Tag Archive: Purim

Donald Trump’s Kosher for Passover Vodka!

I really should have posted this here when I saw this billboard last summer. However, with the upcoming Purim holiday, I’d be remiss to not feature these images here. Indeed, at first glance one might think, “is this a Purim prank!?!?!” After all, Donald Trump is known for hawking anything and everything under the sun from hotels to menswear! And yet, when I was walking down the hill that leads into the Charedi community of Sanhedria Murchevet I could not believe my eyes. There was “The Donald” grinning and offering his Trump Vodka to all the people who might see the billboard. What’s more, the billboard boast that it has not one but two Kosher certifications (one of them being a Badatz Hechsher) and is also Kosher for Passover!

That said, I went to Trump.co.il and could not find anywhere on the site that confirmed that it is Kosher let alone for Pesach. Still, being that the Twitter world was up in arms with the picture that Donald Trump’s daughter tweeted of her homemade Hamentashen here I figured that I’d share another Jewish item that comes from the Trump Mishpacha! Purim Sameach :-)

Flickr user Avital Pinnick also saw this billboard and I used her picture as the picture above.



Parshas Zachor 2012: Please Light Shabbos Candles 5 Minutes Early!

There is a worldwide initiative that is close to my heart and that I believe is worthy enough to bring to your attention. As such, my wife  will be joining Jewish mothers the world over in lighting Shabbos candles 5 minutes earlier this Friday night (Parshas Zachor/March 2nd 2012).

This dramatic appeal to all Jewish women around the world is meant to to help focus our thoughts on the terrible events that took place now over 2+ years ago–and daven for the speedy refuah of a friend and hero who remains in a coma. On Rosh Chodesh Av, just over 2 years ago Menashe Chaim Ben Shulamit Tufcha jumped into the sewage drain in the Ramat Eshkol park that is known to all as “The Iglu Park.” My children as well as hundreds of other local kids have enjoyed playing at this park. Sadly, a cute three and a half year old Racheli Sofer went to this park and never returned home to her loving family.  You see, Menashe Chaim Ben Shulamit Tufcha didn’t know who she was, but that didn’t stop him from jumping down into a pit that Racheli had fallen into while playing in the park.

Unfortunately Racheli lost her life and Menashe has been in a coma ever since! His wife and 5 young children have been struggling effectively without a husband and father for 2.5 years. For more on this story see here and here.

This Shabbos, Parshas Zachor (the Shabbos before Purim), women worldwide are lighting their Shabbos candles 5 minutes early in the memory of Rachel Bas HaRav Binyomin Yosef and as a merit for a full recovery for Menashe Chaim ben Shulamit Tufcha, b’ezras Hashem. Use the extra time to learn, talk to your kids, say Tehilim or just think. Let this year be a Purim Sameach for everyone!

Click here and here for more video and the story in Hebrew (and some English)

INFOGRAPHIC: All About Hamentashen!

All across the world, people will soon be celebrating the joyous holiday of Purim. Like many Jewish holidays, there is also a food item that carries great significance. While Jews enjoy munching on a couple of Latkes and a Jelly Doughnut on Chanukah, we relish eating the seemingly hundreds of variations of Hamentashen that are available in your local grocery, bakery, or even home oven!

And yet, did you know that these yummy treats are not typically referred to as Hamentashen in of all places The Holy Land!?!?

In Israel, they are called Oznei Haman (Hebrew: אוזני המן‎), which is Hebrew for “Haman’s ears” in reference to our defeated enemy’s ears. And so, thanks to the fine folks of Mishpacha Magazine for these statistics, you can enjoy some fun facts and learn all about Hamentashen!

Feel free to click here to view the INFOGRAPHIC in a high resolution/larger image that you can print, pass on to friends or family, and so on and so forth!

Have a Happy Purim :)

Purim, Pesach and Dr. Seuss

Our Sages reveal the following principle:

“Who is wise?”

“He who learns from every (‘Adam’ in Hebrew) man!”

We are not meant to only learn from the socially bright.

We are not meant to simply learn from a Rabbi.

Rather, Judaism believes that we can and should learn a lesson from every person we meet. Indeed, if there’s anything that I learned from Theodor Seuss Geisel, the author of the famed Dr. Seuss series, it was the power and ability to captivate and impart a critical message  upon a diverse and broad audience using dizzying rhymes and colorful pictures for many years. By conveying his message and morals subtly, in the form of a book for children, his points were heard by millions!

