11 October 2017

Shemini Atzeret board

Throughout Sukkot we hint at our desire for rain through such rituals as the water libation practiced in the Temple and the four species, particularly the willow, which represents the association of plant growth and water. Continuing with the water theme, a particular feature of Shemini Atzeret is the prayer for rain, thus officially beginning Israel’s rainy season. Since the land of Israel relies so heavily on substantial rain for its crops, the prayer for rain is recited with a special plaintive melody, and the cantor dons a white kittel (robe), as on Yom Kippur.
The prayer for rain corresponds to the prayer for dew (tal) that is said on the first day of Passover. Since the world is judged for rain at this time, according to the Talmud, it is proper to pray for rain at this time of the year. The prayer gives expression to the natural anxiety felt in Israel for the seasonal rain, the absence of which means famine, thirst, and disease. The prayer is delayed until Shemini Atzeret because it should not be invoked when fine weather is needed to enable us to dwell in the sukkah (Talmud, Sukkah28b).
The liturgy on Shemini Atzeret introduces the following phrase to be recited henceforth, until Passover, in the Amidah prayer–masheev ha’rua’ch u’moreed hagashem, “Who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.”
Wind and rain brown paper board

There are six parts of the prayer for rain, each of which refers to events involving water in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and the Twelve Tribes. Here is a translation of the prayer for rain:
Our God and God of our ancestors:
Remember Abraham who flowed to You like water.
You blessed him like a tree planted by streams of water.
You rescued him from fire and water.
He passed Your test by planting good deeds by every source of water.
For Abraham’s sake, do not keep back water.
Remember Isaac, whose birth was foretold when Abraham offered the angels a little water.
You asked his father to spill his blood like water.
In the desert Isaac dug and found wells of water.
For Isaac’s sake, do not keep back water.
Remember Jacob, who crossed the Jordan’s water.
He bravely rolled the stone off the mouth of the well of water.
He wrestled with an angel made of fire and water,
And therefore You promised to be with him through fire and water.
For Jacob’s sake do not keep back water.
Remember Moses, who was drawn in a reed basket out of the Nile’s water.
Who helped Jethro’s daughters: He drew water and gave the sheep water.
He struck the rock and out came water.
For Moses’ sake do not hold back water!
Remember Aaron, the High Priest, who, on Yom Kippur, washed himself five times with water,
He prayed and was sprinkled with purifying water,
He kept apart from a people who were as unstable as water.
For Aaron’s sake do not hold back water.
Remember the Twelve Tribes whom
You brought through the divided waters;
For whom You sweetened bitter water;
Their descendants’ blood was spilled like water.
Turn to us, God, who are surrounded by troubles like water.
For the Jewish people’s sake, do not hold back water.
You are Adonai, our God
Who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.
For blessing and not for curse. Amen.
For life and not for death. Amen.
For plenty and not for lack. Amen.
Excerpted from Every Person’s Guide to Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah


Every Person's Guide to Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah

07 October 2017

Burlap Six Pointed Star Sukkah Decoration

Sukkah Decorations to adorn your Sukkah. The main commandment during the holiday of Sukkot is to live in the temporary hut known as a “Sukkah” for the entire duration of the holiday. The general practice is to live in the Sukkah as one does in his house. This is the reason why Jews eat in the Sukkah and many also sleep and even work in the Sukkah during the holiday. Because of this tradition, it is common for Sukkahs to be brightly decorated. Sukkah decorations include posters, chains of different types, paper and foil fruit, greetings cards and colored lights.
SIX POINTED STAR DECORATION ON BURLAP
Have you ever thought about painting on burlap for your decorations? I have and that is what it resulted.
The supplies  are items we always use for any art project involving paint. To minimize clean up and the number of times we run to the kitchen or bathroom we have the following items handy. A roll of paper towel or painter’s rags.
We purchased the burlap cloth from the craft store. But honestly you can reuse burlap you have lying around the house (from coffee grounds, produce sacks, gifts etc)

