Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fatigued Friday: Pesach might be coming edition

Fatigued Friday is an annual Our Shiputzim tradition, which basically involves me writing a post on the day we “spring forward”.

Not coincidentally,  this also happens to be a day when most of the country is sleep-deprived.

A day when exhaustion abounds, and hilarity ensues.

A day when it’s time to list:

The Top Five Signs That Pesach Might Be Coming Soon

(5) The males in your family are in desperate need of haircuts.

Note that this overgrown state of the hair, er, I mean, affairs has been in effect for several weeks now – and is only exacerbated by said males’ reluctance to use a comb  - but all your attempts at convincing them to remedy the hirsute situation have been met with variations of the following response:

“It doesn’t shaveh to get a haircut NOW. I’ll wait until much closer to Pesach/Sefirah…”

(4) Your local email list is inundated with free giveaways and with advertisements from preteens running day camps during Pesach vacation.

(3) Half of your acquaintances are busy gloating about how much they’ve accomplished - while the other half are busy worrying about how much they have left to do. (On a personal note, this post proves that here in TRLEOOB*, we’re right on schedule… :-))

(2) Your menus have been getting stranger and stranger, as you try to find new and creative ways to use up your chametz. ({flips through cookbook} “There has GOT to be at least ONE recipe in here that calls for ¾ cup flour, ½ cup oatmeal, four packages of whole-wheat crackers, and several bags of pasta…)

(1) Two words: Fatigued Friday…


!שבת שלום ומבורך


*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog

Monday, March 28, 2011

Heblish: Plenty more where that came from edition

You’ve run out of Heblish, haven’t you?” a reader recently observed.

After all, s/he noted, it’s been a while since I posted a batch of entries from the Official Our Shiputzim Heblish-English Dictionary.

Besides, s/he added, a couple of the newer Heblish editions were comprised entirely of reader submissions*.

Clearly, s/he concluded, I’ve exhausted the Heblish supply.

And so, in response and in order to prove that Heblish actually approaches infinity, I present several all-new entries - straight from TRLEOOB (=the real life equivalent of our blog):

  • A chaval: Hebrew source חבל. English definition – Too bad; a shame. Sample usage - “It’s a chaval that I didn’t get a turn on the computer yesterday.”
  • Cow meat: Hebrew source בשר בקר. English definition – Beef. Sample usage - “We had cow meat at the Purim seudah.”
  • The electricity jumped: Hebrew source החשמל קפץ. English definition – The circuit breaker tripped. Sample usage - “The light bulb burned out, and it made all the electricity in the house jump.”
  • Practice on: Hebrew source להתאמן על. English definition – Practice. Sample usage - “We practiced on the play.”
  • Skip on: Hebrew source לדלג על. English definition – Skip over. Sample usage - “The teacher said that we should skip on that page.”
  • It doesn’t shaveh: Hebrew source זה לא שווה. English definition – It’s not worth it. Sample usage - “It doesn’t shaveh for me to try it.”

I rest my case…smile_teeth

*Speaking of reader submissions, I still have a bunch waiting to be posted. Thanks to everyone who sent me their favorite Heblishisms, and please keep them coming…


Previous Heblish editions are available here: Heblish I, Heblish II, Heblish III, Heblish IV, Heblish V, Heblish VI, Heblish VII, Heblish VIII, Heblish IX, Heblish X, Heblish XI, Heblish XII, Heblish XIII, and Heblish XIV.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Post-Purim Blogbits

1) B”H, we enjoyed a wonderful, joyous Purim, including a beautiful seudah. Special thanks to the Be-All-You-Can-Be family for their gracious – and delicious! – hospitality.

2) Newer readers will be (no doubt) interested to learn that Mr. Be-All-You-Can-Be is not only the official Our Shiputzim military advisor – What? Your blog doesn’t have a military advisor? You really should get one… – but also served as our tour guide to the wind turbines in the Golan.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Be-All-You-Can-Be is the source for my favorite cheesecake filling recipe.

3) The latest Haveil Havalim is available here. Special thanks to Susan B for including my Heblish translation of Esther 3.

4) Here in TRLEOOB*, we’ve officially entered Stage II of our unique Pre-Pesach Program.

