Elegant Impressions November 2012

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Elegant Impressions

Cheshvan 5772 November 2012

Volume I, Issue IX




What’s Inside

Six Cents and Good Yolks 6 Laundry Prep Solutions 8 Fabulous Features for Your Closet 10 Robin’s Kitchen Tips 12 Cutting Edge, Kitchen Knife Guide 14 Chocolate Cups 16 Heart Napkins 17 Choosing the Right Cookware 18 Perfect Pancakes 20 Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes 21

Contact info@elegantimpressions.com 917-830-4262

S’mores Pancakes 22 Carrot Cake Pancakes 23 Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snack Bars 24 Lasagna Rollups with Spinach and Ricotta 26 Pesto Hummus 27 Israeli Couscous Caprese Salad 28 Chocolate Truffle Brownies 30 Caring for Human Hair Wigs 32 Dr. Oz Symposium 34 Painting & Frosting Glass 36 A Glimpse of Reality 38 Emotional Freedom Technique 40 GPS! Navigation For Your Soul 44 The Secret to Customer Satisfaction 48

Missed an issue? Read them all online at ElegantImpressions.com

Editor In Chief Amy Oren Editor Jacob Mograby Contributors Debbie Aharon Sari Azrak Avi Fishoff Robin Haddad Miriam Langsam Dr. Dovid Lieberman Renelle Maslaton Karen Moreno Soshana Raff Margalit Romano Rabbi Yaakov Shain Randi Shomer Creative Design Amy Oren Photography Maggie Mograby Ad Sales Judy Betesh Barbra Panigel Steven Sorscher Published By Elegant Impressions

Elegant Impressions is a monthly publication. Subscriptions are $29.95 for 6 issues. Call 917-830-4262 for more information. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form without prior written consent from the publisher is prohibited. Elegant Impressions Magazine assumes no responsibility for the content of articles or advertisements in the magazine. Elegant Impressions is not responsible for typographical errors. Readers should always verify kashrut status independently.



Six Cents and Good Yolks By Mrs. Renelle Maslaton Q: Why do eggs always laugh? A: Because they like a good yolk! And who doesn’t enjoy a good joke (or even not such a good one!)? In our fast-paced (or is it fat–paced?), hurried (or is it harried?) lives, we can sometimes forget to laugh enough with our children (elephant memory, anyone?). Yes, we recognize the dangers on the street, and of course we know our children should be kept happy at home… but when Mommy is like a cooking cowboy (home on the range) or like the baker (who works to make dough), and is sometimes as tired as the month of April (who just got back from a 31-day March)…are we also supposed to have a head for laughter? Yes, we must! We want our children to be happy in our home! Maybe the new gadgets will keep our kids happy? Does more expensive or extravagant equal happier

children? That does not seem to be the case. To paraphrase an old saying: Smile, Mommy, and the whole home smiles with you. Mrs. Zahava Braunstein, a”h, often used to say that simcha is the most important of all the middot. “A mother should always tell jokes in the home. And don’t worry if you don’t know any new ones,” she would add, “just tell the same old ones again, and for sure they will laugh at you, because there you go again!” “Turn on the music in the house!” she would tell us. Mrs. Braunstein taught us to create a mood of simcha, of joy, all around. Her kitchen was her stage for amusing dramatics for her children. On Friday afternoons, she would sing in the kitchen, and as Shabbat got closer, her tunes quickened to reflect the time. Turn on the music in your kitchen, and dance away with your giggling children. True, rarely do children answer their mothers like the pencil answered his (“Write away, mom!”), and they more often resemble the yardstick screaming because someone stepped on its feet. Never mind that they may also imitate the comb which ate the brush (because it had sharp teeth), and that they want to be like the smartest state in the USA (Alabama – it has 4 A’s and only one B!) without ever opening their books… So, mothers often must be like the fruit man who had to punish his apples (for being fresh), or be like the cop who had to tell the ice cream “Freeze!” And don’t forget, mothers must always be like the Mississippi River, with five eyes (just don’t fall asleep on a water bed too!). Not everyone is blessed with a natural sense of humor. Naturally more serious than funny? The good news is that humor can be cultivated; try reading knock-knocks, jokes, and riddle books with your children. Amelia Bedelia taught me a few good ones as well. Not in a funny mood? A good mood is just fine too, and still so important! How important? We know that even the Shechina comes only where there is happiness. We want the Shechina to feel welcome in our homes; the happy feeling that generates this is not to be confused with holelut, e”g, (crass, empty-headed foolishness), or with sarcasm either, but it is rather gentle humor and good cheer. A good yardstick (one that won’t scream) is “Does this joke make everyone happy?” For then we can be certain the Shechina will be happy as well.


So we need to remember occasionally to close one of our five eyes and pretend we can’t find our little one until he jumps out from behind the couch – again - and delightedly yells “Boo!” Do we remember (between the children’s dentist appointments, tutors, sports leagues, and piano lessons) to run around and chase our children just for the fun of it, just to hear them squeal when we catch them in a big hug? Yes, we also have to teach them social skills, like if the cousin they have over doesn’t want to jump rope they should just “skip it,” and that geese will honk at a pig who hogs the road – and isn’t it so much better to share? And that no one will fight with them across the aisle if they’d only keep their desks like rowboats – all lined up! How about healthy habits? Moms are supposed to train their kids to eat goatmeal for breakfast, not sugar cereals! (Please, for the sakes of the teachers who have to glue them to their seats forty minutes later!) And that children are like flowers – and that means they sleep in a bed - preferably their own! For those who are allergic to showers, try the old keep-a-skunk-from-smelling trick: hold their noses (mom’s too, till you throw them in)! And responsibility, yes, mothers must teach responsibility! So we tell them that while a pair of bananas makes good slippers, they must never be left lying around. And that if their cards aren’t put away they won’t be able to play, because there will be a captain (Mom) standing on the deck. And that when they don’t feel well, they will feel better if they’d only take the gloves off their hands, and yes, they still have to go to school – we will be waiting for them when they come home. Rabbi Moshe Simantov, l”vf, founder of Meorot Beit Yaakov, had speakers installed in the halls and stairwells of the school. As the children came in every morning, they were regaled with music wafting through the building. At Bet Yaakov Orot Sarah, we keep up the tradition of the music in the halls, and we are rewarded by the smiling, happy faces of our students. Songs are wonderful for fostering joy while getting everyone into the swing of things. Everyday routines can be made fun with silly songs; a song for brushing teeth, a song for putting on shoes, a song for clearing your plate off the table, a song for chores. Some homes have a song with every child’s name, or a song for each individual child. Whatever it sounds like in your home, as long as it

