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The Purim Trickster

¡¡ɯıɹnԀ uǝɥɔıןıǝɹℲ ∀ Greetings & Blessings! Today is the joyful holiday of Purim - as jam-packed with mitzvahs as the special three-cornered hamantaschen cookies we eat to remember how the evil Haman, who wanted to destroy the Jewish people, was tricked and defeated. We hear the great story of courage in the Book of Esther, give gifts to the poor, exchange baskets of goodies, and eat the Purim feast. Once, I was having a conversation with some 3rd grade girls. Their teacher brought them to the library where I run my creativity program and asked, "We're studying trickster tales. Could you please tell the girls a Jewish trickster tale?"A Jewish trickster tale? That's an unusual request. I love to encourage children to figure things...

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Pesach Is Coming! Passover Checklists and Tips

The waft of the frying latkes of Hanukkah is barely behind us.The breeze in the trees of Tu B'Shevat have just blown by.It's not even time to pack the Shaloch Manos baskets of PurimBut the whispers and echoes of anxiety of Passover are hovering ever-closer. STOP! Hold it right there. This is the year things are going to be different. Preparing Peacefully for a Panic-Free Passover Together, we are going into the preparations for Pesach with joyful determination, meaningful mindfulness, and the happy hum of organized, purposeful Passover preparations. Really. Over the next few blog posts I'll be sharing Passover Tips & Tricks, Meditations for those overwhelming moments, and Pesach Checklists galore. I wouldn't call myself a maven.I'm not the...

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A Purim Miracle - When I Almost Lost My Life

A Purim Miracle This coming Shabbos, we bless the new month of Adar. A few years ago on Rosh Chodesh Adar, I was rushing from simcha to simcha. Rosh Chodesh celebrates the new Hebrew month and Adar brings in the spiritual energy of great joy and happiness for the entire month. On that lovely day I was trying to show up to say Mazel Tov at two bar mitzvahs, an uspshernish (birthday party for a friend’s 3 year old boy), and also to go to a special dinner where my husband, Rabbi Shagalov would be the guest speaker. I also had to complete a special mitzvah that I do once a month helping a woman who is mentally ill, visit her children which requires about 3 hours...

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3 Ways to Grow a Miracle - Tu B'Shevat & Shabbos Shira

 Tu B'hevat & Shabbos Shira Last Shabbos was such a special day - a triple-header of spiritual energy for us to bring into this week! We celebrated the ever holy and peaceful Sabbath and Tu B'Shevat, the New Year of the Trees, plus, it was Shabbos Shira, the Sabbath of Song. Why is it called the Sabbath of Song? The Torah portion for the week contains the song that Moshe and the Jewish people sang after Hashem saved them from the Egyptians in the Sea of Reeds. Everyone sang this song – even the little babies! The sea split miraculously, allowing the Jews to walk through on dry land, but that’s not all – there were many, many miracles! Not only was...

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