Sunday, November 28, 2010

Miketz 5771 Sibling Rivalry and Other Family Games Also, Hanukkah

 Show Notes Miketz 5771

Unfortunately the Hebrew does not print here...sorry.  (does anyone know how to fix it?)

The text of the Letter sent by Judge KimbaWood as quoted in the Wall Street Journal can be found here:

Video of my friend Addy playing on the Sesame Street Thanksgiving Day parade float can be found here:

A great story from NPR about siblings which just goes to show that Joseph and his brothers are “normal” siblings. - Siblings Share Genes, But Rarely Personalities
Blessings for Hanukkah
Blessing over Candles
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Eternal Our God, sovereign of the universe
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us
l'had'lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)
to light the lights of Hanukkah. (Amen)

Blessing for Hanukkah
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Eternal our God, sovereign of the universe
she'asah nisim la'avoteinu bayamim haheim baziman hazeh. (Amein)
Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time
Shehecheyanu (first night only)
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Eternal, our God, sovereign of the universe
shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)

Other Hanukkah Resources: 
Particularly for families with young children:

Good suggestions from the WW site that will help with the both the calorie count and the guilt. Well, maybe not the guilt

From my friend and colleague Rabbi Shira Stern
To get the most crunchiness out of your latkes without the huge calorie count, bake your latkes, and they will be just as crunchy.
  1. Just make sure you squeeze the shredded potatoes over the sink to drive out all the starchy moisture. Then the cakes will become extra crisp when you bake them.
  2. Always serve applesauce instead of sour cream. Bonus: this keeps them parve, if you need them to be.
 B. Latkes Recipes (WW)
 Apple/Potato Latkes
            1 large Yukon Gold potato(es), peeled  
            1 medium apple(s), such as Pink Lady, peeled, cored, quartered  
            4 tsp dehydrated onion flakes  
            1 large egg(s), beaten  
            1/4 tsp table salt  
            1/4 tsp black pepper  
            1/4 tsp ground cinnamon  
            3 spray(s) cooking spray  
            1/2 cup(s) fat-free sour cream  
    * Shred potato and apple into a medium-size bowl using the fine-holes of a box grater or shredder; stir in onion flakes. Press out as much liquid as you can by hand; drain liquid. Set aside mixture for 1 minute and press out liquid again; drain again. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and cinnamon.
 ·      Coat a very large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Drop potato mixture by tablespoonfuls into skillet and flatten each with the back of a spoon to make twenty 2-inch latkes. Leave at least 1 inch between latkes; you will have to do this in batches.
·      Cook latkes until golden on first side, about 3 minutes. Gently flip latkes with a spatula and cook until other side is golden, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Carefully remove latkes to a serving plate; cover to keep warm and repeat with remaining ingredients. Top with sour cream and serve. Yields 2 latkes and 2 1/3 teaspoons sour cream per serving.
2. Baked Potato Latkes
 Baked Potato LatkesMakes 6 servings; 2 latkes per serving
POINTS® value per serving: 3
     * Cooking spray
      2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Golds, peeled
      3 medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced
      1/2 cup pasteurized fat-free egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
      3 Tbsp matzo meal
      1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
      1/2 tsp ground black pepper
·         Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a standard 12-indentation muffin tin with nonstick spray.
·            * Use the large holes of a box grater to shred the potatoes. Working by small handfuls, squeeze the shredded potatoes over the sink to get rid of any excess moisture. Place in a large bowl.
     * Stir in the shallots, egg substitute, matzo meal, thyme, salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Divide the mixture into the 12 muffin indentations.
 ·      Bake 30 minutes. Spray the tops again with nonstick spray. Continue baking until browned and set, about 30 more minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Makes two latkes per serving.
 3. Curried zucchini latkes:
Makes 6 servings; 2 pancakes per serving
POINTS® value for 2 pancakes: 1
     * 2 large zucchini
      1 tsp salt
      1 small onion, peeled
      1/2 cup pasteurized fat-free egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
      1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
      1/2 cup matzo meal
      2 tsp curry powder
      1/4 tsp ground black pepper
      Cooking spray
     * Shred the zucchini through the large holes of a box grater, mix with the salt and place in a colander in the sink to drain for 15 minutes.
     * Working in small handfuls, squeeze the zucchini of any excess moisture, then place in a large bowl. Shred the onion through the large holes of a box grater and add to the zucchini.
    * Stir in the egg substitute, cottage cheese, matzo meal, curry powder and pepper.
     * Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and set it over medium heat. Make pancakes using 1/4 cup zucchini batter per pancake (only cook as many at a time as will fit comfortably in your pan; overcrowding will cause the pancakes to steam rather than brown).
     * Press down slightly on the pancakes, cooking until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to a warm plate and continue making pancakes in batches until all the batter is used. Makes 2 pancakes per serving.
 Sweet Potato Latkes:
Cooking spray
      4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
      1 large onion, minced
      2 cloves garlic
      2 large eggs
      3 Tbsp matzah meal (more if the consistency is too thin)
      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
 Spray a pan to coat bottom: spoon out mixture, and fry til edges turn brown.
 Or … spray 2 glass dishes to cover surface;  bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes; spray a light coating on top then flip them and bake another 30 minutes.
 C. Ginger Applesauce by Joan Nathan:
 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 whole star anise, broken into points
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 Tblp fresh lemon juice
2 Tblps peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut in quarters
 Tie the cinnamon stick, cloves and anise in a piece of cheesecloth to make a sachet. Bring the sugar, water, lemon uice, ginger and spice packet to a simmer over low heat in a large saucepan.
Stir in apples. Increase the heat to high and bring to boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring often, until the apples are soft (15 mins.)
 Discard the spice packet. Mash the apples in the saucepan until chunky. Taste and add more sugar, if needed. Serve warm or chilled.)