In light of the above, I was rather impressed with a particular Mishloach Manot package we received this year. In fact, this particular family performed the mitzvah by ensuring that their costumes, the packaging, food and poem where all in the spirit of Dr. Seuss. And so, I present to you the following poem written by Rabbi Abbish Rand:

THE CAT IN THE HAT
PURIM 5769

The sun did so shine
It was a great day to play
So we ran out of the house
On that fun Purim day

A lesson we had learned
From that Cat in the Hat
Was get up and do
עשה טוב ‘s where it’s at

If all you could do here is
Sit!
Sit!
Sit!
Sit!
הקב”ה doesn’t not like that
Not one little bit

Life is a ladder
You’ve got to keep climbing
Else THINGS come along
And send you tumbling and sliding

Better keep yourself busy
Doing what Hashem wants from you
Clean up your act
Before trouble finds you

משיח is on his way home!
Do you hear?
Oh, How will he react?
What will he say?
Oh he would not like it
To find you this way

“So go fast!” Says the
FISH IN THE POT
“Do you hear?
We see him. משיח!
משיח is near!
So, as fast you can,
Think of something to do!
עשה טוב , סור מרע
Do what you’ve gotta do!”

When משיח comes in
And says to us all
Did you fix up yourselves?
Tell me. Did you help the כלל?

Do we have what to tell him?
Now, what SHOULD we say?
Well…
What would you answer,
If משיח asked YOU today?

Finally, just in time for Passover, here is a great article entitled: Green Eggs and Matzo Brei that also pays tribute to Dr. Seuss. You never know, with all of the messages and morals that Dr. Seuss seemed to espouse, maybe the reason why he always covered his head with his trademark hat, was an allusion to his Jewish roots!

A Yellow and Yiddish Speaking Submarine!

In the spirit of Purim, I’d like to thank Chaim Rubin for linking to this hilarious rendition of the song below sung by the famous Badchen, Yoely Lebovits! Who would’ve thought that they would live to hear a Yiddish Beatles song?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring, Baseball, and Judaism…

Living in Israel, I don’t really have the opportunity (or the same drive) to follow the sports teams of my youth. That said, as a kid who learned additional and subtraction by following the Dodger scores, I have this sixth sense that as we begin to prepare for the joyous holiday of Purim, we are also edging closer to spring training and the start of a new baseball season!

And so, while the sport continues to receive a black eye from the use of performance enhancing drugs such as steroids and HGH, I’d be remiss to not point out this great book from Rabbi Dov Moshe Lipman entitled, Time-out: Sports Stories as a Game Plan. In addition to teaching yeshivot and seminaries and also writing a weekly column in the OU’s Torah Tidbits, he is arguably best known for his almost decade of service at Sportstar Academy. All in all, if you are looking for a great bar mitzvah gift for a Jewish sports fan, I’d highly recommend this book.

The Holy Niggun of “Lead Belly”

Some children grow up memorizing tunes from Barney, SpongeBob, and so on and so forth. Others memorize the tunes of Professor Green and The Simcha Machine (a personal favorite because we share last names!) and The Amazing Torah Bike (which frankly I still think brings to life the story of the Exodus).

That said, in my formative years, I never heard of the great Blues musician (and oft-pardoned convict) Huddie Ledbetter, popularly known as  Lead Belly,” nor did I think I knew any of his tunes.

I was wrong.

Ever since I can remember, my favorite holiday growing up was Purim. The festive atmosphere, the exchange of treats and gifts, topped off by the final mitzvah of the day, the Purim Seudah, is what makes this a day that every child continues to mark off on his or her mental calendar and looks forward to each year.

While I have spent Purim in many locations throughout the world, and while the people and the atmosphere may differ from year to year, the songs never seem to change. To that end, year after year I must sing countless times the catchy tune of: M’She, M’She M’Shenechnas Adar, Marbim, Marbim, Marbim B’Simchah. That said, only several years ago was it brought to my attention that the person who brought this niggun down to us was not The Amshinover or another such Chassidic Master?

Who was the bal m’nagen, the composer of this song, that is sang in all the yeshivas, from Merkaz HaRav to The Mirrer…?

The answer may surprise you!

It is none other then a musician known to the world as, “Lead Belly.” Enjoy watching him in action below!


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