Look Up!

Look up!

“Hey, Rabbi Greene, look up!” a camper called out as we walked up a small waterfall next to Wisconsin’s Black River. I admit, at that moment I was focused on my feet. Sure, I had taken in the beauty of my surroundings, but not entirely. Concerned with not slipping as I hiked up the slippery rocks, I had neglected to look up. Until this 13-year old boy called me to do so. Continue reading

Keep Hugging the Bowl

Hug the mixing bowl. Yes, really hug it. If you don’t, it will fly across the kitchen. Actually, with liquid batter, the mixer works just fine, most of the time. But with dough, the bowl goes flying off the base, ingredients with it. If you hug the bowl while it mixes, it will stay on the base. So, I keep hugging the bowl.

“Why?”

Because it was Grandma’s. And when I bake with the KitchenAid 4C that is as old as I am, Grandma is in the kitchen with me. She is telling me to use the best of ingredients. She is baking alongside my three children, at least one of whom is already taller than her. All of this is a neat trick, since Grandma died 22 years ago. Continue reading

Prague Chanukah, 1990

High ceilings marked the grand room. The space called out history, communal gatherings, meetings, celebrations. On this night, the auditorium-like room, stage at one end was filled. The crowd dressed in an old-fashioned, timeless style reminiscent of the ‘40s. We had traveled back in time. It was if the Shoah had never happened. Music played – instruments – maybe klezmer – with a contagious spirit. And at the front of the room on that nearly empty stage sat a gold Chanukiah, waiting to be lit. Continue reading