The world is a wonderful, if very wacky, place to be.

Posts tagged ‘Passover’


Now that things are settling down after Passover I can show you what that giant papier-mâché project became.

Not bad for some paper and glue, eh?

It’s our sefirat HaOmer calendar. The day after the Passover seder, we began to count the days and weeks to the next holiday, Shavuot, just like the Torah tells us to do in Leviticus. Each night, Moses goes up one step on Mount Sinai. Yes, it’s historically inaccurate, but it gets the idea across: the freedom of Passover culminates with the acceptance of the Torah on Shavuot. Just as we see ourselves as leaving Egypt, so too we stand at Sinai and accept the Torah.

Here is a close up of the Tablets of the Law:

Rectangular, just like the Talmud says. I mean the Jewish Talmud, not the Korean one.

And Moses, too:

We still need to number the stairs. I was hoping to get away without it, but now every time someone bumps against the table poor Moses falls off and it’s getting to be a pain to put him back on the correct step.


Oops, I did it again.

I missed that fever + red spots with white centers = chicken pox. For the fourth time.

In my defense, we were getting ready for Passover, Sagitta only had a mild case, and she was playing happily the whole time (if the kid can play, she’s just not that sick. This is a general principle). Granted, that’s pretty much what happened the other times, too. We diagnosed Volucris retroactively from a photograph when I found out that Lyra’s bug bites weren’t bug bites. Aquila’s case was only caught because Cloud Man noticed the red bump behind her ear the next day.

Once I put the pieces together, I took Sagitta to Dr. Shalev, who confirmed my suspicion. Of course, by then, she wasn’t contagious anymore.

Almost all better.

I am really, incredibly, thankfully glad that I was too caught up with Passover preparations to visit either of my friends who just gave birth. Sometimes, missing the forest for the trees actually does work in my favor.

Happy Passover

What an exhausting day!

We just left Egypt and it was such a whirlwind that our bread didn’t even get a chance to leaven, there are no pecans to be found anywhere for our Haroset, and if you think that it’s easy to pack up even a slave household when Moses says, “it’s time to go!” you’ve got another thing coming.

Anyone have a spare camel? The sheep refuse to carry the gold.

The good news? We are leaving slavery. We are free to serve our G-d, and He’s taking us home.

Have a happy and healthy Passover!

In Every Generation

I’ve fallen a little bit behind on the papier-mâché project (it’s not a lampshade or a serving dish, and yesterday we painted it green), but I wanted to take a moment to show you what we did last year.

Everyone knows that the Passover Hagaddah states that in every generation, each person is required to see himself as though he personally has gone out of Egypt.

In the generation of photoshop, it’s never been easier.


First, I searched through google images until I found a large image of Egypt. I chose this one, because it has a pyramid, as well as the modern city of Cairo in the background. There are tons of images out there, just make sure you start with a big file, because it’s always easier to scale images down than to scale them up, and I wanted this for printed out for the seder.

Then I went and found an image of sheep as well as Egyptian gold.

The grandparents were coming for Seder, and I asked them for a photo of themselves, dressed up. True to their awesome selves, they obliged.

Then I took a snapshot of all of us. This wasn’t as easy, because I had to set the camera on a timer and get everyone, including a little baby, into position. Cloud Man had just gotten off an airplane, and it was three days to seder and an hour to Shabbat, but he’s a sport and we managed. I had Volucris hold an empty basket. Then I photoshopped the whole thing (actually, I use Gimp because it’s free, specifically the scissors tool to cut and the layers function to paste, and scaled downloaded photos so that they would fit), and created the image.

Because if God had not taken us out of Egypt, we would still be slaves there:

Bowls, Paper, and Glue.

It’s a few weeks to Passover, when every single room in the house must be cleaned and the kitchen practically sterilized to get ready for the holiday. And I have a toddler who absconds with pita and sandwiches, spreading leavened bread in her wake.

That makes it the perfect time of year to start the messiest project I can think of. If you are new to the blog (welcome!) then you probably think I’m nuts. If you’ve been reading for a while, then this sort of crazy will be no surprise.

Remember this?

As I mentioned in the comments, this is one giant stainless steel Ikea bowl (you don’t have one? You must have one if you want to make truly excellent potato kugel. Go and get one, I’ll convince my sister the Rebbetzin to guest post with her recipe. You won’t want to miss that). We stuck a medium size glass bowl from Sheshet, the Israeli chain store, on top of the Ikea bowl.

And then we covered the whole setup with a plastic bag and masking tape, to protect the bowls:

Even Sagitta helped.

And then we papier-mâchéd.

Wear old clothes or a smock.


To papier-mâché, you need paper and glue. I use torn newspaper strips from the weekly circular that is delivered to our home free every Thursday for this very purpose (the rest of the city gets a copy, too. Apparently papier-mâché is popular around here). We rip the paper up into long strips, about 3 cm wide. You can make glue out of flour and water, but I want this to be useable over Passover, so I used plain white glue diluted with water. I eyeball this dilution, but I like the glue to be just a little runny.

Dip the strips into glue, and press them on your frame. I like to put the strips on the frame vertically in one layer, then horizontally the next layer to make the final product nice and strong (remind me to tell you about the time we overdid it on a pinata for Volucris’s birthday. It wasn’t pretty).

So now, some nine or ten layers later, we have this:

It should be reasonably dry come Sunday.


Now some kids love papier-mâché; there is something about getting your hands all glue covered and sticky that promotes well being and peace as well as excellent conversation. Other kids, however, would rather stick their hands into a viper pit. Those are the ones who like to rip the paper and take the photographs of the process and keep their hands clean and dry. Before you invest in a giant project it’s best to know which kind of kid you have, or you’ll never hear the end of it.

I have both kinds of kid, so I now have a papier-mâché covered bowls, a lovely stack of paper for tomorrow’s part of the project, and photographs to illustrate the blog. Stay tuned. If the layers are dry enough tomorrow, we’ll do the next part and you’ll see where we are going with this.

Tal-Mu-Deh… the Grown Up Version?

One of our friends in Korea has the Korean Talmud for Grown Ups. When he sends me more information, I will post.

In other news, we are getting ready for Pesach.

Do you think Sagitta grabbed the scissors in order to trim her bangs? I just can’t bring myself to cut her hair, even if she chronically pulls out every ponytail holder, clip and barrette I put in. On the one hand, it makes her look like a terrier and obscures her vision. On the other hand… I’m just not ready to cut it. Maybe there’s a clip I haven’t tried yet. And if I wait, eventually her hair will just catch behind her ears.

Comment if you have a suggestion, I’m willing to try anything. Except the obvious.

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