Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yehi zichram baruch

Yom HaShoah 5775 coincides with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1945.

Tomorrow morning, as the siren wails and the entire country comes to a mournful standstill, I will think about the following Holocaust survivors:

- My great-grandmother z”l, who used her wits, courage, and determination to save her daughters and then survive the Kovno ghetto (where she lost her beloved husband) and then two different concentration camps.

- My grandfather z”l. A gifted talmid of both Rav Elchanan Wasserman zt”l and Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l, he left behind a remarkable letter for his descendants.

- My grandmother z”l. She was such an important part of my life, and I miss her greatly.

יהי זכרם ברוך.

May their memories be blessed; may they be meilitzei yosher for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, yblt”a, as well as all of Am Yisrael; and may we all be privileged to continue along their illustrious paths.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pesach 5775: Shmitah and brownies

Moadim l’simchah!

I hope you’re having a wonderful Pesach and enjoying the weeklong vacation.

B”H, thanks to YZG and the amazing Shiputzim kids, we had a beautiful seder and yom tov, and we’ve been spending chol hamoed visiting with family and going on various trips and outings.

It was on one of the aforementioned outings that we observed the following #onlyinIsrael sign hanging on the gate of a certain agricultural community:

IMG_6834Translation: “Shmitah is observed here!”

And speaking of Pesach, I know you won’t be surprised to learn that here in TRLEOOB* – as in many other households - we consider brownies to be a Pesach staple. (The Shiputzim kids made 7 batches this year.)

<quick explanation> As I mentioned elsewhere, although we don’t eat gebrochts on Pesach, we’re not fanatic about it. Basically, the only thing we avoid is matzah mixed with water. Other liquids are fine, and thus, the Shiputzim family’s favorite Pesach brownie recipe contains matzah meal but no water. </explanation>





Mezonot Pesach Brownies

Our electric hand mixer can handle four recipes at a time.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope vanilla sugar (can be included as part of the cup of sugar)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup matzah meal
  • 5½ TBSP cocoa


Beat eggs and sugars well. Gradually add remaining ingredients, and mix together.

Pour batter into baking-paper-lined pan (we use aluminum pans that are slightly smaller than 9x13). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Let the brownies cool before cutting.

Note: They freeze well. (We freeze the brownies whole and only cut them into squares immediately before serving.)

מועדים לשמחה, חג שמח ושבת שלום!

Have a fantastic chag and Shabbat, and enjoy your Shabbat Parshat Shmini/Isru Chag kitniyot!

*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog

Friday, April 3, 2015

Euphonic Friday: Erev Pesach 5775 Edition

The food is cooked. The table is set. Showers were taken, and here in TRLEOOB*, everyone is enjoying their traditional pre-Seder naps while listening to this newly-released song by Gad Elbaz:

!שבת שלום וחג כשר ושמח

May you and your families have a wonderful, joyous, and kosher Pesach, and may we all be privileged to celebrate together next year in rebuilt Yerushalayim!

*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog