Let’s Schmooze!


Like Me, Pretty Please!

Subscribe to the Tribe!

Enter your e-mail address to get Mishegas of Motherhood in your Inbox:



Another Passover In A Pandemic—It’s A Wrap—Dayenu

As the second Passover pandemic nears the end, and the last box of matzo is whittled down to crumbs, I’ wrote a year-in-review parody of  “Dayneu”, the Hebrew name of a popular Passover song that means, “It was enough for us”.  While we have experienced tremendous loss, some of us way more than others, we gained a lot as well, a new appreciation for living, breathing, taking care of each other, and Zoom. Dayenu reminds us to recognize that what we have is enough and to not take the miracles for granted.

So, here goes, it helps if you know the original lyrics, which can be found HERE.


If He gave us Netflix

and not season three of Shtisel to binge on

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He provided food on the table

and not offered us carryout from our favorite Thai restaurant

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He temporarily shut down roads, airways, waters, to prevent the virus from spreading

and not rewarded us bluer skies, cleaner air, less noise and pollution, and a better environment for nature and animals

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He filled the grocery stores with plenty of food

and not given us Shipt delivery service

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He supplied pleated disposable masks

and not showed us how to make washable face coverings with Hanukkah menorah patterns

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He gave us Shabbat and the Jewish holidays

and not invented the technology to join fellow congregants and community virtually, while wearing our pajamas

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He built us temples

and not offered drive thru Shofar blowing

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He educated our rabbis, clergy, leaders, and community organizations

and not created Zoom to keep us connected and inspired

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He gave us rituals to guide us through life cycle events, from birth to death and every simcha in between

and not invented computers to attend a wedding, bris and shiva all on the same day

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He provided us soap to constantly wash our hands

and not the liquid moisturizing kind in a pump that smells like jasmine

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He gave us bleach to sterilize the door knobs, kitchen counters, and mailbox every time we touched it

and not the convenient disinfectant wipes that pull out of a canister

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He gave us shelter

and not heat, air conditioning, and essential oil diffusers

 Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He trained doctors, nurses, and hospital workers to heal us

and not asked them to risk their own lives to save ours

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He watched over front line heroes and first responders

and not opened our hearts to bring them pizza and show our support

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He cried with us when we were in pain, lost, or confused

and not shown us how to do His work with compassion, empathy, and generosity

Dayneu, it would have been enough


If He made wise the scientists and pharmacists to research and development new medicines, treatments and vaccines

and not administered shots in arms around the world in record time

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He brought forth teachers to care about their students

and not provided virtual classrooms

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He empowered parents to juggle their careers and homeschooling

And not reopened schools before summer

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If he showed me the unconditional love of a dog

and not given me a second toy poodle to pick up poop after

Dayneu, it would have been enough


If He taught us skills to earn an income

and not shown us how to work from home

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He gave us the hibernation of winter and the resurgence of spring

and not rainbows, yellow daffodils, purple crocus, and white blossoming pear trees

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He blessed us with loved ones, family, friends, neighbors, community far and wide

and not kept us connected through social media while physically apart

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He showed us generosity and kindness to strangers

and not returned the favor ten-fold

 Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He watched over people who had to close their doors during the economic shutdown

and not rallied us to support small local businesses.

 Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He believed in us

and not given us hope and miracles

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He vaccinated me when it was my turn

And not on January 20, 2021, the day the first woman vice president was sworn in

Dayenu, it would have been enough


If He had a sense of humor

And not brought me a Shipt shopped named Moshe on Passover

Dayenyu, it would have been enough


And if you made it all the way to the bottom of this blog, thank you, here’s your afikomen (“dessert”)!






The Plague of Locusts Are Coming!

They’re baaaack! As we describe in the Passover story, locust is the eighth plague that God inflicted on the Egyptians. The Hebrew word for locust is Arbeh, which means “many”, symbolizing that the locust came in great numbers as punishment for the Egyptians trying to limit the Jews from multiplying and stopping God’s blessing of Harbeh Arbeh, “you should be fruitful and multiply.”

Continue reading

Passover Pandemic Gives New Meaning To Freedom

Yesterday felt like Spring, a beautiful sunny day with all the colorful flowers in bloom, and a great day for a much needed walk after cooking and cleaning.

Then as the sun began to set, the clouds rolled in, the sky grew darker, and right on cue, the rain came down, watering the bright green grass, yellow forsythia bushes, and pink magnolia tree that are the first to blossom in our yard. As we sat down to dinner, I remember last year when it thunder stormed on the first night of Passover and I was convinced God sent the plague of hail to make sure we were doing the Seder during the coronavirus pandemic, even as the patio furniture blew over. This year, a mist of rain came through the open window, and it felt soothing, refreshing, cleansing, like a new beginning.

