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28 posts from October 2016

The View


Happy day-after the chagim, everyone! I (Racheli) am so completely disgusted with food right now. My stomach is so full and bloated, and all of my mental energies are focused on imagining the extra pounds away. I don't think it's working yet, but I have complete emuna that they will come off. In the meantime, I have nothing interesting to say, so let's just sit and stare at this picture, shall we?

It's the view from my side yard. Isn't it stunning? The picture doesn't fully capture the beautiful valley that leads into the coast. Way off on the hazy horizon is Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't show the buildings, but I can see the entire skyline on a normal day. On a very clear day I can even see the ocean. If I can manage to confiscate my husband's phone again, I'll try to post a picture of this view at night. It's like you're in an airplane. 

It's amazing that in one tiny piece of land, you have mountains, plains, several types of desert, farmland, and beautiful beaches. In about six hours during the winter, you can drive from snowy mountain forests up in the Galil to warm beaches down in Eilat. G-d willing one day I'll actually be able to visit such places. My idea of a girl's day out is going to Osher Ad in Bet Shemesh proper. Whoo hoo. Or should I say, Boo hoo.

Like they say (whomever "they" is,) Israel really is a microcosm of the entire world.

And that's it. Nothing interesting to say. Until I come up with something, I'll just try to figure out how I can escape to a gorgeous seaside hotel without the kids and my husband noticing. 

My Fire Will Burn




Hey, all! It's Racheli, and my stomach is about to burst. I spent most of my Sukkot cooking in the kitchen, because where else would I cook? In addition, most laundry was off limits, so I had some free time. It's not like I have a life or anything. The truth is, I didn't leave Bet Shemesh because I'm terrified of getting stuck in traffic with five kids in the car. Someone suggested that I take them to the zoo, but I was like, why would I do that? I live at the zoo. 

If you still have some brain space left that's not occupied with the most insane Presidential race in history, then you're probably wondering why I posted a picture of half my stove top. It's because I'm bored. And tired. 

So here are the real reasons. First, I was too lazy to clean the other half. Second, on Shabbat, we had my husband's second cousin twice removed and her family over. What in the world does that mean?! What is a second cousin twice removed? Is that the same thing as a third cousin? Is it easier than saying, "My mother's cousin's daughter's from her mother's side?

We were talking about her new neighbor, who happens to be Breslev, and my husband asked her jokingly if she had a big "B" on her forehead, to which I responded, "No, she has the fire symbol in diamonds on her forehead."

This fire symbol is actually made up of part of Rebbe Nachman's famous phrase, "My fire will burn until the Mashiach." After saying that to him, it occurred to me that Rebbe Nachman and I have something in common. I realized that my fire will also burn until the Mashiach, because of all these holidays that I keep having to cook for. I hope the Mashiach comes soon, because I'm really tired of cooking. 

How much can one woman cook? And shop? And suffer through two endless weeks of kids at home? Hmmm, it seems that I am a bit irritated. I went food shopping yet again right after Shabbat so I can spend the rest of today - you guessed it - cooking! What fun. 

This has been a loooong month for all of us. And it's been even longer for all of you that don't live in Israel. The two day holiday thing is crazy hard! I gotta give you guys a lot of credit. 

But the most credit and admiration goes to all you fine ladies out there. Without your hard work and major lack of sleep, most of us might be enjoying our holiday dinners with a can of tuna or a salami sandwich. Give yourselves a pat on the back. Better yet, treat yourselves to a massage. 

All of you who have celebrated this intense month of holidays should know - your fire burns bright, too. Your souls are lit up from all of the spiritual energy that you've been connecting to, and this will carry you through an exciting year filled with every blessing you need. Very soon, G-d willing, we will greet our Mashiach together with great joy and lots of dancing! 

Speaking of dancing, wishing you all a wonderful and joyous Simchat Torah!

The Story of the Holy Bach

Rabbi Yoel ben Shmuel Sirkis (1561-1640), aka the "Bach", named after his landmark commentary on the Arba Turim, was one of the greatest rabbis and scholars of all time. He was also my 11th generation great grandfather on my mother's side, which makes me a distant cousin of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, of blessed memory, who was a great-grandson of the Bach.

In the following memorable clip, here's Rabbi Shlomo telling a classic story about the Bach, which I enjoy telling to my guests and grandchildren in our Succa. It's really moving, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Moadim L'Simcha and Shabbat Shalom!

Give Her a Break

Succoth is a wonderful time to score points for marital bliss. Tell your wife to take a break from the never-ending Chol Hamoed kitchen chores and surprise her with your culinary arts. Every man should be competent in the kitchen; a wife doesn't enjoy feeling like a slave and she always appreciates the help. Even more, spoil her by making something that she doesn't usually prepare, like sushi - she'll be delighted! That's exactly what I did yesterday, as you can see here: LB Sushi2 LB Sushi

Rebbe Nachman's 206th Yahrtzeit

Willows Breslev

Above image: Lazer by a willow tree in the town of Breslev, Ukraine, near the Bugg River - these are probably the same willows that Rebbe Nachman used with his lulav...

Today, the 18th of Tishrei 5777, is the 206th yahrtzeit of our holy, esteemed and beloved Rebbe, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, may his holy neshama intervene in our behalf, amen!

Please light a candle in loving memory of Rebbe Nachman the son of Faigie and Simcha. In his memory, ask Hashem for a favor you need, especially in the area of spiritual growth.

Breslev Israel and the Beams wish everyone a healthy, happy and joyous Succoth holiday!