Posts Tagged ‘Judaism’

Our Hearts are Breaking.


Boruch Dayan HaEmes.

May their neshamas have an aliyah.



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Gone for Passover!

I will be away for the week of Passover.



This year, Passover starts Monday evening April 14.

I will return Wednesday April 23.

Have a happy Passover!


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The combination of sweet potatoes and white potatoes are a great variation on the traditional latke. I usually make both types and alternate them on a platter around a bowl of French onion sour cream dip. Use chilled applesauce for a pareve dipping option.



3 sweet potatoes, peeled
3 Yukon potatoes (or Russet), peeled
6 eggs
1 scallion or green onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying

  • Grate potatoes finely and mix with remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Preheat a large frying pan with about a half an inch of oil.
  • Drop batter by tablespoonful into the frying pan.
  • Fry 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until brown and crispy.
  • Remove from oil and drain on paper towels to absorb extra oil.

Yield: 12 latkes




2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 extra large Vidalia onion or two regular sweet onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp onion soup mix (without MSG) dissolved in ½ cup hot water
¼  tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 oz whipped cream cheese
2 cups sour cream (light works just as well)

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic. Let cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and slightly browned. Add dissolved onion soup mix and black pepper and let cook for 5 more minutes or until water has evaporated. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, mix cream cheese and sour cream together in a large bowl. Add cooked onion mixture and combine very well. (I like to smooth out the texture with a few pulses from an immersion blender.) Refrigerate up to 3 days.


Chag sameach!


I actually found the above recipe in Toronto Family Magazine, Vol. 2, Issue 12.

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I just looked at my handy dandy Chabad calendar and realized that this year Hanukah starts the evening of November 27th!!

This may very well be the earliest Hanukah on record.

In order that we not be caught with our dreidels down, here is a tried and true Potato Latke recipe!


Potato Latkes

5 large potatoes, peeled
1 large onion
4 eggs
⅓ cup matzah meal
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
⅓ cup oil for frying

Grate potatoes and onion on the fine side of a grater, or in food processor, or in a blender with a little water added to it.
Add eggs and mix well.
Add matzah meal and seasoning and mix well.
Heat oil in frying pan, then add mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, into the frying pan.
When golden brown, turn over and brown other side.

Latkes can be served with sour cream or applesauce!


Because of the great significance of oil in the history of Hanukah, latkes – potato fritters fried in oil – are usually served.

In Israel, sufganiyot (doughnuts) are commonly served.



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Right now, we are in the middle of the Jewish festival of Sukkot. [1]

Just for the person who has to have lunch on the go, my dear friend Steven Burke has come up with his own clever variation of the sukkah-mobile.

Open two car doors, put two 2x4s over the door tops and rest the s’chach on top of the 2x4s!


sukkah-mobile(Image Credit: Steven Burke)

The chochmah and binah demonstrated here is inspirational!

Once again, Necessity is the Mother of Invention!

Bravo, Steven. Yasher Koach! 


[1]  As commanded in the Bible (Lev. 23:33-44). Christians may know Sukkot by the name Feast of Tabernacles (KJV), Festival of Tabernacles (NIV), Feast of Booths (NASB), etc.

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Those of you have been following this blog for awhile know that I have two children. I refer to them as Exhibit One and Exhibit Two. [1]

jon-britt35(The kiddie-winkers!)

This past Friday afternoon while I was driving through Crystal Beach, minding my own business, I received a surprise call on my cell phone from Exhibit One in Israel.

“Hi! I have some news!”

My first reaction was, “Uh oh! Good news or bad news!?”

last 085(Mazal tov! The couple in Jerusalem)

My lovely daughter announced that she was engaged.

I practically drove off the road and into a ditch with excitement.

???????????????????????????????(Fiancée and fiancé in Jerusalem)

I showered her with mazal tovs. I even got a chance to wish her fiancé a hearty mazal tov!

It was about this time that I noticed a police cruiser following me. I had to quickly end the call. Her Majesty’s government frowns on the use of handheld communication devices while driving.

???????????????????????????????(Fiancé and fiancée in Yaffo [aka Jaffa])

Exhibit One engaged. Wow!

Luckily for me, I highly approve of the fiancé. As a general rule, I dislike Israeli men. Bunch of blow-hard macho know-it-alls, if you ask me. This young man, however, is a refreshing exception to the stereotype. I like him a lot! Charming, witty, intelligent, kind, soft-spoken. A real mensch.

The wedding will be held in Israel. Not sure yet exactly when and where.

Details to follow in due course!


[1] To those new to this blog, a brief history: When I was a young rōnin, I was for several years in a relationship and living with an even younger partner. While I did not fully appreciate it at the time, we were in a common-law marriage. That person is, therefore, my ‘first spouse’ [‘SA’], as opposed to the person I legally married (then legally divorced) many years later [‘WHN’]. My children, Exhibits One and Two, were tendered into evidence during the second marriage.

Details: Exhibit One (23 year old girl), lives in Ramat Gan (east Tel Aviv), Israel. Exhibit Two (21 year old boy) just graduated from McMaster University in Canada and is also presently in Israel.

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On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the partition plan of  Mandatory Palestine.


On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” a state independent upon the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, 15 May 1948.

May the Almighty continue to bless and protect Israel.


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