Sunday, December 30, 2007

Midian Spinach and Chick Peas

Each week our Shabbat dinner menu reflects the themes of the weekly Torah Portion. Last week, honoring Moses' forty years in Midian, our cooking guests were invited to prepare and bring a Saudi-style Shabbat dish. Our sister Susan Levy explains her creation.

Flaming Mountain of the Gods Cake

Each week our Shabbat dinner menu reflects the themes of the weekly Torah Portion. This week, honoring Moses' forty years in Midian, our cooking guests were invited to prepare and bring a Saudi-style Shabbat dish. Our sister Joan Barris explains her creation.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The God of Tricks - Parshat Shemot

Parshat Vayechi Recipe - Buried Chicken

In last week’s parsha, Jacob died in Egypt, was embalmed and then buried in Canaan. We celebrated this in food for Shabbat dinner. The main course was Buried Egyptian Chicken, in which sweet and spicy roasted chicken is buried in rubble and the guests dig it up. The embalming was honored preserved foods—pickles and pickled beets with peppers.

The challah was flavored with coriander, a spice used in Egyptian cooking.

Here’s how it went:

Spicy Roast Chicken with Dates and Almonds

10 lbs chicken parts
5 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp salt
6 tsp lemon juice
2 cups pitted dates
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 large onion cut into chunks

Put chicken in a large roasting pan. Combine seasonings and rub into chicken parts, on and under the skin. Pour on broth and lemon juice. Add chopped onion, dates and almonds. Cover and roast at 425 until chicken is tender, about an hour or so. Uncover and remove most of the liquid (using a turkey baster). Arrange chicken with skin-side up and cook uncovered to brown (I put the dark meat on top).

Promised Land Quinoa
This is designed to remind us of dirt from the Land.

1 pkg quinoa (12 oz)
1 pkg Inca Red Quinoa (12 oz)
@3.5 cups vegetable broth
½ cup light coconut milk
1 cup pitted olives, some chopped
salt and pepper

Measure quinoa into a large pot. Add 2 parts of liquid using any combination of broth, water and coconut milk (we had some leftover miso soup we included). Add olives. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Cover the roasted chicken with the quinoa and serve with gardening tools.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why I wear a hijab ... and I don't

Best friends Asmaa Abou Zeidan, middle, and Zahraa El-Zaibak, right, live across the street from each other. One wears the headscarf, known as the hijab, the other doesn’t. The girls tell the Star what everyone wants to know. Why the hijab? And why not?

- Staff reporter


Asmaa Abou Zeidan scans through her closet and – like most mornings – settles on a shirt her mother doesn't like.

It's a white linen button-up blouse, falling just above the knee.

"She thinks it's too tight," the 16-year-old sighs. "She thinks everything I own is too tight. `That's not the way a Muslim girl is supposed to dress. You're supposed to be modest,'" she says.

Asmaa doesn't consider herself super-religious. She reads the Qur'an – when her parents ask her to. She attends mosque, prays five times a day, and believes in Islam, but right now Asmaa's priorities are her family, friends and being 16.

On a typical day, Asmaa likes to hang around school for a bit after the final 3:15 p.m. bell. Sometimes, she and some friends will hop the 43 bus to the Scarborough Town Centre for some shopping. more

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

Free range organic Kosher...

Free-range, organic Kosher chicken, beef and bison, in Highland Park and they even deliver. Thanks to Peta Kaplan for letting us know about Oakville Organics, Their warehouse is across the street from ToysRus, at 1630 Old Deerfield Road, (847) 831-3030. I went there one afternoon and got a tour of the place, giant walk-in coolers and freezers, big open sorting room and 2 guys at desks with computers. They were cute and friendly and eager to tell me about the hecture from real Brooklyn Lubovichers on the pack of Wise chicken wings I bought. The package assured me that those wings came from happy chickens who’s lives included running around in fresh air.

I ordered a Thanksgiving turkey, too.

It is expensive, but if we’re going to buy kosher meat, I want it to mean something beyond supporting the rabbinate. There should be an ethical, humane aspect to kosher. There’s no discussion here of conditions in the slaughterhouse or treatment of the workers, but this is a step along the way.

Oh, they have fruit and vegetables too. I’ll get some when our Angelica Farms CSA season ends.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

‘Alcohol not conducive to Simchat Torah’ - Ynetnews

Orthodox Union warns against serving alcohol to teenagers during Simchat Torah celebrations

Ynetnews - Published: 10.01.07, 19:37 / Israel Jewish Scene

The Orthodox Union in America has called on its synagogues to make sure that teenagers are not served alcohol during Simchat Torah celebrations later this week.

