Author: Revital Belz

The Beauty and Light of Hanukkah.

“Boys,” I say to the four sitting around the table, “let’s take out the Hanukkah things and make sure everything is in order.” Hanukkah is just around the corner, and I want to be ready. That means bringing out our beloved hanukkiot, candles, oils and wicks, and holiday decorations. The kids start emptying the boxes, oohing and ahhing over the different menorahs. Noam unwraps his Yair Emanuel multicolored train menorah, and a big smile lights up his face. “Ima, look,” he says, beaming. In our house, everyone has their own hanukkiah, and every night, just after nightfall, we light...

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Elul and Mezuzahs

“Ima, pick me up,” said Noam, he too wanted to kiss the mezuzah as we walked into the corner store to get some last-minute Shabbos treats. The older boys always kiss the mezuzah as we go in and out of doorways, and little Noam wanted to take part, too, being the big boy that he is. It’s not really a commandment, you know, kissing the mezuzah, though people think it is. It’s a commandment to put a mezuzah on your doors, but the kissing is optional. Nevertheless, lots of people do it, men and boys and women and girls,...

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There’s always time to say you’re sorry

  There’s a lot to learn during summer vacation “Imma,” asked Noam, our youngest at 5, “Can I get a new backpack for school and a Spiderman pencil case like Yair? And on the first day I want a chocolate sandwich on a big roll, with chocolate milk and, um, an apple. Or grapes. And can Abba bring me home? Or can I go to Eli’s house afterwards?” I was leaning down in front of Noam teaching him how to tie his shoes. This will be his first year in kindergarten, a big step for the youngest in the...

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Count-down or Count-up? Counting the Omer*

  A few years ago, my youngest son Yair came home from preschool and excitedly told me his teacher’s latest story about a little boy who in honor of his upcoming birthday was told that he would get to go ride on a REAL train. Every day he would ask his mother if his birthday had arrived yet, so his mother decided to make him a calendar with the special day highlighted, and he would check off each day that went by, getting closer and closer to the big day. “You see, Imma? You see? Every day we are...

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Purim Costumes and Mask Musings

BS”D   “So, Yair” I innocently asked “what do you want to dress up as this year on Purim?” (Yes, I should have known better than to let imaginative Yair Belz decide what costume to wear: ) “Imma, my name is Yair, right? Yair in Hebrew means to shine brightly, doesn’t it? Well then, I want to dress up as my own name- a LIGHTBULB! Oh, please Imma? Can I?” (My little ones, in last years Purim costumes) In principle, I don’t have anything against light bulb costumes, the only problem is- WHERE AM I GOING TO FIND ONE!? Noam, my always-happy-to-help third grader offered to call up the electric company. “I’m sure I can convince them to manufacture some light bulb costumes. What a great advertising campaign!” Since I just wasn’t as confident as David was in his “bright” (pun intended) idea, I found myself standing in line at one of the “Shekel” stores waiting to pay for a “paint it yourself” face mask. (Ok, it actually cost five Shekel- around Purim time these stores fill up with all kinds of costume paraphernalia, which is obviously a bit more expensive, but still a bargain.) I had already purchased a bottle of yellow paint with which to paint the mask, and a bright yellow rain poncho, to be stuffed with pillows. Now all I needed was the largest yellow...

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