rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
Right now I'm in the middle of working six days in a row -- ugh! But I do have the best carrot dangling in front of me to keep me focused. Once it's over, Sara and I both have a four-day weekend, and we're going to Little Rock to visit Athena! I can't wait! Tovah is going to stay at our mom's house while we're away.

This was a pretty busy weekend. On Saturday morning, we had religious school at the temple; straight from there, I went to Torah study, and straight from there, I went to work till close. We did a lesson about Purim at religious school this week, and I think the kids actually enjoyed it. We made small batches of popcorn for them to eat while they watched this movie about Queen Esther, and afterwards, they put on masks of the different characters and clacked all groggers. It's kinda early (Purim falls at the end of February this year), but we have a lot of stuff planned for the holiday this year. I just hope it all goes according to plan! You never can tell with the religious school.

Sticking around for Torah study was a mistake on my part. I hadn't been in a while, and I'd forgotten how phenomenally boring Rabbi W can be. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. First he has to hold a Shabbat morning service (which I wish he could schedule at a different time that wasn't during Torah study) and cant "Elohai N'shama" about ten times over. And the Torah parsha for this week was Bo, which I think is one of the most interesting and packed parshas in the Torah. Oh, well. I should stop now before I start to sound bitter.

FOUR DAYS UNTIL WE LEAVE FOR LITTLE ROCK!
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
Last night, the director of the closest Jewish summer camp (which I visited back here) was our guest at services, and we used him as an excuse to hold a congregational dinner. I usually bring deviled eggs to these things, but I got tired of being so predictable, so I made nacho casserole instead. There was none leftover, and I even got compliments and requests for more, which has never happened before! This dish might become a regular one for me, so here's the recipe for my own future reference (and if anyone else who reads the blog is interested).
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes and chilies
  • 1 can Campbell's fiesta nacho cheese soup
  • 1 handful chopped onions
  • Tortilla chips
  • Grated cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
Brown the ground beef. Add the seasoning, rotel, cheese soup, and onions. Mix until evenly distributed and let simmer. Layer the tortilla chips in the bottom of a casserole dish (you can use Dorito's or whatever kind of chips you want; this is a good way to use all the broken little pieces at the bottom of the bag) and spread the beef mixture over them. Top with grated cheese and bake until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with shredded lettuce just before serving. (I found this recipe for taco casserole and made a few changes to it.)

Over dinner, Rabbi W and I threw together a lesson plan for the religious school this morning. I found a copy of Jewish Holiday Crafts for Little Hands (lifesaver!) in a classroom in the back of temple, and we did a craft project where the kids made their own mini Torah scrolls from paper and straws, then we took them into the sanctuary and showed them how to dress and undress a real Torah scroll. It just sucked that the infinitely better teacher was out of town, and Rabbi W and I just are not great at teaching or maintaining control of kids. I hope no one could tell that we threw the lesson together at the last minute.

After religious school, I went to Torah study with some trepidation, but now that the election is over, we actually talked about the Torah parshah instead of yelling at each other! Hallelujah! I'm glad because the Torah parshah for this week happens to be Chayei Sarah (Life of Sarah, a deceptive title because it begins with Sarah's death is more about Rebekah), one of my favorite parshahs.
rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)

As most of you probably heard, the world was supposed to come to an end on May 21, 2011. The craziest thing about the would-be rapture was that it all started with this one lone nutjob, and enough people believed him that it became a big deal. There was even a huge billboard warning about the end of days along the I-10. I first saw it on the way back from Purim in Lafayette. Obviously, nothing happened, but it did give me an excuse to listen to "The Man Comes Around" over and over. (Love that song, love Johnny Cash.)

Friday was a No-Good Very Bad Day, for a few different reasons. I was very late for work that morning. I had applied for a job at the place where my sister works and actually, foolishly started looking forward to it, but it looks like I won't get hired. At the temple that night, my Jewish grandfather had told my Jewish grandmother that I was looking for a job, and she bombarded me with all suggestions all through services. She seems to think that since I have many marketable skills -- yes, she obviously knows me really well -- I must not be looking hard enough. Ugh. I ended the day by riding my bike around late at night, in hopes that I might get hit by a car. Obviously, that didn't happen either.

But Torah study was the next morning, and this was one of the first times that I felt like the parsha really spoke to me. It was the last two chapters of Leviticus, and I took it as a lesson about being happy with what you have and a warning against being dominated by fear. ("The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight. Fleeing as from the sword, they shall fall, though none pursues.") Everybody at the temple was talking about Netanyahu's recent visit to DC and press conference with Obama, to the point that I was surprised we got to the parsha at all.

In other Jew news, I'm starting to feel like I'm banging my head against a wall with Rabbi W. At the most, he's in town for services every other week, and whenever I talk to him about converting, he gives me the same directions every single time (things I've already done, some of them 2-3 times). I'm not sure what to make of this. I know he's a very busy, probably forgetful, and possibly a tad senile old man, but things have been going on in this vein since January, and it's becoming a little frustrating. I'm thinking about contacting the temple's former rabbi, who now lives in Baton Rouge. No doubt that'll be another awkward e-mail to write. But not as awkward as having to ask someone to come to your mikvah.

Grandma is about to sell Aunt Carolyn's old books and CDs, but first, she asked me if I wanted any of them. Haha. Best of Barry Manilow and/or Air Supply, anyone? But I did borrow a few CDs and I'm importing songs one by one into iTunes library right now.

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March 2013

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