A visit with Abbi, and the bug in the challah dough

What I’ve been up to this week:

  1. Met Commenter Abbi in the park. Her children are so sweet! (Sorry about the photo quality–I can’t get through to Canon about repairing the camera.) I was glad for an excuse to get out of the house and socialize. On a related note, I don’t understand how Israeli mothers manage to spend every afternoon in the park and still get their kids into bed at a reasonable hour.
  2. Got a new closet installed, leading to a major reorganization of stuff. Anybody want lighting equipment the electrician had me buy when we moved in four years ago? The contractor had already bought the identical items. Thinking about that electrician still gives me palpitations. I once heard that Jews should never become politicians or electricians.
  3. Baked challah with Mimi–I hope one of us will post more on this. While kneading the dough later in the afternoon my daughter (14) saw a bug jumping in, but we could not locate it. Whole bugs can’t be nullified by 60 times the amount of kosher food, but since it’s possible that the bug jumped out the rabbi said to go ahead and bake it.  Don’t tell my Shabbat guests.
  4. Held the first meeting of our new writing group, also with Mimi. Prepared the second.
  5. Went chug-hopping with Y., my 7-year-old. (chugim = afterschool activities.) The pretentious science chug involved too much arts and crafts. I thought ju-jitsu would be the winner because of the climbing, crawling, and somersaulting, but Y pronounced it boring. Y chose basketball, the last chug we tried, and the cheapest. It’s run by Elitzur, an organization that promotes sports in the religious community in Israel.
  6. Took pictures at the shmitah store for an update. Fortunately, my camera decided to cooperate.I spoke to two farmers who happened to be visiting. Look for those post(s) next week.
  7. Prepared a shiur on Ki Tavo, this week’s Torah portion. I decided to examine previous mentions of maaser, tithing, in the Torah. There are three types of tithes: one for the Levites who guard the Temple, even though they are more famous for singing; one that the owners may consume but only in Jerusalem (they can also redeem it for cash to be spent on food in Jerusalem), and one for the poor including the stranger, widow and orphan.
  8. Thought a lot about Rosh Hashana preparations. We don’t go for pineapple kugel and honey chicken; spicy chicken and potatoes make my family happiest. We will also have sweet challah, honeycake, fish and matzah balls (because they are round).
Shabbat shalom.


  1. mother in israel says

    Thanks for your comments, Leora. The repairman said that that part has a lifetime guarantee, and I should do it here in Israel. But they could charge me for labor.

  2. First and foremost, hello to Abbi!
    You don’t look like how I have you pictured in my head. But then, one never does.
    Thanks for the bit of d’var torah; will we get more?
    Good luck with your camera. I’ve had digital cameras fixed, one by Kodak and one by Canon. In both cases, they charged about $100 (I had to send them into the manufacturer). In our throwaway world, sometimes it’s easier to buy new than to fix.

  3. I think a key to your answering your question about kids and afternoon park visits is that Israeli moms / parents may not have remotely similar ideas to yours about a “reasonable hour” for kids to go to bed.

  4. yay!
    i thought the pic was mitooshtash for security reasons. :D.
    We had a great time as well! It was fun to meet you, Mom and you’re kids are really cute And i’m so proud of myself that I made it back and forth and didn’t get extremely lost.
    Parks- we actually do try to make to a bit of park before dinner. But there’s one right across the street or down the block. It’s usually a quick half hour run around. I generally try to be home by 5:45- 6 and then start the dinner/bath/bed process. My kids are in bed usually 7:30-8. We even managed to get home by 6:30 the other day, which i was really impressed with as well.

  5. Lion in Zion says

    “Whole bugs can’t be nullified by 60 times the amount of kosher food, but since it’s possible that the bug jumped out the rabbi said to go ahead and bake it.”
    i’m sure it would have gotten all squooshed up during the kneading. if not, in case a guest finds just tell him it started out as a raisin challah.

  6. Lion in Zion says

    waiting for more שמיטה posts

  7. Wow, you’ve acoomplished a lot!

  8. Re what to make for Rosh Hashanna– I suggest Gribenes for a memorable meal.

  9. Hi Abbi. Your kids are cute.
    Sorry about your camera. My computer just had techiyat hametim, but I’m afraid this might not last.

  10. mother in israel says

    Barzilai, my mother a”h made them, but not specifically for RH. Liked your post.

  11. My kids meet there friends in the park in the late afternoon. It’s right across the street. I sometimes go as well and always marvel at how “hopping” the place is. It’s a great way to end the day. I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

  12. SL- thanks. I just made a really good fruited acorn squash for shabbat if anybody is interested in the recipe. Is there going to a be a KCC for the chagim?

  13. Thank you, and a KVT.

  14. Didn’t understand the problem about parks.
    If you take children to part they get excercise and have fun especially after being cooped up all day in school or kindergarten.
    After park (which one leaves at any time appropriate to yourself), kids are tired and will sleep well!

  15. One Shabbat, I tried to bake my own challah with my kids. it turned out like a rock hard cookie. Since then I’ve made up my mind that it’s best to stick to buying th wonderfully baked challah from the bakery.

  16. mother in israel says

    Sharon, it takes a while to get the hang of making challah. So if you want to learn, expect to spend a few weeks experimenting. Or take a shortcut and learn from an experienced friend. At any rate, there’s nothing wrong with buying challah!
    Keren, I’m just wondering when they do all the things I am doing in the afternoons.