has their names and “I love you,” it is sure to sound like music to everyone’s ears. Dr. Helene Ribowsky, noted educational consultant, and creator of the saying “There’s life after seb/goof,” recommends incorporating a lighthearted approach with children as well. “Humor is relaxing, and it allows learning to occur; intellectual humor is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about double entendre. When children have a better understanding of language and humor, this builds their sense of self-esteem.” Cell phones and other technological devices may actually destroy our time while saving it. Sure, we can talk to one sister, text the sister-in-law, and have the friend on hold all at once, but we may be missing the very first step our baby takes while all that happens...do we take the time to notice what counts most? To enjoy our children? To sing with them? To smile at their successes, hold them when they fail until they are ready to try again, encourage their efforts? To laugh at a witty comment, at a funny mishap, at a silly face? To tickle them, joke with them, surprise them? To tell them they are accomplished fishermen, for they’ve got us totally hooked? What’s happened to our funny bone? Please, may that bone never shrink with age! At the end of the day, we must remember that although everyone was created with five senses, moms are blessed with six: hearing, smell, sight, touch, taste, and…humor. As mothers, let’s hold on to our sixth sense for all its worth (much more than six cents!), for we can never hold on too tightly to our children with laughter as the tether. Mrs. Renelle J. Maslaton, M.S. Ed, Dean of Bet Yaakov Orot Sarah, writes about what she herself would like to focus on. She wishes to thank Dr. Helene Ribowsky for many things, only one of which is modeling the use of humor to build relationships with and enhance language instruction for children with learning differences.


Simple Laundry Prep Solutions to Keep Your Clothing Fresh & Bright Laundry Prep • Read the tags thoroughly to determine how the clothes should be washed, dried, and ironed. If the label on your blouse reads “Dry Clean Only,” there you go. But if it says “Dry Clean” it may be hand or machine washable in cold water. • Close zippers and hooks. They may catch and snag other clothes in the load. • Turn clothing right side out. • Make sure none of the legs of your pants, or arms of your shirts are stuck in the garment improperly. • Empty pockets. Remove belts, pins and bows. Overlooked tissue, crayon, lipstick, cigarettes, ball-point pens, gum or any metal object can create real trouble when they get into the washer or dryer, both for your clothes and for your machines. Don’t forget to check for loose change or dollar bills. • Make sure there are not any loose threads, rips, button repairs, or other sewing repairs. If you find any, repair them before you wash the clothes. Washing them with problems will only make the problems bigger. • Check for stains. They will need to be pretreated or soaked before washing and drying. If you dry a stain, you will most likely have a stain for life.

Sorting • Sort laundry into whites, light colors, and bright or dark colors. • Red clothing is notorious for losing its color and bleeding onto other fabrics. When in doubt, wash reds separately. Other bright colors can fade or lose their color onto other lighter clothing. • If you have a new garment and wonder if it’s colorfast, wash it separately. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup white vinegar when washing the item the first time. The vinegar neutralizes the color and minimizes future fading. • Separate man-made fabrics like polyester from natural fibers such as cotton. Man-made fibers can attract the oils that are released from natural fibers during washing. These oils can make spots more noticeable. Some fabrics (white cottons, linens, and underwear) require hot water and vigorous washing; others (washable woolens and dark colors) require cold water and short wash times to prevent shrinkage or fading; still others (permanent press


fabrics) require special treatment to prevent wrinkling. Follow garment Care Label instructions. Fabrics which generate lint, such as towels, fleece and terry cloth, should be washed separately, but especially from lint magnets like corduroy & fleece. Separate tough fabrics (jeans) from delicate fabrics (lace camisole). • Keep lingerie and hosiery in a mesh bag — straps and stockings won’t tangle up in the washer. • Heavily soiled work or play clothes should be washed separately from lightly soiled clothes, as soils can travel from one garment to another. • Wash white nylon items separately or with white-only loads to avoid picking up color from other fabrics. • Do not wash silk, wool, spandex or other chlorine sensitive products in a load you plan to bleach.

Fighting Stains • Presoaking works wonders on heavily soiled and greasy garments as well as on delicates that require only a minimum of agitation. Pre-soak with water alone (use the warmest water safe for the fabric), or aid the soak by adding detergent or a commercial enzyme presoak product. For heavily soiled clothes, a presoak of 15 minutes or longer is recommended. To do so, fill washer, put in desired additives and clothing. Turn machine off for desired soaking time. Then turn machine on to finish the wash cycle. It is best not to soak overnight as this can cause fabric graying. • The sooner you get to the stain, the more likely you are to get rid of it. • When blotting out stains, use a white cloth to prevent dye from transferring to the item you’re treating, and blot from the edges of the stain, to keep the stain from spreading. • For the whitest whites, wash your all white load in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent, and three quarters of a cup of bleach. (Avoid

bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, and Spandex.) • Body oils rub onto shirt collars and attract dirt, leaving them grimy and worse for wear. Reverse the damage by grabbing your shampoo and a clean paintbrush and paint a line over the soiled collar before washing. • To keep brights their brightest and blacks from fading, turn garments inside out and choose the coolest temperature setting that will get them clean. • Your best chance of salvaging a stained garment after it’s been in the dryer is to soak it for thirty minutes in a solution that’s equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to wash it immediately afterward. • Adding a quarter cup of baking soda to a wash will take care of stale, musty odors common during the summer months and give your machine a fragrant boost to boot.

Loading the Washer

• Iron collars, cuffs and hems on the wrong side first. • Hold pleats in place with paper clips when ironing. • Place a sheet of aluminum foil under your ironing board cover to effectively iron both sides of your garment at once.

Storage • When tumble-dried clothes are dry — preferably when they are still warm — hang them up or smooth them out and fold them right away. Avoid having them sit and cool in a crumpled state. • Clothes that should be folded include: T-shirts, sweaters, jeans, sweats — basically anything knit or stretchy. • Clothes that should be hung include: creased or pleated items, button-down shirts, khakis — anything that wrinkles easily. • Wooden hangers with a rod work for most hangable items. Choose padded hangers for fragile items, and hangers with rubber clips for skirts (metal clips might dent the fabric).

