Thursday, 28 February 2008


We have now hosted an entire lifecycle of Jewish events in our home (not in the same house, but always our home.) Having previously hosted a shalom zachor, a bris, a pidyon haben, a bas mitzvah, a bar mitzvah, a chassan's tisch and a wedding reception and sat shiva, tonight, we were privileged to host a chupah. The couple had previously had a non-orthodox wedding, but felt that due to the stage of life/family that they are at now, an orthodox chupa would be appropriate. They duly turned up with parents, relatives and close friends, and the beautiful silk handpainted chupah which they used the first time round, and got (re)married in our dining room. It was a moving, but fun occasion, especially as the bride is enormously pregnant!

Our gorgeous children, ka"h

Our children never cease to amaze me, whether it is with being cute, perceptive, caring or rude. We had the great bracha, not shared this year by a lot of families in NW London, of having all our children off school recently for the same week of half - term. My husband took a day out and we took the family to Woburn Safari Park. It was a great day - the animals were fascinating and the play areas were fun. One of the highlights for the children was when the monkeys climbed on the car. This week, our two year old said to me, "Lions go in car?"
I replied, "What would happen if lions went in our car?
He said, " Me hide!"
We pursued this for another couple of rounds - "and then?"
"Lions look for us."
"What happen if the lions found us?" I asked him
With a big grin, "Lions eat me up! Not very nice!"

This evening is the night to put out the dustbins. My husband had already got into pyjamas when he remembered. Our oldest daughter, not often known for spontaneous offers of help, immediately offered to take the bins out. We accepted instantly - who knows when this might happen again! There have been a few incidences like this recently : the younger girls' school is running another middos project - maybe it is working.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Erev Shabbos thoughts

On the way back from buying my challos last Friday afternoon, I saw two vignettes that made me realise why I love living here. Of course, I would prefer to be in Israel, but failing that, this is about as good as it comes in England.

I popped into the greengrocers for a couple of things. A Jewish lady with a foreign accent was asking the Indian greengrocer where some of the produce came from. He told her that all the Israeli produce was labelled as such and showed her the sign on the grapefruit. She replied, "But grapefruit aren't a problem yet [for shemitta]"

"I know that," replied the greengrocer, "but we have to label everything."

Where else will you find a Hindu who is familiar with the laws of shemitta?

A couple of shops further down is a kosher baker. As I walked past, a young man was coming out with a slice of pizza. He was heavily pierced - the sort of person one would normally avoid in the street, but not only was he eating kosher pizza, but as he walked out of the door, he kissed the mezuzah!