Please feel free to use this highly-effective system yourself…

4) And finally, on a related note, here’s a little seasonal secret for you:

If none of your friends responded to your Facebook status about all the Pesach cleaning you’ve accomplished, you probably shouldn’t take their silence as approval.

Rather, they were raised to believe that if you have nothing nice to say, well, you know the rest…



*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Heblishization of the Megilah

In honor of Purim and brought to you by the producers of the now-legendary Heblish translation of Mah Nishtanah, we proudly present:

The Official Our Shiputzim

Heblish Translation


Megilat Esther - Chapter 3

(1) After these things, the king, Achashveirosh, raised Haman ben Hamdata, the Agagi, and he lifted him up; and he put his chair above all the ministers who were with him.

(2) And all the servants of the king, who are in the gate of the king, are kneeling and bowing to Haman, because so the king commanded to him; and Mordechai will not kneel and will not bow.

(3) And all the servants of the king, who are in the gate of the king, said to Mordechai: “Why are you going over the mitzvah of the king?”

(4) And it was in like their saying to him, day and day, and he did not hear to them; and they told to Haman to see if the words of Mordechai will stand, because he told to them that he is Jewish.

(5) And Haman saw that there is not Mordechai kneeling and bowing to him; and Haman filled with anger.

(6) And it vayivezed in his eyes to send a hand in Mordechai by himself, because they told to him the nation of Mordechai; and Haman requested to destroy all the Jews who are in all the kingdom of Achashveirosh, the nation of Mordechai.

(7) In the first month - it is the month of Nissan - in year twelve to the king, Achashveirosh, he dropped a pur - it is a lottery - before Haman, from day to day and from month to month twelve - it is the month of Adar.

(8) And Haman said to the king, Achashveirosh: “There is one nation, scattered and separated between the nations in all the states of your kingdom; and their religions are different from every nation, and the religions of the king – they do not do, and to the king it is not worth it to leave them.

(9) “If on the king is good, he will write to lose them; and ten thousand silver traffic circles, I will measure on the hands of the doers of the work to bring to the treasuries of the king.”

(10) And the king took off his ring from on top of his hand; and he gave it to Haman ben Hamdata, the Agagi, the enemy of the Jews.

(11) And the king said to Haman: “The money is given to you; and the nation to do in it like the good in your eyes.”

(12) And the scribes of the king were called in the first month in thirteen day in it, and it was written like all that Haman commanded to the achashdarpanim of the king and to the less that is on state and state and to the ministers of nation and nation, state and state like its writing, and nation and nation like its tongue; in the name of the king, Achashveirosh,  it was written and it was signed in the ring of the king.

(13) And books were sent in the hand of the runners to all the states of the king, to destroy, to kill, to lose all the Jews, from teenager and until old man, child and women in one day, in thirteen to month twelve – it is the month of Adar – and their loot to lavoz.

(14) The patshegen of the writing [is] to be given religion in every state and state, revealed to all the nations; to be futures to this day.

(15) The runners went out, being pushed in the word of the king, and the religion was given in Shushan the capital; and the king and Haman sat down to drink, and the city of Shushan became perplexed.


שבת שלום

ופורים שמח!

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The clothes make the post

Back in June, when I first wrote about school uniforms (i.e. tilboshet achidah, for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you), I assumed that I’d basically covered (no pun intended) the subject.

But as it turned out, school uniforms proved to be an endless source of blogging material.

For instance, they inspired a dinnertime Heblish post and served as the basis of a pseudo-American post.

In addition, they made a cameo appearance in a binder post and starred in an unintended consequences post.

Not bad for a collection of colorful cotton t-shirts, huh?

And in fact, that’s only the beginning.

Because by the time you finish reading this post, those seemingly-ubiquitous tops will have induced me to add a new entry to the Official Our Shiputzim Adar Lexicon:

(Hint: A quick review of the original Adar post might be helpful at this point. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait...)

Takanon (תקנון) – Literally, a charter or a set of rules/bylaws. Mainly applicable in elementary schools, it refers to a list of “laws” enacted by the sixth graders (and approved by the administration).

The takanon usually remains in effect for the two weeks between Rosh Chodesh Adar and Purim and includes rules such as:

  • “No tests.”
  • “The students may eat during class.”
  • “If the teacher comes late, the students get a free period.”

This year, however, the typical takanon also featured a day when uniforms were not required. (In some schools, the teachers were supposed to “wear” the uniform shirts instead.)