• Put detergent in first - let liquids dilute and powders dissolve before adding clothing. • Load the washer loosely with dry, unfolded clothes. • Load larger items first, smallest items next and mediumsized items on top. • Do not overload your washer by packing clothes in, as they must Lately, you may have noticed a series of hieroglyphics popping up on your laundry’s circulate freely in the wash basket care labels. Where once, sage words like, “Machine wash warm, tumble dry low,” informed your laundering decisions, now you’re greeted with a cryptic symbol. for thorough cleaning and rinsing. Overloading can result in poor cleaning, excessive lint, extra wear on fabrics and extra work for your machine.

Drying • Check for stain removal success before drying clothes. If you’ve just washed a stained garment, examine the results before tossing it in the dryer. If the stain didn’t come out, the dryer’s heat will set it and make it even harder to deal with. Your chances of success are greater if you remove the item while it’s damp. • Give clothes a little shake before putting them in the dryer. • Dry clothes just long enough to remove moisture and wrinkles. • Clean out the lint trap before each use.

Ironing • Move freshly ironed surfaces away from you as you iron.


Fabulous Features for Your Closet

Consider adding these accessories to your closet to create a more efficient and organized space.

Hutch Hutches or hutch-style dressers are popular because they combine open and closed storage. Available with different drawer and shelf combinations, a tall hutch can also act as a space divider.

Jewelry Organizer Often made of felt, velvet or suede, jewelry inserts for drawers offer multiple compartments for small items like rings, bracelets, watches and glasses. Some come with locks to keep valuables safe.

Valet Pole If you want a spot to hang dry cleaning or plan outfits, a valet pole is a handy addition to your closet.

Pull-Out Pant Rack A pull-out pant rack keeps pants looking freshly pressed and makes it easy to find your favorite pair. Pull-Out Table Handy for folding clothes or packing for trips, a pull-out table saves space since it can be stowed away when not in use. Laundry Cabinet Incorporating laundry storage in your closet lets you keep dirty clothes out of sight yet readily accessible. Add a removable liner so you can easily transport the clothes to the laundry room.


Cellaret Cellarets, or builtin drawer insets, keep socks, ties, and other delicate items organized and clearly visible.

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Tips from Your Kitchen Companion By Robin Haddad

Stain-Free Are your plastic containers stained after putting in certain foods? To prevent this, just spray your container with any non-stick cooking spray, such as PAM, before pouring in any tomato based sauces and voila! No more dingy, discolored, and unappetizing containers in the kitchen.

Saving the Celery Does your celery droop after a few days? If so, wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator, and it will keep fresh for weeks.

No Waste Tomato Paste When you need only a small amount of tomato paste, freeze the remainder in the can to prevent it from going to waste. The next time you need paste, run the can under warm water long enough to loosen the frozen paste. Remove the bottom lid of the can. Slice off as much as you need. Rewrap the rest (in the can, with the bottom lid) in a resealable plastic bag and return it to the freezer.

Burnt Pot? No worries To easily remove burnt on food from your pot, skillet or pan, simply add a drop or
 two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to 
a boil on stovetop. Another way is to fill the pan with water then adding a fabric softener sheet. Let it soak overnight. Food will just wash away.


Perfect Pasta A foolproof way to cook dry pasta, which you won't believe! Bring salted water to a boil and add your pasta as usual, but boil for only 3 minutes. Then cover the pot and set off heat. In 10 minutes, the pasta's perfectly done- no testing required! Drain and use as you wish. If you are going to cook it again, as in a casserole or with sauce, then check the pasta after 8 minutes for a more al-dente feel.

Ice Grabber When you’re having company (or even when you’re not) and you need to get those glasses filled with ice in a hurry, forget about tongs. A spaghetti ladle works much better! It can scoop up several cubes at once while draining away the water.

Dessert Sauce Fake-Out Oh no! You ran out of frosting for your cake and company is coming any second? Use melted vanilla ice cream as a dessert sauce! Stir in a few spoonfuls of rum or liquor, such as amaretto or hazelnut, and it’s even more delicious. The best part is that everyone will think you made it from scratch. Freezing Sauce Freeze extra tomato sauce in quart sized plastic bags. It's easy: Pour sauce into a bag, then store horizontally on a freezer shelf. Frozen bags stack well and thaw quickly. This works great for soup too!

Robin Haddad is a self-proclaimed “Jack Of All Trades”. She enjoys cooking and creating new recipes. Robin had owned and operated a hair and wig business for 25 years, before becoming a registered nurse. Currently, she is raising her family and working with private patients.


Cutting Edge Using the correct knife makes food preparation so much easier and safer too, but with so many different knives to choose from it can be confusing!. This guide will help you know which knife will do the job.

Source: MillysStore



Chocolate Cups To make these chocolate cups, you’ll need to melt about 4 ounces in order to make 3 cups. Use a high quality melting chocolate. You can either use the double boiler, direct heat, or microwave method to melt the chocolate. Remember to break the chocolate bar into small pieces to ensure even melting. After melting, allow the chocolate to cool to slightly lukewarm. Fill balloons with a little air, just enough to get the size of a dessert cup. Dip the balloons in the chocolate and twirl until the balloon is evenly coated. Place the chocolate covered balloons on a pan covered with parchment paper. You can either let the balloon sit for 30 minutes or stick them into the fridge to harden up faster. Gently pull the balloons off the parchment paper. Using scissors, cut the tip of the balloons to let out the air, and gently separate the deflated balloon from the chocolate shell. To make the chocolate handles, fill a piping bag with melted chocolate and pipe out ‘C’ shapes onto a parchment paper. Allow to harden before removing. Use the remaining melted chocolate in the piping bag as a glue to adhere the handles to the sides of the cups.


Recipe A Taste of Koko Photography Jane Ko Photography

Heart Napkins

By Refael Aryeh Leib Schloss Assisted by Mordechai Schloss

1. Open napkin fully. 2. Fold the napkins in half upwards. 3. Fold in half again. 4. Fold the two ends upward toward the middle. 5. Turn the napkin over and fold down the corners. 6. Turn over and you have a heart shaped napkin.


Choosing the Right Cookware By Sari Azrak If you are looking to replace your old, peeling and brokenhandled pots, or even just to add a few pieces, you might be overwhelmed with all the choices out there. Sometimes it’s just simpler to keep things the way they are, than to figure out what you should be buying. You might find a complete set of pots for $50, or a single pot for $50, or even $150! To make matters worse, there are serious housewife debates over which cookware will do the best job. You may find family and friends divided over which pots are best, some insisting on stainless steel, while others contend that nonstick is the only way to go. There is a lot to consider when buying pots, most especially the material. If you have an understanding of the basic types of cookware, it will help you choose what works best for your lifestyle. If you know what you want, it will simplify shopping. So let’s discuss the most common cookware materials.

