en detalle, despues de el tiempo separado para "la escuela en casa" seguimos nuestro dia, cada uno con varias tareas del hogar. Me alegra decir que mis hijos mallores de dies anos pueden cocinar y hacer casi cualquier cosa que se propongan. En mi humilde opinion creo que la educacion es mas que conocimiento acumulado. Nuestro deseo es que nuestros hijos crescan en la fe y puedan ser personas de bien que puedan tambien aportar algo a la humanida para beneficio de otros. Para terminar quiro decir que aun que hemos decidido tomar el camino menos escojido y en ocasiones mas dificil, lo hacemos con alegria y el deseo en nuestros corasones de servir a HaShem con lo que el nos a encomendado. (Pido disculpas tambien a mis faltas de ortografia, lla que mi idioma principal es el Ingles.)
As a daughter to a widow that was always working and struggling to provide for the family, I grew up pretty much on my own. One thing I'm very grateful about, is the fact that my mother never gave up on trying to do what was best for us and always did strive to draw us close to G-d. Amid the struggles she was there, an amazing woman that to me deserves all the respect and love in the world. But due to her need to work and make ends meet, she was absent much of the time as I recall growing up. As a young lady and specially as a newlywed, I missed the wise words of counsel. I lacked direction in many ways. Only by G-d's grace was I able to find comfort, purpose, and the direction I badly needed. As I grew more and more in the knowledge and faith of our L-rd, did I realize that it would have been much better if I could have had the opportunity of a mentor. I didn't think it in such words, but I remember telling one of my sisters that I would have appreciated it so if someone had taken the time to share with me about their experience and knowledge in light of G-d's Word. It is because of my own personal struggles and the difficulties needed to overcome, that I have a special heart for others finding themselves down that same road. What ever happened to mentoring? This I wondered about at times. I'm thankful that I see more and more people aware of the need and benefits of mentoring. I myself am trying to serve and do what I can by mentoring at this time. Not only should we be practicing this within our families, but at some point of our lives we may meet someone that we can help along the way down a path we have already taken. As I see it, Something we have learned is something we can share! I pray for the wisdom to see and help others in need, and encourage others to do likewise.
May our walk be one of wholehearted love for HaShem and also a love for those He has created.
David my firstborn recently bought his tekhelet and was in need of a tallit katan for daily use. We decided to make a tallit katan at home ourselves. To begin with, I bought him some plain white t-shirts. I thought about the buttonholes a bit and couldn't decide on how to go about it. I haven't sown in a long time except for a couple of sashes my girls needed for dance class so I wasn't sure if I could do this right. After some thought I opted to cut out the buttonhole strip from another shirt that we no longer needed. To begin the tallit, first I cut a six inch slit on both sides of the shirt to create the corners for the tzittzit. After sowing the edges of all corners; a small square of the shirt with the buttonhole was sown in to each of the corners. Once the buttonholes were in place, the tallit was ready for the tzitzit. I attached the tzitzit which my son had previously prepared by tying the knots beforehand. The whole proccess was much easier than I had thought, and I'm now ready to work on a tallit for my other boys.
37 The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, 38"Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. 39 "It shall be a tassel for you to look at and rememberall the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not followafter your own heart and your own eyes, afterwhich you played the harlot, 40so that you may remember to doall My commandments and be holy to your God. 41 "I am the LORD your Godwhobrought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God ; I am the LORD your God." Numbers 15:37-41