The holiday, which falls on Thursday night in the Diaspora, marks the end of the annual Torah cycle and the beginning of the next cycle, and features dancing with the Torah scrolls in a celebration that often includes alcohol.

"The reality is that no one should overindulge in alcohol on Simchat Torah, as it is not conducive to the spirit of the day. Even adults should be careful that their celebrations do not go counter to the appropriate decorum of our synagogues,” the OU's executive vice president, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb wrote in a letter to rabbis and presidents of OU synagogues. more

The best Sukkot weekend evuh!

Perfect weather, sunny, warm clear! We served Shabbos dinner for eighteen Friday night, Persian lamb stew. We dwelled and studied Torah on Shabbos morn. we partied in our Sukkah Motzi Shabbos. We dwelled in the Sukkot of dear friends. In the image above, Sharon delights in the Sukkah of our friends the Ohringers.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

Parshat Ha'azinu

L'Shana Tova & Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Parshat Ki Tavo

When a gangstuh talks about, "going Old Testament on his ass," she probably means something like the stuff in Parshat Ki Tavo. As Moses final speech continues, he follows through with his theme of, "obey and be happy, disobey and suffer BIG TIME!" The threats in this parsha makes Guantanamo seem like Club Med. It makes water boarding seem a shower massage. The good news is that, like so many of YHWH's threats, She didn't go through with it... yet

Monday, August 27, 2007

Secrets of the Star

All 24 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are found in the Magen David. There is no such thing in any other language. - Thanks to Cindy Cossid Stern and her mom.

Ki Tetze - More food fun

This week's parsha included the rules for rape, and this week's garden included the last rape harvest, and such a confluence was almost too easy.

Also in this week's parsha we found the instructions for taking eggs from a mother bird: you must first shoo away the mom so she won't see you taking her eggs.

The eggs were served sunny side up, cooked on top of the rape in a paella pan. The roasted chicken was kept from seeing this by a cleverly improvised divider (silk wrapped box of dishwasher detergent).

Garden discoveries included MEL, Aaron's first watermelon, a moon and stars variety he'd photographed with his new Iphone and shows to anyone who'll look, and now about 9 siblings and cousins of the Golden Midget clan. Rhonda had put plates under them to keep them from the worms.

Also a trove of overly mature lemon cucumbers and many heirloom tomatoes originally from Carla's starts. These, with some beauties from the garden at 61, led to my first gazpacho, all hand cut ito tiny bits.

We returned from our annual canoe trip in Wisconsin on Tuesday night, wet and tired, and had the satisfaction of seeing the shower water blacken in the rinse. It was a wonderful trip, especially in retrospect, where you can be warm and dry while you remember the heroic and amazing acts of, for instance, Diana, who left her leaky tent in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm to improvise an extra layer of tent over the heads of Shani and Dina who were being dripped on. And Leona, camping for the first time in 80 years, who proved it is possible to start and maintain fires in the rain.

Wednesday morning was all about washing and drying. Around noon I decided it would be ok to send out last year's comic without improvements, and there was much rejoicing.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Parsha Chukat

Zeus, king of the Greek gods, was not mentioned in this week's parsha, though the Greeks did, for a time, occupy Palestine. His appearance as YHWH's confessor is a device to let us put words in her mouth about how she might have felt about this week's shocking turnaround in her relationship with Moses.

Zeus is also our way of emphasizing one of the things we notice most in this year's parsha reading, the VERY polytheistic nature of our Torah. But that is for another discussion and perhaps another god.

Shabbat Shalom,

a & s

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sharon Goes Native

Sharon shops for Islamic clothes in Ramallah, the capital of Palestine.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Parsha Ba'alotecha

What's Israel's favorite wineEgypt!" Now that we've finally left Sinai and are on our way to Canaan it's complain, complain, complain. The Hebrews demanded dietary diversity! Though for us it's hard to figure why they needed the extra foods since manna tasted like whatever the eater wanted. We're not sure why YHWH believes that Moses needs prophetic help, especially since, as far as we can tell, he doesn't do much prophesizing himself. The lesson of this parsha is clearly, "Be careful what you wish for."


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Parsha Naso

YHWH demands that women suspected of adultery be brought before Her. It's surprising, since last week's parsha condemned any non-priest approaching YHWH to death. We have a theory of what was up. Practically speaking, we imagine the woman standing in the courtyard before the curtain of the Tent of the meeting. YHWH would dwell behind the curtain and pass judgment from there. This is also the Rastafarian parsha. It describes the rules for Nazirs, people vowing to dedicate themselves to YHWH for a specific period of time. The bible's most famous Nazir was probably Samson, who was also the world's first suicide terrorist.