Crochet lantern

Looking for an original and cheerful lantern for your Sukkah? Crochet a lantern! Very nice to hang it in your Sukkah, or even in your garden. The possibilities are endless.
The pattern is just too much fun to use only for such occasions. And the effect is even more spectacular, if you use 2 or 3 different colors.
The colors coral, ivory and mint are perfect for this project and are great in combination with the beautiful cotton tones.
Crochet cotton lantern
You need:

– Ring of 15 cm diameter.
– Crochet hook 4.
– Scissors.
– Needle for weaving loose ends.
- yarn (different colors)

Dimensions
Length varies from 22 to 26 cm.
The pattern is dividable by 8, always crochet a multitude of 8 double crochets. This way, the pattern can easily be adjusted to larger or smaller rings.
How to:

Work 13 x 8 double crochets onto the ring
To do this, guide the thread underneath the ring and raise it over the front, then pull it through the loops on the crochet hook.
Repeat this around the entire ring, in a multitude of 8.

Paper Plate Six Ointed Star Yarn Art for your Sukkah

You can come across some fun 6 pointed stars paper plates at your local shop and being struck with the idea of how to turn them into this gorgeous paper plate 6 pointed star yarn art. Not only is this a perfect activity for the school months but it’s great for beginning sewing and fine motor skills for kids.

                     Make Paper Plate 6 pointed star Yarn Art


You need:
– paper plates 

– push pin
– steel yarn needle (These don’t have as sharp of a tip as normal needles.)
– yarn (color of your choice)
– scissors
– tape

1. Start by using your push pin to poke holes in all the end points and intersecting points of the star on your paper plate.
2. Cut off a big piece of your yarn. Thread one end through your yarn needle and tie a knot at the base of the needle. Then tie a double knot at the end of the yarn.
3. Thread the needle and yarn through the center hole in the plate on the front of the plate, then use the holes you poked and the pattern on your paper plate to thread through the star  pattern. You will end up going through some of the holes a few times to get the pattern complete. When you reach the end of your star pattern cut off any excess yarn and tape the end of the yarn onto the paper plate.


Seven Species Sukkah Decoration

Celebrate Sukkot in style with this  banner depicting the seven species of Israel.Black and white printed on a rich brown kraft card stock. You can use any store’s brown bags too.
Seven Species hanging decorations- banner


03 October 2017

An easy DIY Sukkot decoration

The Seven Species
“A land of wheat, and barley, and vines; of fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey.”
The Seven Species (Shivat Haminim) are wheat, barley, grapes (wine), figs, pomegranates, olives, and honey (made from dates) .Mentioned in Deuteronomy as the main produce of the Land of Israel. They are also significant because the bikkurim, or first fruits, tithe for the Holy Temple in Jerusalem derived from these seven agricultural products.

Make your own “7 Species” decoration
To assemble your Seven Species sukka decoration:
• Affix the entire cover page or printouts of circles to a piece of card stock or light cardboard.
• Cut out the four circles.
• Glue, back to back, circle A-1 to circle A-2, circle B-1 to circle B-2.
• Cut along the dotted lines.
• Slip the slit on the A circle into the slit on the B circle.
• Glue a string along the center where the two circles meet.
• Hang the Seven Species decoration in your sukka!

 from: newjerseyjewishnews

02 October 2017

DIY chalk lantern jar for Sukkot

During the week long festival of Sukkot, Jews live and eat in huts called Sukkahs. These huts mimic what farmers slept in during ancient harvests and are a way to honor the 40 years they lived in the desert. What are some ways to celebrate?

Make a sukkah: The traditional hut is sturdy enough to last all week, has a thatched roof made of leaves and sticks so you can see the stars.
And decorate it!
Eat and sleep in the sukkah! Traditionally, you can eat every meal and sleep in the sukkah too. (Weather permitting.)

Have a simple DIY chalk markers mason jar project to hag in your  wonderful Sukkah.

CHALK MARKERS LANTERN JAR
To start this chalk paint mason jar project and create your Sukkah lanterns first start with the materials list. Choose to your taste and color choices.
Materials:
Clear glass mason jars

Chalk Markers. 


