Monday, September 18, 2017

An Interview with my Brother! Challah and Cherry Blossoms Guest Interview

This interview took place live on Skype! My brother Jim is in the U.S.  I am in Japan.
I wasn`t quite sure what the interview would be about when we started.  Jim was recently interviewed on his local radio station in NY about a walk he  particpated in just last week for Alzheimers, in honor of our mom who passed away two years ago.  So as I have been doing some interviews on my blog, I thought it would be nice to do an interview with my very own brother, while he was making the circuit!
When I asked about the walk, Jim turned the interview around and asked me a question--he asked how that connected with my blog and the themes of Challah and Cherry blossoms.
So I went with another line of questions, and asked him about.... Yes!
Challah , and Cherry blossoms!
It turned out to be a nice time to wish each other a Happy New Year, and to remember our mom who passed away two years ago. She loved cherry blossoms .. ..
Abbreviations used are Sh=Shayndel, J=Jim.  My brother calls me `Jo`.

Shayndel:  Hi Jim!
  Welcome to Challah and Cherry Blossoms.  It`s an honor to have you here.

Jim:  Hi  Jo.   Thank you very much.

S:  Jim,  I`ll start by asking,  do you have any memories of Challah from our childhood? 

J:  At any Jewish Holiday celebration there was always a challah.  But I don`t think they were homemade.

S: Oh!   I don`t even remember there was challah, so thanks for sharing that memory. 

What about cherry blossoms.  What comes to mind when you think of cherry blossoms?

J:  My times in college in Washington D.C.

S:  Did you know the cherry trees there come from a gift of friendship from Japan...

J:    I didn`t know they were a gift from Japan!
Now when I see them, I will always think how they came from Japan.

S:  Jim,  I know in this past year you have taken on a lot of new challenges...  as we are coming to a New Year with Rosh Hashanah this week, do you have anything that you are looking to better about yourself in the New Year, challenges, etc?

J:  Continuing to open up my heart in new ways, take one day at a time, stay positive,
and always keeping love for mom alive every day.
And to have lots of Challah and honey to start the New Year.

S:  That`s great! So Jim, you will be visiting Japan for the first time next year, and at Cherry Blossoms time!

J:  Yes! And now I remember, Mom used to love cherry blossoms in Japan.  It was one of her favorite things about visiting.  The best was seeing her daughter and granddaughter and son-in-law but then after that it was the Cherry Blossoms!

S:  She loved the Cherry Blossoms! That was so special.  
You will love them too...(note to readers, our mom passed away two years ago, and until the last years of her life, she always came to Japan to visit us every year at Cherry Blossoms season!)

This was great having you, Jim, thanks so much!!
We look forward to seeing you in Japan for the Cherry Blossoms!

And, to round out the interview,

Please accept this round challah as a thanks for being our guest here today.  It`s a sweet raisin challah, for a sweet New Year!  You should receive it on time for Rosh Hashanah.

Sorry though, it`s not homemade!

round Challah from Challah Connection!

J:  Thank you Jo!   Happy New Year.

S:  Happy New Year!

Link notes:
Chabad article HERE are some reasons for having a round challah 
on the New Year !

Sunday, September 17, 2017

SHALOM on a Typhoon Day, fifth Challah Cover, Getting to know You

Challah and Cherry Blossoms Diary

Today home on a typhoon day,  sewing the fifth challah cover.
The Hebrew letters on this Challah Cover say...
As I am sewing, it struck me how this year of studying the Torah has  been a year of getting to know our Creator, giver of the Torah. 

I was feeling happy and peaceful at the thought, and a song came to mind.  Not a Hebrew song, not exactly a worship song.  But rather a song from a musical.  Do you know this song?  It is called `Getting to Know You`.  It`s from... oh, I am laughing now after the fact to  realize what musical it is from...

it`s from `The King and I`!!!

Yes, reading God`s Torah is getting to know Him, getting to know more about Him.  Learning to Love Him, seeing the wonders he does and most of all,  the wonder of Who He Is!

getting to know you , getting to feel free and easy,, while I am with you, getting to know what you see! haven`t you noticed, suddenly I`m bright and breezy?!...
because of  all the beautiful and new things I`m learning about YOU day by day!!!   When I am with you, getting to know what you say...---words from the Rogers and Hammerstein song, Getting to Know you, from The King and I

In the Torah portion this past week, in Deuteronomy, we read  how the words in the Torah are not meant to be difficult or baffling, but rather that they are to be very close to us, in our mouth and in our heart, to do them.  (Deuteronomy 30:11 ~14).

The Torah brings peace to our heart.  Yeshua our Messiah and Savior is the Prince of Peace.
As we near the end of the Torah on this cycle, getting ready to scroll back to the beginning,  may your days be filled with His great Shalom.

Shalom means Peace (and other meanings as well) .  These are some scriptures that mention the word Shalom, peace.  Please share any of your favorites as well!

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom.  In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!   --- Yeshua`s words from John 16:33 TLV

For thus says ADONAI:
Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream.    ---Isaiah 66:12

And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding , will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua.   ---Philippians 4:7

 ADONAI gives strength to His people.
ADONAI blesses His people with shalom.    ---Psalm 29:11

"Yes, you will go out with joy
and be led forth with peace.
The mountains and the hills
will break forth before you singing,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands!"

---Isaiah 55:12

Seek Shalom and pursue it!   --Psalm 34:15
Shalom be upon Israel !  ---Psalm 128: 6


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Thank You Lord

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth
The colors shine bright as we kindle the lights. 
Each week brings us closer to You.

