Memed Again!

Ooh, I do love these! Thanks to Homeshuling for tagging me with the Jewish Mommy (Sh)meme:

“I’m discovering a whole world of Jewish mommy bloggers, and I’m fantasizing about having one giant shabbat dinner together…..or maybe even a shabbaton? But for now a virtual shabbat will have to do. So here’s my shabbat meme, otherwise known as a shmeme. (Someone has to make these up, right?)”

1. Challah – home baked or bought?

*sigh* I was not told there would be skills involved. Before I was a working out-of-home (as opposed to “from”) I tried to a few times to replicate the fluffy, cinnamony-buttery yeasty goodness created the balabustas who ran my son’s preschool: FAIL. Now as a bizzybizzy lady who sometimes dashes into the grocery store high heels a’clackin’ ten minutes before sundown on Fridays, I have found that the fresh-baked challah from Publix smells and tastes almost as good as the balabusta’s and makes killer French Toast.

2. Favorite shabbat meal:

I don’t know if it’s because it’s everyone’s favorite or because both me and El Yenta Man can make it with our eyes closed, but our Friday night meal rarely varies from the following: Roast chicken stuffed with lemons and rosemary from the garden, steamed kale dressed with oil and vinegar, quinoa or brown rice, and wine, baby, wine. Tastes like strength, tradition and love – week after week.

3. Any creative shabbat rituals?

EYM makes fun of me, but I won’t light the candles until everyone’s quiet and breathes together three times. In that little pocket of silence, something magical happens and it really feels like Shabbat the second I strike the match. But sometimes I ruin the moment by getting pissy at EYM for making farting noises.

4. Shul? With or without the kids? (yes, I know some of you are rabbis)

Notsomuch. Unless there’s a specific reason, like a kid service or a b’nai mitzvah or EYM is sittin’ pretty on the bima doing his turn on the Board of Adjunta. After a long week, Friday evenings are for home, and since I teach Sunday School during the year, Saturday is for rest, not fighting tourists for parking spaces.

Which brings up a point I’d like to expound upon further at some point this summer: Who thinks if Reform and Conservative shuls replaces Sunday School for Saturday children’s programs, everyone might come back to synagogue? I know I would attend Saturday services more regularly if I didn’t have to shlep back and forth both days of the weekend.

5. Traditionally shomer shabbat? If not, what’s your definition/style?

Well, no. I drive if I must, and ride my bike ’cause I wanna. I believe our Creator wants us to rest on the Sabbath in order to enjoy and take in the world. Mostly that means no laundry, dishes, work, blogging, talking about work or blogging and usually no shopping or spending money so we can walk through the wildlife refuge or sit on the beach or hang out in the backyard mimicking birds. But because I’m not so into limitations, sometimes Shabbat is going to “a real movie at a real movie theater” (Little Yenta Girl’s quote) and then looking at shoes. I do believe in the commandment of keeping the Sabbath – if it feels like work, I don’t do it. If cleaning out my closet is creating a feeling of closeness with God, so be it.

6. Favorite shabbat story/book

Ooh, I have a lot of ’em. But this year it’s definitely Shabbat Angels by Maxine Segal Handelman. It’s about how important Shabbat is to the overall shalom bayit (peace at home) but also that it takes effort – it doesn’t just happen on its own. (EYM, the part about bringing flowers to the table is about you. And though this version says nothing about not making farting noises during candlelighting, the original Talmudic story just might.)

And thanks to this meme, I’m also looking forward to reading Homeshuling’s Shabbat book when it comes out in Fall 2011!

7. No seventh question – time to rest.
Homeshuling, I like your style. Y’all go read her answers here!

I’m not much of a tagger, but I’m hitting ModernJewishMom with this one. Youse J-Mamas I didn’t tag, please participate on your own blog and trackback here, or just post in the comments section!

Oh, and yeah, it’s a real t-shirt!

T-Shirt of the Week: Suck it, World Net Daily

The Yenta has been interviewing male feminists all week for the day job and y’know, it just makes me proud that there are such mensches out there.

Could it be that we’re making – *gasp* – social PROGRESS in the country now that we have a president who can spell? Though not everyone is enjoying the trend that even the Girl Scouts are on board with the Communist Lesbianism (or, Lesbian Communism, take your pick) that’s sweeping the nation like the Betty Friedan flu.

In case you didn’t click on that link, WorldNetDaily is a right-wing Christian “news” site that is so patently retarded it cracks my sh*t up constantly.

And btw, hell yeah, it’s real shirt: Buy it from T-ShirtHell.

Dig Jews in Leather?

The motorcyles are coming, the motorcycles are coming…to Savannah! Dudes wrapping leather tefillin wearing leather jackets…the yentas at the JEA are gonna freak, y’all.

From the press release:

Hundreds of Jewish Motorcyclists Coming to Savannah for Annual Ride to Remember

Get your motors running! At 9:30 am on Friday, May 15th, more than 200 Jewish motorcyclists from all over the United States and from places as far away as Israel, Australia and Canada, will depart from the Jewish Educational Alliance (JEA) on their fifth annual Ride to Remember. The ride, a fundraiser for Holocaust remembrance causes, will travel from Savannah to Charleston and back to benefit a planned Holocaust educator’s lending library in Savannah, as well as a project in Charleston. Sponsored by the Jewish Motorcyclists Alliance (JMA), the rides previously have benefited the Paper Clips project in Whitwell, Tennessee, Magen David Adom (Israel’s Red Cross) and the National Holocaust Endowment Fund.

The riders will be arriving in Savannah on Thursday, May 14th where the DeSoto Hilton Hotel downtown will be their main base of operations. They’re hosting a cook-out in Madison Square next to the hotel on Thursday at 6:00 pm.
[Yenta says: BE THERE.]

