Welcome the Shabbos Queen

Baking challah: One generation to the next

"When my grandmother found out I was becoming frum, her love didn't diminish an ounce (despite the fact that she lived a different lifestyle)," writes a blogger known as the Itsy Bitsy Balebusta. "When I introduced her to the love of my life she had three questions: Does he love you? Does he respect you? Does he make you happy? That's all that she needed to know. Sure we couldn't eat food from her kitchen, a valued aspect of Portuguese culture, but we're her grandkids and that's all that ever mattered. "The first time my grandmother ever came to my...

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How to stick to your diet – even on Shabbos

How to stick to your diet – even on Shabbos

I have never succeeded at a diet. After watching my weight creep up ever so slowly over the course of 20 years, I decided the time had come “to get serious about a diet” to shed a few pounds. After some six months of pretending to diet, I had managed to gain just two pounds. Then recently I decided “to really get serious.” And this time it worked. For the very first time in my life, I was watching the scale go down. But Shabbos had me scared. I often sit at the table and eat on and on during...

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Ishay Ribo's song about Shabbos

Ishay Ribo's song about Shabbos

A French-Israeli singer by the name of Ishay Ribo has been playing on our living room speakers incessantly for about a week, ever since a few of my kids went to hear him perform at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem. Just about everyone in the family either likes his songs a lot, or at least enough to be accommodating. Ishay Ribo is one of very few singers in Israel who manage to bridge the divide between the secular and religious sectors - which says a lot about his musical style. "His voice is smooth and melodic," writes Gershon Burstyn, "with...

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Lechem Mishneh: Double Shabbos loaves

Lechem Mishneh: Double Shabbos loaves

We don’t write a lot about halachic matters in this blog, but I happen to be studying the halacha of Kiddush and Hamotzi, and I happened to come across a box of books with a book in English called The Radiance of Shabbos, which includes a chapter on Lechem Mishneh, so it seemed appropriate to write down a few points. Why Lechem Mishneh? One of the heavenly miracles that took place on a daily basis during the 40-year sojourn in the desert wilderness was manna, which descended from heaven every morning, to provide that day’s sustenance. On Fridays, a double portion fell, and...

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Renewable Energy by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Renewable Energy by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks The first translation of the Torah into another language – Greek – took place in around the second century BCE, in Egypt, during the reign of Ptolemy II. It is known as the Septuagint, in Hebrew Hashiv’im, because it was done by a team of 70 scholars. The Talmud (Megila 9a), however, says that at various points, the sages at work on the project deliberately mistranslated certain texts because they believed that a literal translation would simply be unintelligible to a Greek readership. One of these texts was the phrase, “On the seventh day, G-d finished...

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