Stationery Island chalk markers 3mm

27 September 2017

Yom Kippur Scapegoat Activity

The name "Yom Kippur" means "Day of Atonement," and that pretty much explains what the holiday is. It is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year. In Days of Awe, G-d inscribes all of our names. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed. This day is, essentially, your last appeal, your last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate your repentance and make amends. 
Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d, not for sins against another person. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible.
Yom Kippur is a complete Sabbath; no work can be performed on that day. It is well-known that you are supposed to refrain from eating and drinking (even water) on Yom Kippur. It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur. 

Yom Kippur Scapegoat Activity

The strangest element of the service on Yom Kippur, set out in Acharei Mot,1 was the ritual of the two goats, one offered as a sacrifice, the other sent away into the desert “to Azazel.” They were brought before the High Priest, to all intents and purposes indistinguishable from one another: they were chosen to be as similar as possible to one another in size and appearance. Lots were drawn, one bearing the words “To the L‑rd,” the other, “To Azazel.” The one on which the lot “To the L‑rd” fell was offered as a sacrifice. Over the other the High Priest confessed the sins of the nation and it was then taken away into the desert hills outside Jerusalem where it plunged to its death. Tradition tells us that a red thread would be attached to its horns, half of which was removed before the animal was sent away. If the rite had been effective, the red thread would turn to white.

Consider an activity for kids who are exploring Yom Kippur liturgy or studying the parsha Acharei Mot.
So, we have to stick our leftover mistakes on a goat which will be “sent away.” We could just write something on a paper note and press it on a goat poster, or use “Al Chet” (which means missed mark, Hebrew analog for “sin”) cardboard pieces slapped on the back sticky side which are far more satisfying, and private as well. Don’t nobody know what’s written on the opposite side.
The scapegoat in the liturgy isn’t a individual thing, it’s a community thing. So, this would be a good activity for a classroom or the family togeteher. Participants write at least one way they “missed the mark” in the last year.
Kids (and adults) write their mistake on the back of slips of paper. This ties in to teaching kids about the Vidui section of the Yom Kippur liturgy, with all that weird and unforgettable chest beating. 

You need:
a paper goat drawing to paint or print and cover it with adhesive plastic paper.
I printed the goat on four A4 papers, put the papers together, cut out its borders.
Then, put the goat on a larger blue cardborad and tie a red ribbon on the goat neck.

Feel free to print my PDF template of the goat.

LINKS:
eScapegoat app from G-dCast Scapegoat ritual from MyJewishLearning.com Yom Kippur All Year Long from MyJewishLearning.com

 The Laws & Customs of Yom Kippur

19 September 2017

Whishing you all Shanà Tovà!

The Jewish new year is not just a time to renew our resolve to lose another fifteen pounds. Rather, it’s the time when our fate stands in the balance as G‑d reviews our past year and decides whether or not to renew our lease on His planet. As such, Jewish greetings for this time of year (the Jewish New Year is in the fall) reflect our prayers for a good, sweet year up ahead.
The catch-all greeting you can use for the entire season is “Shanah tovah” (שנה טובה), which means “Good year.” The word “u’metuka” (ומתוקה), and sweet, is sometimes appended to the end.
SHANA' TOVA'

High Holidays observances reminder 
Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the universe, the day G‑d created Adam and Eve, and it’s celebrated as the head of the Jewish year. It begins at sundown on the eve of Tishrei 1 (Sept. 20, 2017) and ends after nightfall on Tishrei 2 (Sept. 22, 2017).
http://www.aish.com/
 

Gifts for Rosh Hashana, colorful pomegranate

There is a common practice to eat a pomegranate on Rosh Hashanah, as its abundant seeds symbolize our hopes that we will come before G‑d with abundant merits.Of course, the pomegranates we have today generally have a bitter, pungent taste. It appears that in Baghdad, where the Ben Ish Chai lived, they had sweet pomegranates. In any event, in light of the custom to refrain from bitter foods on Rosh Hashanah, it would seem proper to dip the pomegranate in sugar to at least diminish its pungency
Small clay pomegranates - hand painted


 Create colorful pomegranates made with  air dry clay. 
You need:
Air dry clay
Acrylic paint
Transparent gloss spray