How precious is Your love, O God!
The children of men find refuge
in the shadow of your wings.
They drink from the abundance
of Your House.
You give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with You is the fountain of life---
in Your light we see light.

---Psalm 36:8~19

Shabbat Shalom!
This is the last Shabbat of the year 5777!

May it be a Happy and Sweet New Year to all !!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mayim Mayim

mayim mayim  マイム・マイム hey mayim bessason!
Trying out this drawing,  to use for a flier to announce an upcoming event!
Would it make you want to join?!

You can see in the drawing, the return of the Jerusalem dress, and there is a new line of clothing, the Mt. Fuji dress!
Also a fountain of salvation t-shirt, and the Jerusalem long sleeve t-shirt.  Seamstress anyone?  We need the costumes by November!!

See post below, interview with Teresa,  for more about Israeli Dance!

Shabbat Shalom!


Sunday, September 10, 2017

36 views of Mt. Fuji cookies!

 Mt. Fuji cookies, using `Savta` dough recipe.
On Challah and Cherry Blossoms!

Use pink for the  blossoms and white for the snow!
It was a recipe from Joy of Kosher, but what `savta` means ,
I didn`t know!

So as I am posting this I looked up "what is Savta?"
It means `grandmother` in Hebrew!!  So I plant a hope that one day I will have a grandchild my grandchild will ask , oh please Savta Shayndel, make us a batch of our favorite Mt. Fuji cookies!!

The first batch, today!  Try them for your grandchildren...or children...or for you...enjoy!!!

To find the recipe, you can click HERE,
for Mt. Fuji shaped cutters, HERE.(actually is a different one than the one I used, I can`t find a link to the one I used, but if you are in Japan you can visit the shop called Tokyu Hands and find it there!

Blessings and Shalom!

Shavu`a Tov---Have a good week!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Psalm 27, morning glories, and a little about Elul

 One thing I ask of the LORD,
only that do I seek:
to live in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD,
to frequent His temple.

---Psalm 27:4

This month is Elul, the sixth month on the Hebrew calendar.  It is the  last month of the Biblical Year 5777.  The first day of the next month will be the `Head` of the year, Rosh Hashanah,  also known as the Feast of Trumpets.  Rosh Hashanah is the start of the Fall Feasts and days of repentance leading up to Yom Kippur.  The month of Elul is a time of preparation for the Fall Feasts and a time to seek forgiveness as we reflect on the past year and seek to better ourselves and draw nearer to God in the year to come. 

There is a Jewish custom to blow the shofar and read Psalm 27 every day in the month of Elul (excluding the last day, the day before Rosh Hashanah).  I have been incorporating these and love reading the Psalm in the morning and evening.   I have a small shofar, and don`t get a big sound, but the morning glories reaching out over the balcony seem to amplify the sound...   It feels as though they are echoing the call of the shofar to wake up to God`s glory!  

With blessings and Shalom to you in this month of Elul!

Your face, Lord I seek!

---Psalm 27:8

It is good to give Praise to our Maker and rejoice and give thanks to Him as we seek repentance and to draw closer to Him in this month of Elul!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Shabbat Shalom!

 we say the blessing over the candles, the wine
next, the blessing over the bread

Happy to share a challah with you, friends around the world!  So glad you stopped by! 
 I`ll break off a can dip it in salt...

 Shabbat Shalom!

And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.2The heaven and the earth were finished, all their array.  On the seventh dayGod finished the work that He had been doing, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work that He had done.  And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done.  ---Genesis 1:31~2: 3

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Elul Story, Jerusalem dress

I sacrifice in His tent with shouts of joy,
singing and chanting a hymn to the LORD.

--Psalm 27:6

Blessings and Shalom!



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Elul Morning

Let morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.    

---Psalm 143:8

It is the Hebrew month of Elul.
The King is in the fields!
May we treasure this month , a time to draw near and seek His face as all the year,  reflect and give thanks for all that is dear,
Repent for all our wrongs.
Sing the Song of Songs,
especially this line*
`I am my beloved`s,
and He is mine`
Shabbat Shalom!


*Song of Songs 6:3

And Finally, the Fourth Challah Cover complete!

As we are nearing the end of the Fifth book of Torah, I have finally completed my Fourth Challah Cover!  It is time to start on the fifth quickly, so without further ado, I will just share some of the photos of the fourth, and hope you enjoy how it came out.  It surprised me how playfully the pink cloud of Cherry Blossoms above Mt. Fuji echoes the shape of the Challah!

Also how the mountain becomes voluminous when it covers the Challah.
Can you see how the elements come alive when the challah cover does its job of covering the Challah!!

The `Torah` on top of Mt. Fuji can be seen in this photo below, as well as bits of fabrics in Japanese patterns that are used in places on the front and back.
The islands will wait for His Torah.
---Isaiah  42:4

The first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet, representing the Ten Commandments,  are embroidered onto the shape of Mt. Fuji.

It surprised me how playfully the pink cloud of Cherry Blossoms above Mt. Fuji echoes the shape of the Challah!
Views of a Challah Cover, above `Flat and extending over the Shabbat Table`, and as it drapes over the Challah....Shabbat Shalom from Japan!

God Bless you and Shabbat Shalom!


*Note:  Extra special thanks to K-san, who some readers may recall meeting  through my Postcard Challenges!! It was her inspiration on this Postcard Challenge post HERE that gave me the ideas for this Challah Cover, including the idea of the Pink Cherry Blossom cloud, and the use of the Japanese pattern fabrics, so it really became a collaboration.  Thank you K-san!