Stainless Steel is a very commonly used material for cookware. Pros: Not expensive, durable, scratch, warp and rust resistant, doesn’t react with foods, with proper cleaning stays shiny and bright for many years.

Cons: Not a good heat conductor, which can lead to burnt spots and uneven cooking. For this reason, look for pots that have an aluminum or copper core (base), which are excellent heat conductors. These are more expensive than plain stainless steel cookware. “Clad” is the term for layers of metal sandwiched together to combine the advantages of each one. Copper cores are even more expensive than aluminum, but it is an even better conductor. Either one should do a good job of preventing hot spots and unevenly cooked food. For simple tasks like boiling water for pasta or potatoes, a regular inexpensive stainless steel pot is fine.

Aluminum is also a very popular choice of cookware, due to its great heat conduction and affordability. Because aluminum reacts with acidic foods, it is most often “anodized” which is a special treatment that adds a coating of aluminum oxide to the surface. This

makes the cookware scratch resistant as well as ensuring that it won’t react with foods and leach potentially harmful aluminum into the food. Aluminum is generally finished with a non-stick coating. Pros: Excellent heat conduction, lightweight and durable, non-stick surfaces are a pleasure to cook with, clean easily, and great for fat-free cooking. Cons: Metal utensils, rough scrubbing and extended use will wear down the Teflon non-stick coating. If the surfaces are scarred or peeling, much of the non-stick properties are lost, and health concerns arise over the possibility of chemicals leaching into the food. Recently most companies have changed the manufacturing process and removed many harmful chemicals, but if your set is more than a few years old, chances are yours do contain some. A decent quality set should last for enough time to be worth it, especially if your lifestyle demands easy to clean pots, no matter how burnt. How do you identify good quality? The better the product, the more layers of non-stick coating are applied. High quality brands have at least three or as many as seven layers. Bumpy ridges indicate that the nonstick surface is very thin, so look for a smooth surface. Avoid very shiny surfaces- these have been coated with silicon. Follow manufacturer instruction carefully to extend the life of your non-stick aluminum cookware. Even if you prefer another material, consider buying non-stick for those uses that really benefit from a non-stick surface, like pancakes or eggs.


The latest trend is toward ceramic cookware (which is usually coated over aluminum), which are nonstick, but not the familiar Teflon style. There have been concerns that the chemicals PTFE, cadmium and others used in the production of traditional non-stick coatings leech into food, especially if the surface is peeling or scratched. Therefore many non-stick devotees are now switching to ceramic for all the benefits of non-stick but without the risk. However, they can chip if banged hard, or scratched with metal utensils, and since the inner surface is usually aluminum, it would no longer be safe to use. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for care and use. Really, you need to read the directions that come with your cookware, strange as that sounds. These are not your usual pots.

Cast Iron cookware has been used for hundreds of years and is exceptional for cooking. Pros: Good heat retention and distribution, inexpensive (at least the regular cast iron), extremely d u r a b l e . Cons: Very heavyweight, h i g h maintenancerequires frequent “seasoning” which is basically rubbing with oil. Also reacts with food. Many people prefer porcelain enamel coated cast iron- like the very pricey but popular brand “Le Creuset” which has all the benefits of cast iron but needs no special maintenance. (And it comes in pretty colors- who can resist?) The 6-8 quart stock pot is commonly known as a “Dutch oven” and it is especially useful for cooking stews, pot roasts, braises and soups, or anything that requires long and slow cooking periods. A cast iron skillet is also fantastic for searing steaks- a real man’s tool. One or two pieces of cast iron cookware are a great addition to your collection. A word of warning- don’t buy Porcelain enamel coated cookware made outside of the U.S. because the finish may contain lead or cadmium.

Copper cookware is used primarily by professionals, due to its high price and delicate construction. Pros: excellent at conducting, distributing and retaining

heat. Cons: Very costly, dents easily, reacts with acidic foods, needs regular polishing or it tarnishes. You probably won’t see it where you shop.

Some other factors or features to take into consideration:


Avoid buying any cookware that is thin and light. They conduct heat poorly and you’ll spend more time cleaning the burnt crust than enjoying your food. Conversely, some of the best pots are extremely heavy due to their solid construction. It’s important to take this into consideration if you have back problems, or are not very strong. Carrying a burning hot and heavy pot, whether from the stove to the oven or sink, is not an endeavor that should be taken lightly. There are plenty of mid-weight pots that fall somewhere between these two extremes. Try to hold the cookware in your hands before purchasing so you can get a feel for it.


Cool touch handles are important. It’s simply not safe to carry a heavy pot with pot holders or a dish towel. Avoid plastic handles, which eventually crack or warp under high heat, like in the oven. Look for handles attached securely by rivets. They need extra care when cleaning because grime can build up around them.


Look for tightly fitting lids so your food stays juicy without having to constantly add water. For example, many rice brands instruct to cook in a pot with a tight fitting lid, because the proportion of water to rice is carefully measured and water lost as steam will upset the balance. Some lids feature steam release valves, which is helpful so that pots don’t boil over, but not especially crucial. You may be prefer a glass lid so you can keep an eye on things, and don’t worry, most glass lids can withstand being dropped from the counter.


What you spend will be the determining factor in what you end up buying. If you cook a lot, like most mothers and wives, buy the best you can afford. You don’t have to buy it all at one time. Sets are economical, but only if you will be using every piece. Otherwise, you may as well invest in only the shapes and sizes you need and use often. Cookware is not the place to save money- a good collection will last for many, many years of feeding your family, so invest in quality and you will see and appreciate the difference.


Perfect Pancakes By Debbie Aharon Everyone loves warm, fluffy pancakes and with a few simple tricks, you can be flipping perfect pancakes every time!

It’s All in the Mix

Make sure to begin by combining the dry ingredients, breaking up lumps with a whisk or by sifting them. Next, combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring gently, just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Over-mixing leads to tough pancakes because the gluten in the flour begins to develop as soon as liquid touches it, and the more you mix, the tougher the gluten becomes. Don’t worry about lumps in the batter.

