02 May 2018

Lag B'Omer

Lag B’Omer is a minor holiday that occurs on the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot. Lag B’Omer include holding Jewish weddings (it’s the one day during the Omer when Jewish law permits them), lighting bonfires and getting haircuts.
The Talmud tells us that during this season a plague killed thousands of Rabbi Akiva‘s students because they did not treat one another respectfully.
According to a medieval tradition, the plague ceased on Lag Ba’Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer. (The Hebrew letters lamed and gimel which make up the acronym “Lag” have the combined numerical value of 33.) As a result, Lag Ba’Omer became a happy day.
The outstanding sage Rabbi Akiva became an ardent supporter of Simeon bar Koseva, known as Bar Kochba, who in 132 C.E. led a ferocious but unsuccessful revolt against Roman rule in Judea. Akiva not only pinned his hopes on a political victory over Rome but believed Bar Kochba to be the long-awaited Messiah. Many of his students joined him in backing the revolt and were killed along with thousands of Judeans when it failed. The Talmudic rabbis, still suffering under Roman rule and cautious about referring openly to past rebellions, may have been hinting at those deaths when they spoke of a plague among Akiva’s students. Possibly, also, Lag B’Omer marked a respite from battle, or a momentary victory.

All over the world, it is customary to spend the day outside, enjoying the natural beauty of G‑d’s world. During these outings, it is customary to play with bows and arrows. Read about the reason for the bow and arrow here.
Lag B'Omer picnic bags
Mini DIY Bow and Arrow 
Make a stick bow and arrow with a twig & some yarn 

17 April 2018

A jewel to celebrate the Jewish state.

Israel’s Independence Day is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Iyar, which is the Hebrew date of the formal establishment of the State of Israel, when members of the “provisional government” read and signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv. The original date corresponded to May 14, 1948. In 2018, it begins at sundown on April 18.
Most of the Jewish communities in the Western world have incorporated this modern holiday into their calendars, but some North American Jewish communities hold the public celebrations on a following Sunday in order to attract more participation. In the State of Israel it is a formal holiday, so almost everyone has the day off.
Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel is always preceded by Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence, the very existence of the state, to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.

Matubo beads Israel bracelet
What are Matubo Beads? Matubo Czech glass seed beads are a pressed glass that competes with Japanese uniformity in size and shape. By pressing the glass they are able to get a Large hole and thinner walls that allows more thread passes and more room for creativity.
Matubo beads whose shape, size and usage corresponds to classical seed beads, but unlike them they are produced by pressing. It is this technology that enables production of tiny beads with perfectly regular shape and size and a wide range of colours. 

Days of Lead: Defying Death During Israel’s War of Independence

16 April 2018

Clothespin Star of David ornament

Wooden clothespin star of David 
ornament with copper.
What You Need:
Wood Clothespins
Paint (I used wood paint)
Copper wire
Sand paper
Wood glue

You will need 18 clothespins for a star. Start by taking the clothespins apart and sitting the clothespin springs aside. Sand paper the clothespins and then glue 2 pieces together at a time. Hold the pieces together for a few seconds while the glue dries. You could easily paint them with a sponge brush. Once the paint is dry,glue all the clothespins together to form a six point star, starting glueing from the cemtral ones.
Once the glue has dried, more or less 24h, insert the copper wire.

03 April 2018

Wooden Omer Counter

The special period between Passover and Shavuot is called sefira, meaning “counting.” The name is derived from the practice of counting the omer, which is observed from the night of the second of Passover until the eve of . The counting of seven weeks from the 16th day of (i.e., the second day of Passover), on which the omer offering of the new barley crop was brought to the Temple, until Shavuot, serves to connect the anniversary of the exodus from Egypt with the festival that commemorates the giving of the on Mount Sinai.
Why the Counting? Tradition has it that it was announced to the Israelites in Egypt that the Torah would be given to them 50 days after the exodus. As soon as they were liberated, they were so eager for the arrival of the promised day that they began to count the days, saying each time, “Now we have one day less to wait for the giving of the Torah.”
Thus, it is explained, the Torah prescribes that the days from Passover to Shavuot are to be counted, symbolizing the eagerness with which the Torah was received by the Israelites. In a similar vein, Maimonides points out that the counting of the omer between the anniversary of the liberation from Egypt and the anniversary of the Torah gift is suggestive of one who expects his or her most intimate friend on a certain day. That person counts the days, and even the hours.
Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the counting of the omer, which falls on the 18th of the Hebrew month of Iyar. This day is observed as a semi-holiday.

Handmade Wooden Omer Counter

A compact and simple Wooden Omer Counter helps you to keep track of the days and weeks, you just move the pins as you recite the words.  