Also in this parsha (but not our comic) is the priestly blessing, the finger arrangement of which was popularized by intergalactically famous Heeb, Leonard Nimoy.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I think we're all Karaites on this bus

I thought cholent was just the Yiddish word for "leftovers." I didn't realize it was a religious fault line.

According to an article in today's JPost the Shulchan Aruch instructs us to eat cholent on Shabbat lest we be taken for Karaites, who apparently don't believe in ... cholent.

But my best takeaway was that Karaites reject the divinity of the oral law and, most interestingly, believe we should read the Torah and decide for ourselves what it means. Karaites are apparently encouraged to "consult with as many people as possible where there is a question of uncertainty. One can take the advice of a hacham (an especially learned member of the community), but that advice is not binding and the hacham has to be able to prove his view from the Torah."

Isn't this what Jews mostly do anyway? When rabbis (to our stunned amazement) disagree on interpretation, don't we just go with whom/whatever makes most sense to us?

The article quotes one learned Karaite as saying: "Rabbinic Judaism has taken the responsibility away from the individual and given it to the rabbis. But you can't say on Judgment Day that the rabbi told me this or that - the responsibility is on the individual. Every person's decisions are on his head and that's why each person should read and try to understand the Torah."

Isn't this what all Jews are supposed to do? We all live, more than less, by the Karaite motto "search well in the scripture and do not rely on anyone else's opinion."

To me the Karaites are just another bunch of Jews proving Rabbi Friedheim's adage, 'There is only one kind of Judaism, Orthodox. There's only one kind of Jew, Reform."

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Female Nazir?

This week's parsha, Naso, includes instructions for dedicating oneself to YHWH as a Nazir. And just to show you how good that can look, straight outa Kingston comes Zahra Redwood, the new, dreadlocked, Rastafarian Miss Jamaica! Betcha Haile Selassie is rising in his grave!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


We spend a lot of religious energy opposing old Molech. Here's one version of what his followers are up to today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Making modern midrash | The Shalom Center

OK, I am obsessed with defending our little comic from charges of blasphemy. This little essay on the Shalom Center site, about making modern midrash is one of my favorites.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hellooo Honey!

Meet YHWH's "friend" Honey Milkand. She's arguably the Torah's most desirable character. We'd be thrilled to plow her fields any day.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Shilpa Shetty

We know/knew nothing about Shilpa Shetty but decided to be inspired by her image for our latest CT character, Honey Milkand aks "The Land." But now we've fallen in love/lust with her, as does Moses in our comic. She's a great character to draw since she is so ridiculously beautiful she's practically a cartoon herself. We've now watched a lot of her stuff on youtube and increase our fanhood with each viewing

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Who Is a Leader?

Who Is a Leader?: "'It shall be that when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself TWO copies of the Torah ... It shall remain with him, and he shall read from it all the days of his life, so that he will learn to have awe for the Almighty, and to observe all the mitzvot the Torah - so that his heart does not become haughty over his fellow countrymen ...' (Deut. 17:18-20)"

Cookbooks - Jewish & Kosher Cooking at MSN Shopping

Cookbooks - Jewish & Kosher Cooking at MSN Shopping

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Hunky Entre

Parsha Emor implies that YHWH only likes hunky, good-looking Kohanim. So for Shabbat dinner this week we'll serve Literal "Beef Cake"

Monday, January 22, 2007

Most Productive flight

CT @ 37k - 2

CT over the Atlantic1

The first leg of the Israeli/Palestinian Comedy Tour started well for your humble CT artists.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Parsha Shemot

The End of The Beginning,

This week we slam shut the book of Breishit/Beginning/Genesis. Jacob recites a prophetic poem, blessing and cursing his sons. He blesses Joseph's sons too, predicting that they will "multiply abundantly like fish." Joseph dies after reminding his descendents that, "G-d will surely remember you, and bring you up out of this land to the land of which he swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

In this week's comic, heaven's newest professor tries to teach rowdy angels what the book was all about.

Parsha Vayechi

The End of The Beginning,

This week we slam shut the book of Breishit/Beginning/Genesis. Jacob recites a prophetic poem, blessing and cursing his sons. He blesses Joseph's sons too, predicting that they will "multiply abundantly like fish." Joseph dies after reminding his descendents that, "G-d will surely remember you, and bring you up out of this land to the land of which he swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

In this week's comic, heaven's newest professor tries to teach rowdy angels what the book was all about.