Three Tricks for Tender, Airy Pancakes

1. Give your pancakes the airy texture of soufflés and meringues by borrowing the technique that gives them their cloudlike consistency: beaten egg whites. Using the number of eggs called for in the recipe, separate the yolks from the whites. Mix the egg yolks with the rest of the wet ingredients, following recipe instructions. Combine with the dry ingredients to make the batter. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold the beaten whites into the batter and cook the pancakes immediately. 2. Try replacing some or all of the liquid in your recipe with a carbonated beverage (plain or flavored seltzer water, beer, cider, ginger ale) to make your pancakes very light and tender. Add the carbonation just before you’re ready to pour the pancake batter on the griddle. 3. This next trick works with any batter that includes doubleacting baking powder: Mix the batter and let it rest in the refrigerator for several minutes, or even overnight. This allows the gluten to relax so the pancakes will be tender, and lets the baking powder form bubbles in the batter. After the batter rests, do not stir it or the bubbles will deflate.

How to Cook a Pancake

Preheat your griddle, heavy-bottomed nonstick pan or wellseasoned cast iron skillet to 375 degrees F or until a drop of water skitters across the pan. Lightly coat the hot pan with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Do a test run with one sacrificial pancake and adjust the temperature up or down as needed. If your pancake is scorched on the outside and raw on the inside, turn down the heat.


When you’re satisfied that you’ve reached the perfect pan temperature, ladle in as many pools of batter as your pan will comfortably hold, leaving a little room between pancakes for comfortable flipping. If the batter seems too thick, thin it with a tablespoon at a time of milk or buttermilk or water; if it seems too thin and runny, blend in a tablespoon or so of flour. Pancake batter that is too runny equals thin, flat pancakes. Pancake batter that is too thick means it won’t spread, resulting in thick pancakes with doughy centers. A ladle works for pouring pancake batter, but if you use one, realize that the higher you hold it, the more you risk breaking the air bubbles in the batter. Therefore, hold the ladle near the surface of the griddle.

Don’t Press Your Pancake

A pancake is ready to be turned over when it’s dry around the edges and bubbles have formed over the top. You are allowed to peek to see if the bottom is golden brown before you flip it. While you’re waiting impatiently for the second side to cook, resist the impulse to press down the pancake with your spatula. Pressing will not cook it any faster, but will undo all the effort you’ve made to achieve fluffy, light, perfect pancakes. You want at least an inch of space between cooking pancakes, so remember when you pour the batter that it will spread. Resist the urge to move pancakes while the first side is cooking, as this will break the seal between the pancake and cooking surface, meaning the pancake will not cook as evenly. Similarly, turn pancakes only once. The second side never cooks as evenly as the first, and takes only about half the time to cook as the first. A thin, broad spatula slides easily under delicate pancakes and enables you to flip them without mangling them.

Waiting is the Hardest Part

Pancakes are best eaten fresh from the griddle so you can enjoy their crispy, fluffy goodness. This may mean serving them a few at a time. If you absolutely must keep the pancakes waiting, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place them, uncovered, in a warm oven. Never stack or cover them--the steam makes them soggy. You can freeze extra pancakes. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze them without stacking. Once frozen, place them in plastic bags, secure the tops, and keep them for up to six months in the freezer.

Fun with Pancakes

To add some fun to the breakfast table, use a turkey baster or squeeze bottle to squeeze batter into designs, initials and other fun shapes. Pour batter into nonstick pancake molds or oiled metal cookie cutters for extra fancy forms. Butter and syrup are classic toppings, but try jam, honey, nut butter, lemon juice, powdered sugar, whipped cream or fresh fruit. Better yet, set up a pancake condiment buffet and let everyone build their own.

Recipe & Photography Alida Ryder Simply Delicious Ingredients • 1 1/2 cups flour • 1 tsp. baking powder • pinch of salt • 2 tbsp. sugar • 1 egg • 1/2 cup milk • 3 tbsp. butter, melted • 3.5 oz. ricotta • fresh blueberries • syrup, to serve

Blueberry-Ricotta Pancakes

Directions Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Combine the egg, milk, butter and ricotta in a separate bowl and mix well. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently mix in the wet ingredients until you have a smooth batter. Fry spoonfuls of the mixture in a warm, non-stick frying pan. Add a generous tablespoonful’s worth of blueberries to each pancake (on the un-cooked side) before flipping over. Remove the pancakes from the pan and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Serve with syrup and fresh blueberries.


S’mores Pancakes

Recipe & Photography Kristin Rosenau The Pastry Affair Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Pancakes • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers • 1 tablespoon baking powder • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 1/4 cups milk • 1 large egg, beaten • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk, beaten egg, and chocolate chips, mixing until incorporated. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a heated griddle and cook each side until lightly browned. Marshmallow Syrup 1 cup (about 7 ounces) marshmallow fluff 2 tablespoons warm water In a medium bowl, stir together marshmallow fluff and water until smooth. If syrup is too thick, thin with more water. If desired, warm in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, or until warmed. Drizzle syrup on pancakes and serve immediately.


Ingredients: • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour • 2 tsp evaporated cane juice, or other unrefined granulated sugar • 1/2 tsp baking powder • 1/4 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/8 tsp ground ginger • tiny pinch ground nutmeg

• tiny pinch of salt • 1 egg white • 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk, well-shaken • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract • 1/2 cup finely grated carrots • 1 Tbsp finely chopped toasted pecans, optional • 1 Tbsp raisins, optional • canola oil cooking spray • maple syrup for serving, optional

Glaze: • 1 Tbsp 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, at room temperature • 1 Tbsp milk • 1 tsp evaporated cane juice, or other unrefined granulated sugar

Don’t like raisins and/or pecans? Substitute them with some finely chopped pineapple and / or unsweetened shredded coconut.

Directions: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, evaporated cane juice, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Stir in grated carrots. Stir dry ingredients into the wet just until moistened. Gently fold in chopped pecans and raisins, if using. Set aside to rest. Meanwhile, make the glaze by beating together the softened cream cheese, milk, and 1 tsp evaporated cane juice until smooth and glossy. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray. When hot, spoon the batter into the skillet by the 1/4 cupful. When bubbles appear on the surface of the batter, (about 1-2 minutes), the pancakes are ready to be flipped. Flip pancakes and let cook for another minute or so, or until golden brown. Serve drizzled with the cream cheese glaze. Yields: 1 Serving

Carrot Cake Pancakes for One

Recipe & Photography Lauren Zembron Healthy Food for Living 23

Recipe & Photography AmyBITES

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snack Bars Ingredients • 1 cup white whole wheat flour • 1 cup old fashioned oats • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup dark brown sugar • 3/4 cups crunchy peanut butter • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract • 1/2 cup low-fat milk • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions Preheat oven to 350º F In the bowl of an electric mixer, add peanut butter and sugar and mix on high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add in flour, oats, salt and baking soda, mixing on medium speed. The dough will look crumbly and you want the peanut butter mix to be broken up into clumps. Add milk with the mixer on low speed, and mix until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Make sure dough is completely combined, and roll it into a ball with your hands. Place it in the middle of an 8×8 baking dish, pressing it to fit. Bake for 18 minutes, or until set and golden on top. Let cool completely, then cut into 9 squares.