49 Days Of Omer Counting In Pictures


30 March 2018

Handmade decorative Seder Plates

The Passover Haggadah demands that each person see him or herself as having personally come forth out of Egypt. Accordingly, the
is one of the most sensory-heavy  rituals of the Jewish year. During the seder, we don’t just tell the story of the Exodus, we see, smell, feel, and taste liberation.
Many of the elements of this sensory experience appear on the seder plate (k’arah), which serves as the centerpiece of the seder table. The seder plate traditionally holds five or six items, each of which symbolizes a part (or multiple parts) of the Passover story.
Handmade decorative Seder Plates

Wood and felt decorative plate

Clay and wood decorative plate

The centerpiece of the Passover Seder table is undoubtedly the Seder plate. It holds the ritual seder items: a hard boiled egg (beitza), a shank bone (z'roa), bitter herbs (maror), horseradish (hazeret), vegetable (karpas), and haroset

Traditional Seder plate 

Grandma's Seder Plate Is Missing!: A Passover Special

The ten Plagues - A Pesach decoration

One of the most dramatic moments of the Passover seder comes with the recitation of the 10 plagues that, the Bible says, God brought on the Egyptians to persuade Pharaoh to free the Israelites from slavery. As we recite each plague, we spill a drop of wine in recognition, according to many interpretations, that the process of our liberation caused suffering to the Egyptian people.

The ten jars of the ten plagues

The Plagues

  1. Blood
  2. Frogs
  3. Lice
  4. Flies
  5. Pestilence
  6. Boils
  7. Hail
  8. Locusts
  9. Darkness
  10. Killing of the firstborn

29 March 2018

The search for chametz

The process of creating a chametz-free environment comes to its climax the night before Passover. We conduct a veritable “search and destroy” mission to find any remaining chametz in our home and eradicate it. The search is traditionally conducted with a beeswax candle, using a feather, wooden spoon, and a paper bag for collecting any chametz found. It is customary to place ten pieces of bread throughout the house to be “found” during the search. These should be wrapped in paper or some other flammable wrapping (but not silver foil, as it does not burn), and perhaps then in plastic bags to prevent crumbs.
Bedikat Chametz Kit
When you’ve completed the search, and done your best to get rid of any possible chametz, gather the family back together and recite the "Kol Chamira" declaration, translated below, nullifying all unknown chametz and relinquishing it from your ownership.

Making at home Eliyahu's cup

Kos Shel Eliyahu. A Cup of Redemption
In addition to the four cups of wine that each participant drinks during the Pesach Seder, a fifth cup is placed on the Seder table. This cup, which is not drunk, is known as Kos Shel Eliyahu, Eliyahu’s Cup.
Of course, there's a bit of drama around this cup. When opening the door for Elijah, the children gather round to watch the quivering liquid ripple, hoping to detect some sign of its sampling by the visiting prophet. But surely there's more meaning to this cup than a child's imagination?
Let's not play pretend with someone as serious and holy as the prophet Elijah. It is quite thoughtful of some people to offer Elijah a drink while visiting, but thank you, he doesn't need sips to keep him going. This cup has real purpose and meaning. Learning more about Elijah's historic role in Judaism,  we'll realize that this special cup is here even more for our own sake than for his, to inspire us and to give our seder focus and direction.
According to tradition, at this moment our homes are graced by the presence of Elijah the prophet. There are multiple reasons and meanings behind this age-old tradition. 

Hand made Kos Shel Eliyahu

Wood, rustic inspiration
Glass beads inspired


16 March 2018

A Shabbath Hagadol handmade pillow.

The Shabbat which precedes Passover is called Shabbat haGadol, the Great Sabbath, for many and varied reasons, as we shall explain below.
There are also many special customs associated with this Shabbat. It was in Egypt that Israel celebrated the very first Shabbat Ha-Gadol on the tenth of Nissan, five days before their redemption. On that day, the Children of Israel were given their first commandment which applied only to that Shabbat, but not to future generations: On the tenth day of this month [Nissan]... each man should take a lamb for the household, a lamb for each home.
This mitzvah of preparing a lamb for the Passover offering four days before it was to be brought, applied only to that first Passover in Egypt, and the Torah does not tell us that we must continue to do so before every future Passover. Nevertheless, the people continued to do this to make sure that their lambs had no blemishes which would preclude their being sacrificed.

The cute little lamb pillow
This tender pillow is made with very soft and warm tissue and wool felt. The size is around 40cm x 35cm. Every pillow is made personally with carefullness is unique. Don't hesitate to ask me any information!