There are many different varieties of pomegranate. All varieties love the heat, as much as you can give them, but some varieties have a higher tolerance to cold temperatures than others. So, before you purchase and plant pomegranate plants in your landscape or garden, make sure the varieties you choose will stand up to the average low temperatures your area experiences during winter. In general, winter low temperatures should be above 7 degrees F for the cold hard varieties, and above 12 degrees F for the frost sensitive varieties.
Here's a breakdown of what you need to know...

http://www.wilsonbrosgardens.com/how-to-plant-a-pomegranate-tree.html






Pomegranates: Old Age Remedy for Todays Diseases (Food and Beverage Consumption and Health)

Clay Apples festive decor

Today we are sharing how I made some easy and cute apples to be used as hanging ornaments or just gifts on Rosh haShanà. They are easy and quick to make, and can be done with a group of children. Adults will enjoy making these as well.
APPLES 


The supplies to make these are:
Air Drying Modeling Material
Acrylic Paints, Paint brush
Deco Art Glue, Sealer,Finish in Gloss
Twine
The process is fairly simple.
Model some clay into an apple, help yourself with a paper model, let it sit a few minutes then cut out the apple shape. While the clay is drying but still moist, cut the hole on the top of each apple. Let the apples dry.
Brush off any dust, and paint. Add a final coat of Sealer to give the apples some shine and protection, but that is optional.
I hope that you are inspired to go. Thanks for stopping by.

Decorative clay fish and pomegranate

There is a tradition at Rosh Hashanah to eat symbolic foods (simanim) meant to help ensure a good new year. This list blends both Ashkenazic (Eastern European) and Sephardic (Mediterranean) traditions and includes recipe suggestions for integrating symbolic foods Fish, too, can be a delicious and symbolic addition to the two-day holiday.
Fish symbolize fertility, prosperity and abundance.
The rimon, or pomegranate, is special for many reasons. It is one of the Seven Species of Israel and has traditionally been used as a "new fruit" for the Shehechiyanu blessing (celebrating new and unusual experiences) on Rosh Hashanah. But there's another link between pomegranates and the Jewish New Year just as the fruits are full of seeds, we hope we'll be similarly full of merits in the coming year.
We decided to make some hanging clay fish and pomegranate 
Air Dry Clay Fish and Pomegranate Decor 


Material:
-Air Dry Clay
-Wax paper
-Rolling pin
-Acrylic paint
-Twine
How to make air dry clay  decor:
First, line your work space with wax paper. I flattened a large chunk of air dry clay on top of it, and then covered it with an additional piece of wax paper to keep it from sticking.  After you cut out the shapes, if you have uneven areas or sharp edges, put your finger in a little bit of water and lightly smooth it over the surface of the clay. The clay must dry for 24-48 hours. It helps to flip it over halfway so that it dries all the way through.

Once dry, decor and paint your fish and pomegranate.







 

Seder Moed: Rosh Hashana/Yoma/Succah: 003



 






Pébéo air dry clay- 1,5 kg

18 September 2017

Pinecone apple craft for Rosh HaShanà

I know that a pinecone craft may sound more of a winter activity but there is so much more you can turn a pinecone into: owls or…apples.It’s just a matter of color and leaf  and you can easily have an apple instead of a pinecone. If you want a yellow apple the only thing to change is the color.
                              Pinecone Apple Craft

Materials: pinecones, paint, hot glue, green felt pieces.
1: Gather a few pinecones. If you can’t find any pine trees near your house.

2: Paint your pinecones. We used red paint but yellow or green will also work.
3: Cut out tiny leaves from green felt or paper.
5: Glue the leaves to the sticks.