Recipe & Photography Baltic Maid Ingredients • 6 lasagna noodles, cooked • 8 cups fresh spinach, washed • 10 oz. ricotta • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan • 1 egg • 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese • salt, pepper • 15 oz. tomato sauce

Lasagna Roll-ups with Spinach and Ricotta

Directions Place the spinach in a cooking pot. Put a little bit of water into the pot, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Then cover the pan and let the spinach cook for a few minutes. Drain the spinach and let it cool a little. With your hands squeeze out as much extra liquid as possible. Chop up the spinach. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour a little bit of the tomato sauce into the baking dish just enough to cover the bottom of the dish. A 9” pie pan works well Drain the lasagna noodles after cooking. Place the dry noodles on a piece of wax paper. In a bowl, combine the spinach with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, and 3/4 cup of the Mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Then divide the cheese mix onto the 6 lasagna noodles. Make sure to spread it evenly over the entire lasagna noodles. Carefully roll them and place them seam side down into the baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the roll ups. Place aluminum foil over the baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes or until you think they’re done. During the last 10 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Mozzarella cheese on top of the roll ups.


Pesto Hummus Spread Recipe & Photography Jackie Newgent The Natural Culinary Nutritionist • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves • 1/3 cup shelled roasted salted pistachios • 3 large garlic cloves, minced • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained • 1/4 cup unsweetened green tea, chilled • Juice of 1 large lemon (1/4 cup) • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste • 3 tablespoons roasted pistachio oil or extra-virgin olive oil Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Cover and puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings: 1/4 cup each



Recipe & Photography Jessie Monds

Israeli Couscous Caprese Salad

• 1 cup Israeli couscous • 4 cups water • 2 heirloom (or other ripe) tomatoes chopped small • 1/2 cup frozen peas • 1/2 cup sliced or diced fresh mozzarella • 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts • 1 lemon • Basil leaves for garnish

Place water in medium sized saucepan over high heat. Add a hefty pinch of salt and once water comes to a boil add couscous. Turn heat down to medium so water simmers instead of a rolling boil. You will want to see the couscous circling in the pan but not huge bubbles in the water. Set the timer for 8 minutes. The last minute of cooking add the 1/2 cup of frozen peas. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes and place in a large glass bowl. Chop or slice mozzarella and place in a small bowl. Set aside. Toast pine nuts until golden over medium low heat for 4-6 minutes. Set aside. Taste the couscous and make sure it is done, it will be soft and further past al dente, you do not want it to have any crunch, only a soft chew. Drain in a colander with small holes. Place in the bowl with tomatoes and stir. Add a drizzle of olive oil. At this point you can let the pasta cool or add the pesto and serve it warm. If serving it warm, do not mix the mozzarella in. Serve it with slices of mozzarella on the side. If serving it room temperature or cold, wait for the couscous to cool then stir in the pesto and cubed mozzarella. Taste for seasoning adding salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice to taste. For serving, place couscous on a platter, top with pine nuts, basil, a drizzle of olive oil, a few olives, and fresh cracked pepper. Will last in the refrigerator for a day or two.


Chocolate Truffle Brownies Recipe & Photography Sheryl Aronow Mama’s Gotta Bake

Ingredients •12 ounces semi-sweet, or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped and divided into half • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1” cubes • 1 1/4 cups sugar • 3 large eggs • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream Directions Place the rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang. This will make it easy to lift your brownies out of the pan when it’s time to cut them. Spray the foil with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Combine 6 ounces of the chocolate, and the butter in a medium microwave safe bowl. Start microwaving at 25 seconds, then stir, then 20 seconds and stir until the mixture is smooth and melted. Cool the chocolate mixture for 10 minutes. Whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Stir in flour, then chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies until a tester inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 26-28 minutes. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let the brownies cool completely. When brownies are cooled, bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place remaining chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Let it stand for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Pour the chocolate ganache over the brownies in the pan and spread evenly to cover completely. A small off-set spatula works well for this. Let stand at cool room temperature until topping is set, about 4 hours. Using the overhang foil as an aid, lift the brownies from the pan and fold down the edges. You can now cut the brownies into squares, 1”x 3” bars, or into 1”x 1” squares.



Human Hair Wigs Require Special Care By Robin Haddad Human Hair wigs are the premier choice if you want versatility and luxury. Human hair is soft to the touch and can be styled in endless ways. Due to the high demand of quality human hair, human hair wigs are also the most expensive type of wig you can buy. This is why it is so important to use the right products and the proper techniques to care for your human hair wigs. Wigs made with human hair can last a long time, much longer than synthetic wigs. However, using the wrong care products or washing techniques can drastically reduce the life expectancy of your human hair wig. Getting the most natural look out of your wig requires more than just a good wig and a proper fitting. You must also care for the wig correctly in order to ensure a great look wear after wear. You want your wig to smell and look fresh every time that you wear it. However, excessive cleaning, styling, and fussing can cause a wig to loose its natural shape, color and style. So how often should you wash it? Use your eyes and nose to determine this. The answer ultimately depends on how often you wear it and what type of damage it incurs while wearing. It’s a good idea to have a back-up wig, so you won’t be “wig-less” during washings. 
 You mini-style your wig every time you wear it. With your fingers and a wig pick gently pick apart knots that have accumulated at the ends and working your way back up to the top, using a little spray-on -leave-on wig conditioner/ de-tangler as you go. The general rule of thumb for human hair wigs is to wash them after every 10 to 12 wearings. For synthetic hair you can get by with washing after every 15 to 20 wearings. You may need to wash your wig more often under certain circumstances. If you are very active and perspire a lot, if you live in a more humid climate, or if you are around a lot of pollutants, such as car exhaust, cooking grease, or cigarette smoke, you will definitely want to wash your wig more often. In these instances, it is okay to wash your wig after six to eight wearings but any more than that will cause your wig to deteriorate more quickly and lose its shape and style. If you do need to shampoo your wig more frequently, it is important to adhere to the proper cleaning instructions and to use the correct products in order to minimize damage.