Commenting on the JMA’s decision to come to Savannah, JEA Executive Director Adam Solender stated: “This is such a unique combination of people joining their passions — motorcycling with Holocaust remembrance. Their mere presence gives us all a reminder that we each must do what we can to learn from the past so that the horrors of the Holocaust never happen again, anywhere!” Lynn Levine, Director of the Savannah Jewish Federation, added: “This ride is an example that as life goes on after the horrors and tragedies of the Holocaust, we can find ways to use enjoyable experiences to remember and learn from the past. We are grateful to the JMA for choosing Savannah and our planned library as one of the beneficiaries of this year’s ride.”

The main event takes place on Friday morning, May 15th, starting at the JEA where the riders will begin assembling between 8 and 8:30 am. [Yenta says: Scaring the neighbors is going to be great fun.] The JEA and Savannah Jewish Federation will host a breakfast and proper send-off for the JMA before they “head out on the highway” at 9:30 am for Charleston.

For more information about this fun-loving group: and

Jews, Art and That Broken Stop Sign From The Corner of 37th & Whitaker

Miriam and Jacob Hodesh, otherwise known as NewMoonofSavannah, freakin’ blow my mind with their creative activism/community building/general awesomeness. They provide biodiesel fuel for the city’s entire fleet of diesel vehicles, they host the monthly hipster flea market Savannah Bazaar and helped organize this year’s Jewish Film Festival, yet they STILL cram more into the hours the rest of use to drink beer and gaze at our navels.

Their latest venture is the redeSIGN Art Project, on display at 312 W. Broughton through Friday. Jake and Miriam collected a bunch of discarded street signs from the City of Savannah, contacted local artists and rented a gallery to display it all. The result:

Beautiful, recycled chaos. My only regret is that no one did anything snarky with one of those “Slow Children At Play” signs.

Monster Madness

rabbiloewThe 400th yahrtzeit of Prague’s most famous rabbi, Judah Loew ben Bezalel, is coming up this summer, and apparently, he’s famous for ALL the wrong reasons.

See, Rav Loew (aka the Maharal of Prague) is the magic man who supposedly raised a silent creature from the dust using a secret word of God with the intention to protect 16th-century Jews in the Prague ghetto from pissed-off misinformed Christians around Eastertime. The legend of the Golem says the good monster did as he was told, but then went apesh*t and destroyed the whole village, so the rabbi removed the ineffable Name and let the soulless thing dissolve back to the dirt from whence it came. Rabbi Loew has been associated with the creation of this meshuggeneh clay servant ever since, which has raised him to folklore status even among Prague’s non-Jews.

But four centuries later, Czech organizers want the commemoration of one of Judaism’s deepest and most prolific thinkers to reflect more than fodder for a Frankenstein movie.

I can totally dig it – nobody wants this brilliant, pious leader reduced to a comic book character. But to reject Rav Loew’s connection to one of the few Jewish legends that’s made it out of the shtetl (well, besides the Biblical ones, anyway) seems like plain old bad marketing. After all, even just the last few years, the Golem’s inspired a best-selling novel (by a Jew, about Jews) and an extremely kickass punk klezmer band. Would it be so wrong to appeal to the the younger, less-religious folk? IMHO, the organizers are missing a real opportunity to educate those who might not buy a ticket to talk about Talmudic law. I’ve already thought of an ad campaign slogan: “Come for the monster, stay for the rabbi.”

I’m just sayin’. JTA reports the full story.

T-Shirt of the Week: I Spit In Your Eye

So Shalom School is almost finished for the year. The kinders and I have covered B’reisheit through the Red Sea, Adam & Eve to Abraham & Sarah to Moses & Zipporah, the major holidays and Aleph-Bet yoga (yes, for real.)

I gently introduced the Holocaust as “something VERY bad that happened when your grandparents were little” for Yom Ha’Shoah and led them with their little fists a’pumpin in several rousing courses of “Am Yisrael Chai” for Yom Ha’tzmaot. Hopefully, I’ve filled their little heads and hearts with enough Jewishy nourishment to last them through the summer.

But with just a couple of lessons left, I’ve found myself running out of ideas. So this week I decided to let my bubbies – God rest their souls – lead the way. Reggie may have been a devout athiest, but the woman taught me all the Yiddish I know, as well as the importance of shouting “Kinainahura!” to ward off bad juju. (Ahem, would that be jewjew?) My other grandmother, Ruth Feinstein, who passed away in 1986, always wore a filigreed gold hamsa “for luck,” she said. “And because you never know. (What in particular it is that we never know she never told me.)

They both taught me the existence of something called “The Evil Eye” – the ability of others to curse you with their negativity, envy or ill will. I definitely inherited this affinity for superstition from both of them and have added to their arsenal of Yiddish epithets and hamsas my own personal Evil Eye weapon, the Stink Eye, which is also useful when see your spouse trying to sneak off with the last of the cake or you catch your children with their elbows on the table at someone else’s home.

I figured my Shalom School students could use a little Old World psychic protection, so yesteday we cut out hamsas (a symbol recognized by both Judaism and Islam) and decorated them with jewels, then practiced making Evil Eyes and Stink Eyes at each other and hollering “Kinainahura!” until the principal came in to see what all the noise was about.

Of course I made sure to tell them that the Talmud says the Evil Eye can only affect you actually believe in it. Bbecause of course, it’s just bubbeminza (Yiddish for “nonsense learned from your grandmother).

But I’ve tacked up my pretty paper hamsa above the door anyway. Because you never know, right?

T-Shirt available from