Needless to say, this new edict was a huge hit with  the elementary school crowd, who naturally appreciated the rare chance to pick out their own clothes.

But as far as I’m concerned, the best part of the exercise was that it allowed me to produce an entire post out of, um, whole cloth…smile_teeth

Monday, March 14, 2011

Everyone ate hamentashen…

Although she’s extremely busy with Adar-related activities and the bagruyot, the Resident Ulpanistit – and her talented team of adorable assistants BA”H – managed to find time to do some Purim baking:

IMG_3370You might recognize them from two years ago

Orange Hamentashen

Adapted from this recipe


  • 1 seedless orange – well-scrubbed, unpeeled, and quartered
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder (i.e. one envelope for my Israeli readers)
  • 3½ cups flour


Grind the orange quarters (yes, including the peels) in the food processor until fine. Add sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs and mix. Add baking powder and flour and mix until blended.

Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for about twenty minutes before rolling out and forming into hamentashen. (We use copious amounts of chocolate chips for the filling.) Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until done.

Yields: About 45 hamentashen. (They freeze well.)


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baruch Dayan Emet

There is nothing to say.

May we once again be privileged to witness the fulfillment of the Megilah’s words:

“As the days on which the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned about for them from grief to joy and from mourning to a festival…” (Esther 9:22)

And may this coming week be one of besurot tovot, yeshu’ot, and nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Purim Song

The Maccabeats are now celebrating Purim:

Tell all your friends that you saw it here first…


Monday, March 7, 2011

Around the J-Blogosphere

Several items of interest:

1) G6 has a beautiful post about her community’s custom of bringing a wimpel to shul. Mazal tov to her and her family!

2) Pragmatic Attic shares several ideas for Parshat Shekalim cookies – here and here.

3) Ilana-Davita visited Dieuleufit – the French village known as the “Oasis of Peace”, because many Jews found refuge there during the Holocaust.

4) The latest Haveil Havalim is available here. Special thanks to Esser Agaroth for including my siddur party post.

5) The V’Nahafoch’hu Kosher Cooking Carnival is available here. (Hint: Be prepared to stand on your head while reading it…) Special thanks to Miriyummy for including the Resident Ulpanistit’s chocolate swirl blondies.

!חודש טוב ומבורך

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Euphonic Friday: Fasuliah edition

Shavua tov and chodesh tov to all!

In honor of Rosh Chodesh Adar II, we interrupt this blog to bring you yet another one of our family’s favorite obscure songs from the late 1970’s/early 1980’s.

Shoshi B’Agaf Sheva” (“שושי באגף שבע” – literally, “Shoshi in Ward 7”) was the name of an album recorded inside a Be’er Sheva prison by a group of inmates, including soloist David Shoshi (hence the album’s name).

Fasuliah” (literally, “beans” or “bean stew” in Arabic) comes from that album:

Lyrics by Dudu Alharar; music by Chanan Yuval.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Our Shiputzim fare of lizards, Chodesh Irgun, citrus fruit, and Heblish*


!שבוע טוב וחודש טוב


*And speaking of Heblish, watch this space for a special Purim edition…

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reason #12,902 for making aliyah…

…Three words: destination siddur parties.

Hopefully, by now, we’ve all managed to deal with our siddur cover traumas. (But if you still have some outstanding issues to work through, please head on over to the original post for some comment therapy.)

And so, it’s time to move on to the thing which separates Israeli siddur parties from their Diaspora counterparts – namely: amazing venues.

Israeli first graders are often privileged to receive their siddurim at incredibly meaningful and unique locations – such as the Kotel:

IMG_3977No siddur party at the Kotel would be complete without a crowd of random passersby – including Asian tourists who tend to video the entire proceedings… :-)

And Heichal Shlomo, the former seat of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate and the current home of the Museum of Jewish Art:

IMG_3264 The Aron Kodesh and the Bimah in Beit Knesset Renanim - Heichal Shlomo’s on-site shul - were built in Padua, Italy, in 1728.

IMG_3277IMG_3284 IMG_3278 IMG_3282 IMG_3302 Written in Spain in the 13th century, this Sefer Torah was hidden from the Nazis in an attic of a Jewish hospital in Germany.

Where did your kids have their siddur parties?