The Proper Way to Wash a Wig

Before washing your wig make sure that you use the right cleaning products. Make sure that the product is formulated for your specific type and style of hairpiece. It is best to smooth out your wig with a wire bristle brush, wide tooth comb or wig pick. Make sure you brush it through thoroughly so there are no knots or tangles. This will loosen any dirt and grime and make it easier to get your wig completely clean. Next, fill a sink, or large bowl with lukewarm water (never use hot water as it can damage the wig) and add the appropriate amount of wig shampoo (or any shampoo for damaged and colored hair). Gently submerge the wig in the water until completely wet. Holding the wig from the top, carefully brush through the to keep it from knotting. To rinse, gently swish the wig under clean, cool, running water. Before placing the wig on a head form to air dry blot out the extra water by rolling it gently in a towel or other absorbent cloth. Never twist or pull on the hair when drying. Conditioning Your Wig If you need to wash your wig more often than usual, you may want to add a conditioning step to your wig cleaning routine. Specially formulated leave-in conditioners can help keep your wig soft and supple and also help keep it smelling and looking fresh longer. To use simply follow the manufacturer’s directions on the bottle. By taking the extra time to properly care for and wash your wig you can extend the life of your hairpiece and keep it looking more natural longer.

Quick Recap

• Fill your sink basin with cool water. Add shampoo. • Gently swish the wig or piece in the water for about 30 seconds. Brush through to keep tangle free. If your wig has a tendency to knot, then wet it under running lukewarm warm water while holding it upright. • Put conditioner on wig then brush through. • Rinse the wig in cool running water. It is very important to use cool water on curly wigs, as warm water will over-relax the curls of wigs. • Gently squeeze excess water out of wig. Do not rub or twist your wig. • Spread the wig out on a towel then roll it up to get out excess water. • Hold the wig firmly and give it a good shake. • Place on wig-head and leave in a ventilated area to dry overnight. You should spray on a little leave-on wig conditioner, when you start the drying process. • When the wig is almost entirely dry, and not before, re-style the wig gently. You can used a hair blower, hot rollers and curling iron but be sure not to burn the hair! I recommend a wig pick or wig brush. 
Robin Haddad is a self-proclaimed “Jack Of All Trades”. She

enjoys cooking and creating new recipes. Robin had owned and operated a hair and wig business for 25 years, before becoming a registered nurse. Currently, she is raising her family and working with private patients.


The Dr. Oz Food for Your Whole Life Symposium By Karen Kattan Moreno, MS, RD, CDN I recently attended a conference in Manhattan called “Food for Your Whole Life Symposium,” where Mehmet Oz, MD and many other experts in the field of health and nutrition lectured. The topics discussed focused on the obesity crisis in America and what steps should be taken in order to prevent it. Dr. Oz focused on the 5 most important things you can do to improve your health. “By making these 5 life adjustments [listed below] you can control over 70% of how well and long you live,” says Dr. Oz.

Blood Pressure

An example of an ideal blood pressure reading is 115/75. If you would like to keep track of your blood pressure levels in between doctor’s visits, a blood pressure monitor is relatively inexpensive. A higher blood pressure level can damage your arteries which are responsible for circulating oxygen and blood between your heart and the rest of your body. When this isn’t done properly it can lead to a stroke or a heart attack. In order to keep your blood pressure in check, follow the recommendations below and also make sure to limit your salt consumption- whether at the table or from processed and ready made foods.

Quit Smoking

While not smoking should be your primary concern, other concerns include second hand smoke and toxins from the environment which everyone should do their best to avoid. If you are a smoker or have a family member that is, try looking up a picture of a smoker’s lung in comparison with a healthy lung. It is easy to identify which lung has been exposed to cigarettes due to the darker color (sometimes black in the case of lung cancer) and its decreased capacity to take in oxygen. If it’s hard for you to imagine quitting smoking, think about doing it not for yourself, but for your loved ones, says Dr. Oz, because in the end they are the ones who will suffer.

Exercise at least 30 min/day

It’s important to build a foundation when you’re young and to teach your kids to appreciate and enjoy exercising- whether it’s playing basketball, running, or biking. As long as you


are moving and active, that’s what counts. An article in the New York Times recently mentioned that the reason that the levels of people exercising hasn’t increased is because the benefits of physical activity being advertised include weight loss, preventing disease, and aging better. While these are all goals people want to achieve, they are more long term. In order to get people to exercise more the emphasis needs to be on the immediate benefits of exercise such as improving happiness, feeling better, and helping to cope with stress. Another reason people tend to exercise is because it helps with weight loss. Muscle burns 50x more calories than fat. Having more muscle increases your ability to lose weight because you’re burning more calories and speeding up your metabolism in the process. So the next time you’re at the gym don’t skip over the weight machines, try including them at least twice a week into your cardio routine.


Dr. Oz recommends following a “healthy diet that’s easy to love.” He recommends eating foods you love that happen to be good for you instead of foods that are just good for you because that type of diet won’t last long. In addition, Dr. Oz emphasized foods that are high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts which slow down the amount of time it takes the food to digest. This helps you feel fuller for longer, and these foods typically also have fewer calories. On the other hand, foods loaded with sugar and salt stimulate the brain to overeat. So what should you use at home to season your food with? Spicy foods have been shown to decrease cravings and cause you to eat less. In addition, use spices and herbs instead of sugar and salt to flavor your dishes. My go to favorites include: garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, chili pepper, cumin, and turmeric.

A great take home tip from the lecture was Dr. Oz’s NUT rule: 30 minutes before a meal have 1 oz. nuts. This will curb your hunger and control ghrelin levels in your brain which cause your stomach to rumble. This way you will still be hungry for your next meal but you can make a more educated decision as to what to eat.

