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The Easiest Crock Pot Roast for Shabbat

Posted on April 24th, 2017
BY JENNIFER STEMPEL for The Nosher for

As someone who runs her life a million miles per minute, but still values the fruits of a home-cooked meal, the slow cooker is certainly a mainstay in my kitchen. Because of this favorite small appliance, my family gets to enjoy rich, hearty meals that taste like they’ve been simmering all day, even on those days when I’ve got just a few minutes to get dinner on the table.

I especially love making this savory slow cooker pot roast for a festive Shabbat meal. Any good starchy side like rice, potatoes, or noodles will sop up the juices in a fabulous way. Plus, if you’re lucky you’ll have leftovers, which I have been known to turn into pot roast tacos the next day.

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Shutting it all Down to Reboot My System

Posted on April 17th, 2017
By Mayim Bialik on her website, GrokNation  

How Mayim’s time away from her devices prompted her to rethink her relationships with her phone and certain websites

One of the great gifts I have received from taking on Jewish observance is the gift of shutting off things in my life that distract me from what I want to experience on a particular religious holiday.

For example, Shabbat comes every Friday night through Saturday night, and it is a time to spend with family and friends. Not checking email or social media is a way to force myself to not be distracted by the things that tend to distract me on a daily basis. The Sabbath is a real gift in my life and I’m not the only one; many non-observant Jews and people who aren’t Jewish at all have even begun to sing the praises of a “powered down” day of the week, especially in this day and age of constant information in the palm of your hand in the form of a smartphone.

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Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach (The Intermediate Shabbat of Passover)

Posted on April 10th, 2017

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for thy love is better than wine. (Song of Songs 1:2)

Because this Shabbat falls during Pesach, the normal cycle of weekly parashot (portions) is interrupted by a special reading from the Torah.  In addition, we read Shir Hashirim, the Song of Songs, just prior to the Torah service.  The custom of reading Shir Hashirim on Pesach dates back to at least the 8th Century.

According to Rashi, (an acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, the pre-eminent 11th century Jewish commentator) Shir Hashirim is an allegory about the love between God and the Children of Israel told as a story about a young and beautiful woman who becomes engaged to and then marries a king.   The engagement is the Exodus from Egypt and the marriage is the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.   Shir Hashirim also makes a direct reference to Pesach, stating,” I compare you, O my love, to a mare of the chariots of Pharaoh.” (1:9).

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Shabbat HaGadol

Posted on April 3rd, 2017
by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

The Sabbath immediately preceding Passover is known as Shabbat Hagadol, the Great Sabbath.

Are there any special customs for Shabbat Hagadol?

1. Today, practically every pulpit rabbi delivers a homily every Shabbat. This wasn't always the case. In Jewish communities of old, the rabbi would speak to the congregation twice a year: On Shabbat Shuvah (the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) the rabbi would speak about the importance of doing Teshuvah, and would remind the people of the numerous laws associated with the holiday of Sukkot (Sukkot is five days after Yom Kippur). And on Shabbat Hagadol the rabbi would discuss in his sermon some of the practical laws associated with Pesach. The rabbis had it easy, and some of the congregants had to find some other time to catch up on their sleep...

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For more about Passover, check out our Passover Resource Kit.

Learn to Light Shabbat Candles with BimBam

Posted on March 27th, 2017
From Shaboom!

In this karaoke video, parents and kids learn the blessing for lighting Shabbat candles. Watch this short video from the Shaboom team to practice saying the prayer together. Shabbat shalom to your family!