I get a lot of questions around Purim, and I don’t always have a chance to answer them all. So let’s get started:
Artisan gefilte fish. For some, the phrase seems like an oxymoron. While salmon, chilean sea bass and tilapia may all be in vogue, gefilte fish, the traditional ground fish mixture that is de rigueur in Ashkenazic Jewish households at Shabbos and Yom Tov meals, is like the Henny Youngman of fish: it gets no respect.
You know what I noticed since I started writing this column? That people don’t write in to ask questions so much as they write in to complain.
The blade of the penknife sliced cleanly into my thumb and a thin stream of crimson blood appeared immediately, getting thicker by the second. I dropped the penknife onto my lap and reached for the green hem of my school skirt. I pressed it tightly against my thumb. Only then did I glance up at Sister Giovanna who was standing, as usual, slightly to the right of the black board. I raised my hand and hoped that she would call on me soon.
On the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev, over twenty-one hundred years ago, the Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated after it was wrenched from the hands of the defiling Greeks. Thus ended a war no one planned or even dreamed could happen.
Welcome to “You’re Asking Me?” the column where people are basically saying, “This guy doesn’t know me at all. Let me ask him for advice.”
I found these sleek looking shot glasses in a number of stores. Lined up neatly, they can create simple, yet striking (and certainly sweet) centerpieces for your Chanukah parties. Here is one colorful suggestion. (Tip: When purchasing the shot glasses, stick with something simple. The simpler the glass, the more dramatic the projects will look)
I am writing this column as Hurricane Sandy is barreling through the greater New York area, after having sorted a load of clean laundry by the light of a group of yahrtzeit candles and having washed my supper dishes with the aid of a clip on barbeque lamp. My electricity went out almost four hours ago and thoughts of what I did right and what I did wrong in preparation for a one of a kind storm that ironically, bears my name are still fresh in my mind.
Chaos - that is how the world is described at its inception in the book of Beraishis (Genesis). Confusion. A lack of clarity and boundaries. Or, as I teach my kindergartners, "a mishmash".
A rose that I picked from our garden to enhance the beauty of our sukkah is so exquisite that visitors remarked that they didn’t realize it was “real” until they noticed the water in the vase.
I quit my full-time job eight months ago without another one to fall back on. In hindsight, it wasn’t one of my better decisions, but it was time for me to move forward. I was in a position that never quite suited me – like an ill-fitting pair of shoes that’s one size too small and rubs across the toes. Sure, a nagging thought called a recession cropped up from time-to-time before I resigned, but I was confident I would only be on the market for a few weeks, max. Armed with a new LinkedIn profile and a heaping dose of faith, I bid farewell to my boss and colleagues of six years to embark on my new journey.
Winter seems to be a time when many people put on some extra weight. Have you ever considered why that is? Here are some of the top reasons and what to do about them.
The taxi driver was old and rather shriveled, with a crop of white hair fringing his head. Ah, I recognize this one, I thought with relief, hurrying to open the door. If I recall correctly, he knows Lakewood. You would think that a taxi driver, being that his/her job is, well, driving, and being that the town they are driving in is, well, Lakewood…
As the expression goes, “Hashem fir zich der velt” – Hashem orchestrates all the events that occur in the world. Most of what Hashem does is hidden from us. However, on occasion something happens in such an open way, one would have to be totally oblivious to the world around him to not see the powerful display of Yad of Hashem.
Ever since I started this question-and-answer column, people have been coming over and asking me questions. Baruch Hashem, right?
Your mother may have taught you how to separate an egg and how to dice a mango, but I am willing to bet your mother never taught you to spatchcock a chicken. No, that is not a typographical error.
I grew up in Edison, New Jersey and lived in the same house until I left for college. My parent had moved in several years before I was born. I had the same rabbi for my baby naming, my bat mitzvah and my wedding (this was a first for him). My husband and I even brought our daughter back to my old synagogue for her naming.
Some of us climb a scale each day in terror and dread. Some of us alight a scale, with our hearts thumping and throats tightening. We may know how to jump off and on, or gyrate this way or that to create a different number. And we will stare at that all important number – which could very well dictate our mood for the rest of the day. We believe the final number to be the true judge of our worth – of how well we are doing. And we are sorry that the scale could not be fooled.
As I approached the home of Irving and Miriam Borenstein in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn, two things became clear: the pride they feel at being Jewish and their joy at living in America. On their front lawn are large American and Israeli flags with a plaque in front which reads: Never forget the six million murdered in the Holocaust and the three thousand murdered on 9/11. May G-d remember them for the good with the other righteous of the world.
There are a lot of newspaper advice columns out there. But what makes this one different is that sometimes, you don’t want to ask an expert. Sometimes you want to ask a regular guy who might not actually know more than you.
Picture it, a busy Sunday afternoon with traffic moving briskly along Ocean Parkway, a major Brooklyn thoroughfare linking the brownstones of Park Slope in the north with the beaches and amusement parks of Coney Island in the south. Suddenly everything comes to a halt.
Ah, fall. The magnificent display of changing colors as the trees stage their annual pageant, the indescribable pleasure of leaves crunching beneath your feet, the delightful crispness in the air after endless weeks of heat and humidity; it is hard not to enjoy the magic of autumn. Bummer that fall has to turns into winter.
Way back then, when we put up our Sukkah for the first time, my father-in-law added a shelf along one of the walls. Right away I was struck by how simple and practical this idea was. Years later, people are still commenting about it. So here are the details for the many who have a wood panel Sukkahs. With simple supplies, and minimal “handy man skills” your candlesticks, seforim, bentchers, flowers, etc can “hang around” the entire Yom Tov, and not be moved and removed countless times from being in the way.
For many of us, there can never be too many flowers around, so here are some “bright” ideas to add to your Sukkah decoration repertoire.
Dear Tanya, There are some diet delivery services that are kosher. Do you recommend I try them? In the past, one of the reasons I had a hard time sticking to a diet was because I hate preparing for myself, and when life gets hectic I just don’t have the time.