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Tastes of Jewish Tradition

Tastes of Jewish Tradition

Beautiful Book of Holiday Traditions, December 29, 2004

Daylight is precious now and the nights are long and cold. It is time to gather our family and friends around the menorah and celebrate Hanukkah, "the Festival of Lights." The glow of the candles is reflected in our children's faces, full of anticipation and awe. Warmth, light, miracles...this is Hanukkah. ~page 69

This is a Writer's Digest Award Winner and it truly is the Ultimate Holiday Guidebook for families. You will find information on eleven significant Jewish Holidays:

Shabbat - Dipped candles, dye-painted Challah cover, spice boxes.

Rosh HaShanah - Creative Cake Cones, apple print cards.

Yom Kippur - Read-aloud story, book of life scrapbook ideas, writing your own prayers.

Sukkot - A suggested Sukkot Menu, collage, decorations, crayon leaf picture.

Hanukkah - The Miracle Moon story, gift ideas, making your own Menorah.

Tu Bishvat - Tree of life diagram, easy bake cookies, family tree project.

Purim - Manot baskets, costumes, woven paper cones, puppets.

Passover - The story of Egypt, Seder Plate, Matzah Pizza recipe, cartoon story.

Lag B'Omer- Hats, games, egg races.

Yom Ha'Atzmaut - Layered Sand Jars, flags and necklaces.

Shavout - Blintzes, Yogurt Popsicles, parades, crafts and activities.

Each chapter highlights a Jewish holiday and you can learn how to experience the holidays, create interesting foods and research holiday traditions. There are Read-aloud stories, traditional passages, crafts and fascinating food facts.

Then, you will find a chapter of recipes:

If you have always wanted to make delicious latkes, there is a recipe. If you want to try some contemporary favorites, try the Oreo Cheesecake. Salmon Mousse with Cucumber Dressing, Homemade Hummus, Challah, Chicken Soup, Beef Tenderloin, Sour Cream Potatoes, Broccoli Soufflé and Mandel Brot all make their appearance along with a number of delicious favorites. You can also make Passover Brownies with matzo cake meal.

There are diagrams you can copy and an Appendix filled with blessings. The index is excellent. This book would be perfect for teachers. It is essential for parents and for any student of Jewish traditions.

As one who learned how to make chicken soup from a Jewish friend in Seattle, I can say Jewish food has always been a favorite. I even make my own Matzo balls for soup and have mastered the making of Challah. As a child, some of my most comforting memories included eating meals at Jewish parties. I seem to remember eating the creative cake cones as a child.

~The Rebecca Review


Jewish Mandalas


Mandala Miracles, April 29, 2007

"Looking at the letters as the expressions of creation can bring us back to the creation, to G-d's dream and vision of the world that was intended to be, to the purpose of creation, and to our own seemingly unlimited potential for human creativity." ~ Rabbi David Zeller

Adam Rhine's beautifully illustrated alphabet originates from ballpoint sketches that turn into warm watercolor expressions that seem to be an ever-changing mandala miracle. His fascination with calligraphy and interest in infusing his work with the energy of color takes his black-and-white pen drawing into new realms. Here he paints and tells the story of each letter. When discussing "Beit" we see a drawing and also read:

"Having a solid foundation, the letter beit represents a house or home. Each of us can be a home for the divine and a source of blessings to the world, making it a true home for the Divine."

As you contemplate each holy letter in this book you can gain a deeper sense of purpose in the way letters are arranged to produce deeper meanings in words.

"Chai, the world for `life,' is spelled with a chet and yud. This combination unites the presence of G-d (represented by the yud) to our existence in time (chet)."

The drawings themselves are alive with meaning and beauty. I love the drawing "Ahava" because two hearts are incorporated into the picture to produce a stained-glass effect. The "Tikkun Olam" painting would be beautiful framed.

~The Rebecca Review



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