Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I just got back from our Birthright Israel trip meeting. I'm really excited! We went through the itinerary - it's PACKED. We're going to be going nonstop, all day every day. It all sounds so thrilling - hiking Masada, tea with Bedouins, floating in the Dead Sea, and of course, there will be a lot of history.

In other story on the campus Middle East dialogues is coming out tomorrow:

...and now it's time to get back to work...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wholeness and Separation

Havdalah means "separation," because we separate the week from Shabbat...but it always makes me feel connected instead. We engage all five senses, feeling the warmth from the candle, seeing its light on our fingernails, smelling the spices and tasting the wine and hearing each other sing. These are things we are supposed to carry with us throughout the week. So, what is separating?

Rabbi S. has been at Shabbat for the last few weeks, and each night, as part of the service, he explains a portion of the siddur, sometimes word by word. Why L'cha Dodi, why Mi Chamocha? He says when we say "Shabbat Shalom" we're saying more than "Sabbath Peace" or "Hi! It's Shabbat!" Shalom has the same root as Shalem, which means "whole." Shabbat Shalom is about journies into wholeness.

In my worst moments, I envision braided havdalah candles and braided challot unbraiding themselves, the woven strands of wax and bread dough separating until nothing is whole. It's very unsettling - symbols of connection and all-things-entwined coming apart at the seams. It's hard to change the vision so they pieces embrace each other again. No matter how many times I try to reverse it, the strands want to be alone, they want to separate, even though they're supposed to represent wholeness. Shalem. Shalom. Connection.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tasty kosher recipe time!

Dinner was a huge success tonight, and I'm relieved because it was something of an experiment: vegetable pot pockets (like pot pie, but...pockets). My mom used to make this with chicken and cream of chicken soup, but that's not kosher, so I altered it a little and it worked out really well!


- philo dough
- cream of broccoli soup (cream of mushroom would work too, but neither of us like mushrooms)
- mixed veggies (I used carrots, broccoli, green beans, and cauliflower)

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out dough into four squares on a greased cookie sheet. Chop vegetables. Spoon cream of broccoli soup and some chopped veggies onto two of the four squares. Take the other two squares and press them on top of the first two, making pockets. I tried them closed, and open at one end, and we decided we like them better open...cools faster that way. Stick them in the oven for 18-25 minutes or until brown. Let them cool, and enjoy!

Here's a picture:

The boy absolutely loved it. He said "Oooh when are you going to make this again? It's amazing!" That's a huge compliment coming from my favorite foodie :-)

Shavua Tov, everyone!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Writing through the noise

Well, I'm either gutsy, masochistic, or both.

Probably both.

I just offered to cover the campus Israel-Palestine dialogue series for the local paper. Set to print Nov. 29.

In my own defense, I'd like to say that I told my editors I've shared meals with at least half the people I'll be interviewing. But yes, I can write a fair and un-biased account, and yes, I can probably make this work between paper/presentation deadlines, reading, and grading. To be honest, aside from the interviews, I could probably write the thing in my sleep...

It's just a "touchy" subject, and I think it's hilarious that I went from "I'm never going to another I-P dialogue again!" to "Ummm, I'm going to attend each event in this series, and then write about it for the local paper" in the span of five years.

Masochism, for sure.