09 September 2017

Wood Decorative Apple for Rosh haShanà

Apples and honey: For Ash­kenazic Jews, these words are an inseparable pairing. We dip a slice of apple in honey to express our hopes for a sweet and fruitful year.
Why were apples and honey chosen for this custom?
It’s not because of what Adam and Eve did in eating from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden; the Bible never identifies the forbidden fruit. More likely, apples were selected because in ancient times they became a symbol of the Jewish people in relationship to G.d. In Song of Songs, we read, “As the apple is rare and unique among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved amongst the maidens of the world.” In medieval times apples were considered so special that individuals would use a sharp utensil or their nails to hand-carve their personal hopes and prayers into the apple skins before they were eaten.
Neither the Bible nor the Talmud dictates the minhag, or custom, of dipping apples in honey. Traditionally, as early as the 7th century, it was customary to wish someone, “Shana Tova Umetukah” (A Good and Sweet Year), and honey ,whether from dates, figs, or apiaries , being the most prevalent sweetener in the Jewish world, was the most available “sweet” for dipping purposes. And as for the biblical description of Israel as a land flowing with “milk and honey,” the Torah is alluding to a paste made from overripe dates, not honey from beehives.

May your year be sweet, fruitful, and filled with contentment and promise.







WOOD DECORATIVE APPLE
 An apple turned from holly wood. It's a pretty simple project for the home Rosh ha Shanà decor in between simple, easy and creative projects.
Making decorations for your home doesn’t need to be difficult, take up a lot of your time or money. Many times the best decorations are the ones you find right under your nose, or behind the garage. That’s where this Wooden Apple started.
The woodscrew chuck is a most useful piece of equipment and can be used to good effect to make wooden fruit.
We prefer the stalks of both apple and pear to leave the fruit at an angle, and this factor influences the chucking techniques. This method means that slightly longer stock than normal is required, but I am quite happy to waste a little wood to make the fruit more natural-looking.
Choice of wood
Exotic hardwoods can produce stunning grain patterns, but  the cost of such species can be prohibitive, particularly in the early learning stage, when mistakes are not unusual. Native hedgerow and garden trees or shrubs can also produce dramatic grain. Yew wood,pine, cherry and holly are eminently suitable, as are spalted woods, particularly beech.

photos from "Woodcraft"
Making Wooden Fruit
Method
Taking light cuts with the roughing-out gouge, reduce the stock to the suggested 70mm diameter. The profiling can now commence at the open end (the stalk end), using a 10mm spindle gouge. A rolling action is required to form the rounded-over section, merging into a swinging, scooping action to form the undercut profile. At a distance of 70mm from the open end, size in with a parting tool to a diameter of approximately 19mm. The remainder of the profiling down to the depth of the sizing cut can now be completed with the same tool. Before reverse-chucking it is necessary to sand and polish the completed section, and also to drill the 3mm hole to accommodate the stalk.




Koren Sacks Rosh HaShana Mahzor UK Edition: Standard Size by Jonathan Sacks (2011-08-11)

24 August 2017

Birkas Habayit - ברכת הבית - Blessing of the home

The Birkat Habayit is perhaps the most popular blessing in the Jewish world, appearing as a hanging amulet inside the entrance of many houses of Jews of all streams.
The theurgical power of scriptural verse is one very significant element that distinguishes Jewish prayer from other literary prayer praxes. At least three verses seems apropos to me. The first two : Exodus 25:8 associates ones own house with the archetypal mishkan, the dwelling place intended for the shekhina (Divine Presence). The second verse, from Proverbs 24:3-4, is prescriptive. If you ask for an accompanying verse from the Tanach to the popular Blessing for the Home you can think of  the verse of blessing given by Bilaam the prophet in Numbers 24:5 upon seeing with his own eyes the wandering camp of the Israelites. These three verses, I think, help to ground the intention of the blessing in the context of the Jewish imagination.
The provenance and original authorship of the formula is unknown.
Birkat habayit:
Bezeh haššshaˁar lo yavo tzaˁar.
Bezot haddirah lo tavo tzarah.
Bezot haddelet lo tavo bahalah.
Bezot hammaḥlaqah lo tavo maḥloqet.
Bezeh hammaqom tehi b'rakhah v'shšalom.


Blessing for the home:
Let no sadness come through this gate.
Let no trouble come to this dwelling.
Let no fear come through this door.
Let no conflict be in this place.
Let this home be filled with the blessing of joy and peace. 


The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season

Tefilat Shemoneh Esrei V'yosodot Ha-emunah: The Eighteen Blessings and Jewish Faith

Jewish Star of David - Blessing for Home Good Luck Wall Decor.
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