15 March 2018

Nissan board

Some facts about the Hebrew Month of Nissan.
Nissan is the first month on the Jewish calendar. Before the Jews left Egypt, on the first day of the month of Nissan, G‑d told Moses and Aaron: “This chodesh (new moon, or month) shall be to you the head of months.”4 Thus the peculiarity of the Jewish calendar: the year begins on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the month of Tishrei (the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve), but Tishrei is not the first month. Rosh Hashanah is actually referred to in the Torah as “the first day of the seventh month
Sanctifying the Month
“The L‑rd spoke to Moses and to Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This chodesh shall be to you the head of months.’”
From the wording of this verse, “shall be to you,” the sages deduced that the responsibility of pinpointing and consecrating the chodesh, the crescent new moon, was entrusted to the leaders of our nation, the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical supreme court of every generation.
Originally, there was no fixed calendar. There was no way to determine in advance the exact day of a coming holiday or bar mitzvah, because there was no way to determine in advance when the month would begin. Each month anew, the Sanhedrin would determine whether the month would be 29 or 30 days long, depending on when the following month’s new moon was first sighted, and would sanctify the new month.
In the 4th century CE, the sage Hillel II foresaw the disbandment of the Sanhedrin, and understood that we would no longer be able to follow a Sanhedrin-based calendar. So Hillel and his rabbinical court established the perpetual calendar which is followed today.
It is in this month that we celebrate the eight-day holiday of Passover, from the 15th through the 22nd of Nissan. It commemorates the Jewish people’s miraculous redemption from slavery in Egypt, and the birth of the Jewish nation.
We observe the anniversary of the Exodus each year by removing all leaven from our possession for this week, eating matzah and telling the story of the redemption to our children. By following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true spiritual freedom that our ancestors achieved
A special mitzvah which can be fulfilled only once a year, anytime during the month of Nisan, is to recite the berachah (“blessing” or prayer) made upon seeing a fruit tree in bloom. Many people visit botanical gardens during this time, so as to avail themselves of an opportunity to observe this beautiful mitzvah.

 The month of Nissan brown paper board  

28 February 2018

Wooden Ratchet Noise Maker for Purim

When the Purim story ("Meglliah") is read, everyone boos and shakes their graggers whenever Haman's name is mentioned.
Wood DIY  Purim gragger
Here is a wooden ratchet noisemaker we made, also known as a "gragger" when used during the Jewish holiday of Purim. For this one, I used a few scrap pieces of 3/4 inch thick pine, a 1/2 inch wood dowel (less than 6 inches worth), a piece of 1 1/4 inch dowel for the handle (about 5 inches long), and some 3/16 inch dowel for the wooden pegs. 
With everything assembled, you can give it a spin and see how it works. 
Our noisemaker is fairly loud, and it spins freely in either direction. Have fun! 

27 February 2018

Purim fun house

The fun house of Purim decorations
1. mini paper mishloach manot
2. Purim paper theatre with characters
3. cardboard King's horse and glitter cup for royal seudah
4. masks
5. Haman's ten sons bowling game
6. handmade felt decorated meghillat 

Childen DIY gragger

A gragger, sometimes pronounced grogger, is a special Purim noise maker which is comprised of a handle and a revolving part that makes noise as it is revolved. Normally, making noise in the synagogue is forbidden during services, but on Purim even the adults join the children to make noise during certain parts in the reading of the Megilah. Each time the mention of the evil enemy of the Jews, Haman, is mentioned during the reading of the Megilah, the custom is to make noise and the gragger is the traditional Purim noise maker.
Gragger Wood Flip Drum
Purim arts and craft materials and projects for kids. Our gragger craft project is easy for children to decorate and paint.

Jewish Holidays: Books for Kids (Holidays & Celebrations)

Purim Sameach!

Because this was a political plot, and the people as a nation were saved through good politics, it is more a national holiday than a religious holiday for the Jewish people. However, many Jews do go to the synagogue for a public reading of the Book of Esther, during which there is a tradition to use noisemakers to drown out the name of Haman anytime it is read. There are also gifts of food, gifts to charity, and a festive meal shared.
The parties
Because Esther delivered her people by throwing a party for positive politics, Purim is a festive holiday. Many wear masks and costumes to honor Esther, who disguised her religion so that it could be revealed well and at the right time, and to remind them that God “disguised” his presence behind unfolding politics.

25 February 2018

Mini Meghillat

The Scroll of Esther, known as the Megillah, is chanted in the synagogue on the eve of and again the next morning. It is the last of the five scrolls that form part of the third division of the Bible, known as the Ketuvim, or Writings.
Megillat Esther tells the story of the salvation of the Jews of the Persian Empire. The Scroll of Esther is universally known as the Megillah, not because it is the most important of the five scrolls, but due to its immense popularity, the prominence that is given to its public reading, and the fact that it is the only one that is still generally read from a parchment scroll. At one time, it was normative for every Jewish household to possess a Megillah, and much time and skill were devoted to the production of beautifully illuminated texts and elaborate wooden and silver cases that would house the scroll.
Megillat Esther tells the story of the salvation of the Jews of the Persian Empire. The Scroll of Esther is universally known as the Megillah, not because it is the most important of the five scrolls, but due to its immense popularity, the prominence that is given to its public reading, and the fact that it is the only one that is still generally read from a parchment scroll. At one time, it was normative for every Jewish household to possess a Megillah, and much time and skill were devoted to the production of beautifully illuminated texts and elaborate wooden and silver cases that would house the scroll.
 Mini Scroll of Ester

The Megillah: The Book of Esther (The ArtScroll Tanach Series) by Artscroll
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