Stop Complaining, Start Doing

I admit it. I’m an addict. Addicted to complaining.
It took me a long time to realize it, but, yes, I admit it and feel so much freer!

So, what do I complain about?

From the weather, to the diapers, to my inability to be perfect, to my childhood, to my education, you name it!children toy

My newest hot topic for complaining, blaming and accusing is the Israeli school system. Did you know that the school day ends at 1pm in girls’ schools?

And my children’s school does not offer extracurricular activities. The kids come home and hang out till they go to sleep at 8 or 9 pm!

Then it hit me- if I want them to go to extracurricular activities and develop their talents, maybe I should do something about it (instead of complaining!)
Like, perhaps I should open a ‘chug’ (an activity group) that my children could participate in. Perhaps I should even try being the instructor!

I slept on the idea and came up with the following list of questions:

1- What are my children’s talents?
2- Which talents/subjects would I like them to develop this year?

Basically, my answers to the questions above went something like:

1- Acting, dancing, singing, directing, fine motor skills
2- Piano, swimming, English, arts & crafts, baking, science & nature

Now that I have some answers, I can take action! I do not necessarily have to be the teacher/supervisor/instructor of each and every activity group for each talent I’d like my
children to develop. Professionals can be hired.

It’s important to recall that most of my neighbors live on extremely tight budgets and do not have the means to invest more than $10-$30 on their children’s activities each month!
So whatever ‘chug’ I would decide to open would have to be highly subsidized (probably by yours truly!)

What do you think of this idea- making an “English Second Language Art & Crafts & Baking Chug” for children aged 5-7? I’ll give it a try and let you know how it goes. Some activity ideas I have in mind are:

1- Decorating a diaper cake. This is a wonderful activity for many reasons, namely, every family here has lots of babies, lots of diapers, and would appreciate receiving a diaper cake stuffed with lots of diapers for their lots of babies! New English words learned: Alphabet, letter, number, A,B,C, 1,2,3

3- Body Tracing & Writing Nice Messages in Each “Body”. I recall body tracing on butcher paper at Maimonides Day Camp as a young girl. What fun! I have not seen Israeli children do such things. New English words learned: Body, soul, nice, talented, friendly, honest, orderly

4- Baking soda Volcanos. This was also one of my favorites in Nature class as a young girl. The children will definitely be surprised to see the ‘lava’ coming out of the ‘volcano’!
New English words learned: Volcano, nature, lava, red, earth.

That’s just a brief list of ideas for a little weekly afternoon chug. Regarding the piano & swimming lessons- I could teach them, but it might be best to just find a private teacher!

What I’ve learned though through this shift from “I’m annoyed” to “I will be the change I want to see in the world” is that I feel more positive and energized in the process. You may just want to try it too!

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“Do me a favor, bro.”

I felt so guilty last night. My mother, aged 63, practically begged me to leave Elad and relocate my family of seven to
Montreal, Canada.

Her and my father left Israel over 30 years ago and desperately want to enjoy some “nachess”, as they call their grandsons. But how could I ever leave Israel…?

With Yom Ha’Atzma’ut around the corner, I’ve been giving much thought to the many shalom signadvantages of raising a Jewish family in the Jewish state.

“All Israelis are rich!” exclaimed my lawyer sister who lives in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
“What makes you say that?” I wondered aloud.

“They’re always on vacation. I see so many vacationing Israelis in every country I visit!”
That got me thinking… I feel comfortable, not rich… But the fact that Jewish education here is free for the most part, compared to around $8000+ per year per child in Canada and the US allows for much more spending money. And how do Israelis like spending their money? Either by buying more houses or vacationing or both.

The competitive high-tech salaries are another fantastic aspect about Israel. Start-ups sprout here at an alarming rate…
Leaving the monetary advantages aside, the joy of living with other Jews cannot be underestimated. As a friend who is a recent “olah” from France pointed out, “I’ve never felt as safe as I do in Israel.” Even during the waves of terror, one senses a certain Divine protection wherever one goes.

Israelis feel a sense of brotherhood with each other which can be sensed at the post office for example. A line-up (or achaotic mass) of about thirty impatient people has formed around the teller. In walks a young father, babysitting his young twins, looking completely disheveled. Heading straight toward the first person in line, he sheepishly grins and implores, <strong“Ta’aseh li tova, achi.” (“Do me a favor, bro.”) And with that he’s in and out of the post office.

