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

Matzo Symbolizes “Bread of Aflliction and Freedom”

Passover is a week long festival, and if you’re still eating matzo here’s some food for thought on this key symbol of the Passover Seder.
This flat cracker that we eat at Passover may appear plain and inconspicuous, but the entire Exodus story can be told using this one single edible prop. At the beginning of the Seder, we hold up a piece of matzo and say, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.”

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

After Darkness, There is Light. A Lesson When The Pandemic “Passes Over”

“Why is this night different from all other nights,” will begin my 25-year-old son Jack sporting a thick, shaggy red beard, looking more like Rabbi Yankel. The last time he recited the Mah Nishtanah, the Four Questions, at our seder he was probably around bar mitzvah age. This Passover is different, in so many ways.

Tonight, there are only three of us at the table.  My 21-year-old daughter Sari is away, living in her college town in Kansas while taking online classes and working in a local pharmacy in the thick of a pandemic. Even though I wrote an article on virtual seders HERE,  and have learned some clever ways to social distance during a real life Passover plague, we chose to do our own service this year, just the three of us. I have a collection of Haggadahs, poems, and passages that we can use, and of course I prepared a full course meal, from matzo ball soup to chocolate macaroons. Hoping Sari will join us for the afikomen, at least.

Continue reading

“Next Year in Jerusalem”
Becomes a Reality

After a looooong night of prayers, storytelling, wine,

rituals, songs, 10 plagues, and of course matzo ball soup, brisket, macaroons, and an extra scoop of charoset for the road, our cup literally overfloweth with blessings at Passover.

So why is this night different from all other nights, among other reasons? Because at the end of the seder when we recite, “Next year in Jerusalem. L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim,” these last words are an incredible reality for me. In a few days, I will embark on a journey to see my 24-year-old son Jack who temporarily moved to Jerusalem in August to teach English to Israeli elementary school children and to immerse himself in the culture of his ancestors. It will be 250 days (but who’s counting) since I last saw him as we parted ways at St. Louis Lambert International Airport Gate A16. I will be traveling to Israel with my husband and in-laws, their first time in Israel and my second trip there. Continue reading

Finding The Perfect Haggadah
Takes You On A Journey

Finding the perfect Haggadah for your Passover Seder is a very personal thing, much like your favorite brisket recipe. With thousands of Haggodot (plural for Haggadah) to choose from, it’s possible to try a new one every year. Depending on how many Haggadot you will need, the ages or generations sitting at your table, and your preference of traditional or nontraditional, you want to keep your hungry guests engaged and not too antsy during this long ritual meal that can last way past bedtime.

Continue reading

Passover: A Spiritual Feast
For Our Five Senses

The best way to learn about Judaism, and to absorb the plethora of knowledge into our psyche, is to engage all five senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. And no holiday does this better than Passover, the most celebrated Jewish ritual at home. Obviously, the sages made provisions for our spiritual sustenance thousands of years before sensory learning became a thing. The Passover seder engages all our sensory needs, which makes this holiday a favorite among young and old and its lessons so timeless. Just as the sound of the shofar awakens our soul on Rosh Hashanah, the upbeat music of Dayanu livens the story of our journey from slavery to freedom. When we stimulate our senses, the lessons of our ancestors are engrained in our memories so that we pass our traditions down from one generation to the next, L’dor vador.

Continue reading

Matzo– The Bread of Freedom, Affliction (And Addiction?)

I could eat matzo all year round (then again I love kefilte fish). And don’t get me started on Manischewitz Tam Tams, those irresistible snack crackers I used to munch right out of the box when I snuck into my grandparent’s pantry as a kid. Even when the cardboard box is left open for days, Tam Tams taste as good stale as they do fresh.

Matzo, or matzah, or matzot (plural), is a crisp unleavened flatbread that leaves crumbs all over the kitchen counter, and yet when covered with a silk embroidered cloth this flavorless cracker becomes the centerpiece of our Passover seder table. Matzo, while the perfect accompaniment to everything from chopped liver to egg salad, helps us tell the story of our exodus from Egypt, in Hebrew Mitzraim. Unleavened bread was one of the foods the Jews in Egypt were commanded to eat along with the paschal lamb. We eat matzo to commemorate the time when the Israelites were forced to escape Egypt in a hurry in the middle of the night and did not have time to allow their bread to rise. More on the meaning of matzo HERE. We eat matzo on the first and second night at the seder and refrain from eating bread the rest of the week, whether we eat matzo or not. For me, this seven-day Passover holiday, also called Pesach, is an excuse to spread soft butter on matzo as a snack and try new recipes, whether it’s matzo pizza, lasagna, kugel, or granola.  When I was in Weber Elementary School and my classmates gathered for lunch in the cafeteria, my non-Jewish friends wanted to trade their bologna on white bread  for my peanut butter and jelly matzo sandwiches, but I never fell for it, even when tempted with a Twinkie.  Back in the day, my favorite way to eat matzo was when my mom would soften a sheet in water, crumble into pieces, soak in egg, shape into patties, and fry in butter and oil until crisp golden brown on the outside and chewy on the inside. I gobbled them up right out of the sizzling fry pan, drizzled in honey or syrup. We called them matzo pancakes, also known as matzo brei, and still remains a cherished childhood memory.  Continue reading

Why I Celebrated 2 Passover Seders—in 1 Night

Jewish holidays, from Hanukkah to Purim, give us another opportunity to grow spiritually, and thankfully there’s a reason to celebrate all year round. Passover, which begins this Friday night March 30 and lasts for one week, is certainly no exception. What makes Passover, also called Pesach or Festival of Freedom, so special is that all generations come together to participate in this ritual ceremonious meal called the Seder (means “order or arrangement”) in which we read the Hagaddah (means”retelling”) of the action-packed story of the Israelites journey from slavery to freedom.

The Haggadah begins, “All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy come and celebrate Passover.”  Come to find out, it is ME who feels like the stranger in my own religion, hungry for knowledge and wanting more from this holy experience when Jews all over the world celebrate the the Hebrews becoming their own nation thousands of years ago. I’m grateful to our family and friends for hosting the Seders all these years, allowing me to indulge a little more into the meaning of it all without the stress of plating sliced carrots atop gefitle fish for dozens of guests and then cleaning all the dirty dishes. Continue reading