Continue reading

Dreaming of Coronavirus and Casseroles Keep Me Up At Night

Two main things keep me up at night. First and foremost, the health and safety of my family. Secondly, what to make for dinner. Also, hot flashes. So technically that’s three things that keep me tossing and turning in bed while everyone else is sleeping. Continue reading

Time to Rest and Recharge–It’s Shabbat


Our country, our world, is in turmoil. Protests, both peaceful and destructive, are on the rise right along with the surge of coronavirus. The days are stressful and confusing, and many people are sick and suffering. The good– people of all races, colors, religions, and generations are unifying and standing up for racial equality, social justice, and policy reform. The bad–government and police struggle to maintain control, while malicious radicals take advantage of the chaos. While people are coming together, there is still much division, anger, and emotion tearing us apart. We need law and order to live in a free society, but how we get there remains an elusive ethical dilemma one of the many themes of this week’s Parshat Behaalotcha.

We have a long way to go. but the conversation is started, and there is hope. And there is Shabbat.

In the famous words of Ahad Ha’am, founder of cultural Zionism:  “More than the Jewish People have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.”

Shabbat does not make any of the pain go away, but rather a brief period of time to rest and recharge so we can forge ahead in the next week with a renewed engergy and purpose. Shabbat has sustained the Jewish people since the beginning of time,  allowing us to turn down the chaos and turn on our connection to God. When life around us seems so out of control, Shabbat is the one constant. The strike of a match that begins and ends Shabbat is the light that permeates the darkness and helps us see things clearer and with greater understanding.

And from Warren Goldstein, chief rabbi of the Orthodox Synagogues of South Africa and founder of the Shabbat Project,  “Whatever Jews have gone through or are dealing with today, Shabbat is a reminder that for a 25-hour period, there is a need to disconnect from the world, reintegrate with family, be part of a community, and connect with God.”

On Friday nights, my son usually comes over for dinner and stays overnight, and I make a special meal and of course challah. I even pour grape juice into a purple glass decanter for my husband (wine gives him a stomachache).  After the last bite of fudge brownie for dessert, my son and I sometimes venture into the living room, which I call the “Shabbat Parlor,” and we casually talk about the Torah portion while my toy poodle Beau snuggles contently on my lap. At some point in the night, Jack goes for a walk on his own to the common ground down the street. The moon hangs in the sky and there is a quietness in the air except maybe sounds of crickets and a croaking toad. This is where Jack comes to pray, joined only by a deer grazing nearby. I call it “davening in the corn field.”

During Shabbat, Jack shares what he learned from the commentaries of some of his favorite Rabbi teachers, including Jonathan Sacks, David Wolpe and Rashi to name a few, while I usually rely on the summaries of Chana Weisberg’s Shabbat deLights or the many wonderful Zoom webinars from orthodox to reform, including Aish St. Louis and Congregation Shaare Emeth where I know the clergy personally. Sometimes we have our talks during our walks around the neighborhood, this is our uninterrupted time together, a safe place to share what’s on our minds. My husband and daughter prefer to do their own thing, and that’s OK, they are always welcome to join our deep conversations.

Even though currently we are not gathering in person in our communities because of coronavirus, there are many ways to stay connected, including Project Inspire, which allows Jews around the world to turn Friday night into Shabbat with inspirational speakers, musical performances, special guests, and even cooking demos to get us hungry for more.  I often tune into the one-hour program while I’m cutting up fruit or setting the table.

Shabbat has the most ancient roots in Judaism, but the universal message is more relevant than ever before. In the onslaught of modern technology, social media, and nonstop CNN, Shabbat gives us permission to turn off the noise and connect with God and our Jewish values that shapes how we perceive the world and guides us to how we fit in.

Go HERE to download a guide to bringing Shabbat home, whether you’re a host or a guest, or having an intimate celebration with your immediate family.

In  Parshat Beha’alotcha, Hebrew for “when you step up,” we read the story about the Israelites crying out again complaining about the miserable conditions of the desert. They complained to their leader Moses that there was nothing to eat besides manna and they wanted meat and fish and fruits and vegetables like they ate in Egypt. It’s as if they forgot how unbearable their life was as slaves in Egypt. Now that they are free, and have manna to eat and this substance from heaven tastes like whatever they crave, the Jews are also obligated to follow the laws of the land, the commandments.

Moses heard their weeping and begged God, “Why have You placed the burden of this entire people upon me. I alone cannot carry this entire nation, for it is too heavy a burden.”

God said to Moses, “gather seventy men from among the elders of Israel and have them stand with you at the Tent of Appointed Meeting. They will then bear the burden of the people with you. As for the people complaining that life was better for them in Egypt, tell them that God will provide meat. Tell them it will be so much meat that they must eat it for a whole month until it comes out of their nostrils and makes them nauseated. Tell them it is because you have rejected Hashem who is in your midst and you have wept before Hashem saying, ‘Why did we leave Egypt?’”

The meaning of  the Torah go below the surface, and one midrash suggests that in Beha’alotcha  the complaints of the Jewish people is not so much about their physical needs but more about freedom. The word “free” in this Torah portion means “free of divine precepts,” meaning they are responsible for their own actions and for following the laws of the Torah, which requires great social responsibility. And perhaps it means that while change starts by taking individual responsibility, we all must stand together as one people, one nation, and this is never more true than during a time of protest in a pandemic.

Shabbat Shalom, may you find peace, comfort, and reassurance that we are here for a reason and that unity is a verb, not a noun, and we all have a role in making this world a more equal, kinder place.