My mom experienced this caring family vibe the last time she came to visit me. She took little Noam, one year old at the time, on a little stroll. Drivers started slowing down their cars when riding past her and motioning to their heads. “What could that
mean?” she wondered. A fifth driver screamed out the window, “HaRosh!” (“The head!”) That was just too strange. Looking down suddenly at baby Noam, everything made sense. He had fallen asleep and his head was tilted to the side… The drivers had all been
concerned about his neck!

Something fun for me personally as a religious woman in Israel is the great abundance of stylish, yet modest, clothing at reasonable prices. Women in Chutz La’Aretz are not as spoiled as I am, with brand upon brand of modest clothing and head scarves
sold in a variety of boutiques near my home. I don’t need to travel long distances, pay exorbitant prices or constantly take my new skirts to be altered, as my US and Canadian friends do. Lucky me!

Here I’ve just given you a little taste of my perspective on the privilege of being a Jew in the Jewish land. Why don’t you come for a visit? I’m sure you’ll love it too!

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My ElAl Costume Fiasco & More

Yes, it’s that time of year again!
Purim is felt in Israel about a month before the actual holiday. It’s great- Dollar Stores (orI_like_Purim_Ajudaica Shekel Stores, as they’re called here) are filled to capacity with wigs, cowboy hats, black hats with peyos (sidelocks) glued to them, Nachman white kippas, and

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The Pacifier Tree

I admit it. My three-year-old is an addict. Yes, an addict.

It’s a bit embarrassing, but true. Know why?!

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Festival of Lights – You can be the one!

aJudaica Channuka smaller

aJudaica is gearing up for the Festival of Lights – Chanukah – and invites you to join the fun!

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The Taxi That Rests

A man in our community passed away a few years ago at the age of 60.
In our day and age, that means that he was at the prime of his life.
Especially in a religious community, where he had recently married off a few children and had quite a few more left.
Recently, a story came up about him that left me with goosebumps…

Aaron Shapiro relates:

“I entered a taxi the other day. I noticed a little plaque in Hebrew glued inside the taxi stating “This Taxi Observes Shabbat”. Aaron, being a veryheart-771011_1280
cheerful guy, clapped the taxi driver on the back and proclaimed, “Kol HaKavod to you that you keep Shabbat! Isn’t it just the greatest day of the week!?”

Somewhat abashedly, the taxi driver exclaimed that it was actually his taxi who rests on Shabbat, not exactly him.

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How I Prepare for Shabbos (aka: Thanksgiving Every Week)

Hi Everybody!

Sorry for being busy lately  in sending your orders out on time! :)  But we didn’t forget our tradition! We are happy to introduce you today to the lovely lady Keshet, running her own blog http://www.keshetstarr.com/ . We loved her content, so here she is, telling us a thing or two about “living a creative life” :)

Every November, as magazines start to talk about the Thanksgiving holiday, my friends guest post by Keshet and I can’t help ourselves and laugh. The magazines discuss how to prepare the traditional meal: a turkey, some sides, a dessert, maybe a salad–and break it down over days and weeks, into multiple steps. In Orthodox homes, we
make a version of Thanksgiving EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.

It is a lot of work–but also so much fun to sit down and enjoy with family and friends!

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So what’s new in July-August 2015? Tons!

AJudaica.com boasts a large selection of over 10 000 Judaica items shipped to customers worldwide directly from Israel. But no, we did not start out that way.man

 

Today, a considerable number are sold daily throughout the year! Those items were soon followed by tallits, candlesticks, Kiddush cups, challah boards and covers, kippas and, our favorite – Israeli art and jewelry.

So what’s new  in July-August 2015?
Tons! 
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Creative Mommies

rivki silver picHello dear readers and followers!

Today we are thrilled to host on our blog the lovely lady Rivki Silver .

She blogs on her own blog LifeintheMarriedLane.com. She has spent most of her life immersed in the study and instruction of music, but for the past seven years has been learning about marriage and motherhood.  She writes about relationships, parenthood, music and religion, as seen through the lens of an Orthodox Jewish woman.  Her writing can be found on Aish.com, PartnersinTorah.org, WhattoExpect.com.  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter (@rivkisilver), or in the kitchen, trying to get her four kids to eat something 😉

So here is her interesting story:

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Judaica Musings

We are happy to add another gifted blogger to our Guest Post section! :)

Today we are hosting Miriam Hendeles,  a mother of grown children, grandmother and mother-in-law. She blogs at Picturehttp://bubbyjoysandoys.com  about being a grandmother. At her website, http://miriamhendeles.com she discusses topics related to being a mother-in-law. Miriam is a music therapist who works with elderly in hospice care.

You are welcome to read “Judaica Musings” guest post by Miriam Hendeles.

Whenever I enter a Judaica store, I’m like a child in a toy store. Continue reading

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