Happy Hanukkah

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Parasha VaYeshev 5771 Dreams and Dreamers

Show Notes
Parsha VaYeshev
Genesis 37:1-29:23

A few things got lost in my re-recording of the podcast.
I realized that last week we did not discuss Jacob’s name change to Israel.   So sorry…but we’ll get to it next year.  Just know that from here on in, the text uses both Jacob and Israel for the same person.  The family tree of Jacob’s offspring is listed below.

Jacob’s children by each wife

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun and Dinah
Zilpah (Leah’s servant): 
Gad, Asher
Bilha (Rachel’s servant)
Dan, Naftali
Joseph, Benjamin

Jacob’s Children’s Birth Order: 
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naftali,
Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah, Joseph, Benjamin

The Psalm, Psalm 118, was a modified translation of the JPS translation.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

VaYishlach 5771-Brotherly Love?

Show Notes 
VaYishlach 5771:  Brotherly Love?

To check out the NY City Opera programs look here:

Anita Diamant’s book The Red Tent can be found here:

Please feel free to leave comments here or email me at:

Please let me know your preference:
Should I: 
Discuss the entire parasha? 
Or Should I stick to one section of the parasha each week? 
What do you think?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Jacob Sheep Ram from Nyala Farm April 2009 as Mentioned in Parshat Vayetzei 5771

Vayetzei 5771-Of Dreams and Mandrakes

In honor of Nofrat Frankel and in support of her as she and Anat Hoffman
deal with the aftermath of their arrests for daring to carry the Torah and wear a Tallit and pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

Prayer for Women of the Wall
May it be your will, our God and God of our mothers and fathers, to bless this prayer group and all who pray within it: them, their families, and all that is theirs, together with all women’s prayer groups and all the women and girls of Your people Israel. Strengthen us and turn our hearts to serve You in truth, reverence, and love.
May our prayer be as desirable and acceptable before You as the prayers of our holy foremothers Sarah, Rivkah, Rahel, and Leah.
May our song ascend to Your Glorious Throne in holiness and purity, like the song of Miriam the Prophet and Devorah the Judge, and may it be as a pleasant savor and sweet incense before You.
And for our sisters, all the women and girls of Your people Israel: let us merit to see their joy and hear their voices raised before You in song and praise. May no woman or girl of Your people Israel or anywhere else in the world be silenced ever again. God of Justice, let us merit justice and salvation soon, for the sanctity of Your name and the restoration of Your world, as it is written: Zion will hear and be joyful, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, over Your judgments, O God. And as it is written: For Zion’s sake I will not be still and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be silent, until her righteousness comes forth like great light and her salvation like a torch aflame.
For Torah shall go forth from Zion and the word of God from Jerusalem. Amen, selah.
Prayer by Rahel Jaskow is from Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site, copyright 2003 by Phyllis Chesler and Rivka Haut. Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock VT,

Life after Death coverage by Katie Couric:


Mandrakes in Harry Potter:

"The cry of the Mandrake is very fatal to anybody who hears it"
A Mandrake, also known as Mandragora, is a plant which has a root that looks like a human (like a baby when the plant is young, but maturing as the plant grows).

The real story of Mandrakes:
Mandrake is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora belonging to the nightshades family (Solanaceae). Because mandrake contains deliriant hallucinogenic tropane alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine, apoatropine, hyoscyamine and the roots sometimes contain bifurcations causing them to resemble human figures, their roots have long been used in magic rituals, today also in neopagan religions such as Wicca and Germanic revivalism religions such as Odinism.
The mandrake, Mandragora officinarum, is a plant called by the Arabs luffâh, or beid el-jinn ("djinn's eggs"). The parsnip-shaped root is often branched. This root gives off at the surface of the ground a rosette of ovate-oblong to ovate, wrinkled, crisp, sinuate-dentate to entire leaves, 5 to 40
 centimetres (2.0 to 16 in) long, somewhat resembling those of the tobacco-plant. A number of one-flowered nodding peduncles spring from the neck bearing whitish-green flowers, nearly 5 centimetres (2.0 in) broad, which produce globular, succulent, orange to red berries, resembling small tomatoes, which ripen in late spring. All parts of the mandrake plant are poisonous. The plant grows natively in southern and central Europe and in lands around the Mediterranean Sea, as well as on Corsica.