Stress control

Since you can’t get rid of stress, the emphasis should be on how you control it. Dr. Oz recommends deep breathing and yoga. If you are not sure how to deep breathe, follow these instructions: 1. Breathe in and push your bully button out. 2. Breathe out and push your belly button in [to your back]. This is the opposite of what you normally do but this “deep breathing” technique has been shown to help with stress relief according to Dr. Oz, who recommends doing this as a daily routine. By making a conscious effort to include these 5 changes into your life you will be doing not only yourself a favor but also those around you. It is important to remember that “me” time is not selfish- use it to exercise, de-stress, and deep breathe. Only by taking care of yourself can you take care of your family, spouse, children, parents, etc. And don’t forget, like Dr. Oz says, “smart dieting is a marathon.” Think of your life like a GPS. If you miss a turn-make a U turn and get back on track. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re in this for the long haul, so find what exercise makes you happy, which healthy foods you love, and start living a healthier life today!

Are you healthy? Here is a quick check to find out: Your waist size can say a lot about you. All you need is a tape measure and you’re set. An easy way to calculate your ideal waist size: Your ideal waist size should be less than ½ of your height (in inches). For example, a woman who is 5’4” (64 inches) should have a waist size less than 32 inches. Don’t forget - your waist is one inch above your belly button, not where your jeans sit on you or your belt size. Why is this so important? Because if you have a bigger waist size, you are accumulating fat around your stomach. This belly fat squeezes the kidneys (which regulate blood pressure) causing your blood pressure to increase. To help control your blood pressure, your first step should be to get to a healthy weight.

Karen Moreno, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian in private practice. She has offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY. She just created her first healthy cookbook for sale. In her free time she enjoys cooking and running and is currently training for her first NYC Marathon.


Painted Glass By Margalit Romano Photography Maggie Mograby

Glass can be the prefect canvas for personalizing and updating what you already have. There are many options for painting glass including paint that is dishwasher safe! With all the products that are available, the options are truly endless.

Monogram Glass Materials: Glasses Dishwasher safe glass paint Letter stencil Brush or small sponge Directions: 1.Place stencil on glass. Adhesive stencils are recommended when working with glass because they stick to the rounded slick surface. If you use a regular stencil, make sure to tape it down so it does not move while you paint. It is always best to follow package directions on the product you decide to use. 2. Paint over stencil. It is best to apply a few thin coats of paint rather than one thick coat. Too much paint may bleed under stencil. 3. While paint is still wet, carefully remove stencil and allow paint to dry. 4. Optional: Paint the bottom of the glass.

Frosted Vases: Materials: Vase Frosted glass spray finish Rubber bands Sandpaper

Directions: 1. Lightly sand surface of the vase and wipe clean. 2. Wrap rubber bands all around the vase in different directions at random widths. 3. Place vase on flat surface upside down in a well ventilated area. 4. Spray vase with frosted glass finish. You may need to apply a few coats for desired results. 5. Allow vase to dry and remove rubber bands. For questions about this project or the specific materials used, please contact Margalit via email swirlycurlsart@gmail.com Margalit is an artist and professional crafter who uses nontraditional techniques and materials. She teaches art classes and writes a blog dedicated to DIY and the arts. To view more of her work visit AMaterialGirl.com 917-207-7649



Chapter 1

a glimpse of

reality By Dovid Lieberman, Ph.D.

“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die.” (Isaiah 22:13) What makes some people capable of handling life’s challenges with quiet calm and optimistic resolve, while others dissolve at the slightest insult or frustration? The answer has to do with our perspective: how we see, feel, behave, and, ultimately, respond to circumstances in our life. Imagine a small child playing with a toy that suddenly breaks. The child’s whole world is shattered, and she may respond by crying, or by becoming frustrated, sad, or even angry. The child fails to appreciate, let alone recognize, that she is still being clothed, fed, loved, and taken care of — not to mention that there is a whole world outside of her own smaller world. The child’s parents know that the broken toy has no significance, but the parents have perspective that the child lacks. Intellectually, we may know that what makes us anxious or upset is actually unimportant and insignificant. The qualities however, that most of us strive to exemplify — such as objectivity, calm, and patience — are lost to annoyance and impatience when, in a hurry, we encounter the checkout clerk with the trainee name-tag staring at the cash register as if it were the cockpit of a 757. We try to maintain our cool, but negative emotions surface, and once sparked, blaze. Now we face an uphill battle. Techniques such as taking deep breaths, reciting affirmations, or practicing visualization, might work when we face minor issues, but they’re insufficient for life’s really

big challenges.1 Reminding ourselves not to get annoyed is not a solution. Yes, the objective is to remain calm, but this is better accomplished through not b e c o m i n g agitated in the first place. When we fight the urge to blow up or melt down, we battle our own nature. 2 W i t h o u t perspective, we are forever like the child holding the broken toy.3 This is why we often become irritated in the heat of an argument. After a few moments, our anger subsides. A few hours later, we are less angry, and in a few days, we wonder why we were so bothered in the first place. Time provides perspective, allowing us to see the situation with clarity.4 Likewise, as we grow older and look back on certain events and incidents in our lives, we realize that the car we (as young adults) felt we must have, the person we must go out with, or the job we must land, simply aren’t “musts” anymore. When we discover how to shift perspective, we see the events of today through the lens of tomorrow. Once we can recognize what really matters, we will no longer need to force ourselves to remain calm. Our thoughts, feelings, and responses to any critical situation reshape themselves. Negative emotions like impatience, insecurity, anger, and worry dissolve — not because we fight to control our emotions, but rather because we realize that the circumstances are inconsequential.


Affirmations can be a powerful tool in reshaping our self-image. However, an effective short-term therapy called Neo-Cognitive Psychology, advises that reciting positive affirmations can be counterproductive while we are in a negative state. This is because we are charging the thought with negative energy. Instead, we should verbalize an affirmation only when we are in either a neutral or positive state. 2

When we desire to change our behavior, particularly when it goes against our natural inclinations, it is as effective as being told that we need to alter our past behavior. No one would suggest trying to rewrite history, yet we believe that we have more control over how we will behave and respond to similar circumstances in the future. This is the inherent shortcoming of motivation. We can feel excited, and desire to make a change, but the enthusiasm soon wears off when we find ourselves frequently unable to continue to behave in a way that is inconsistent with who we are. Like a spring, we will stretch only so far before snapping back to our original positions.


The Lens of Physics The ability to shape our emotional state is not simply a matter of looking through rose-colored glasses. Rather, reality itself changes when we shift perspective. Quantum mechanics provides insight into two fascinating discoveries about the nature of energy and our universe. Quarks — subatomic particles that make up atoms and are the building blocks of creation — have two unique properties. One is that particles are changed when they are observed. As unusual as this seems, it is impossible to observe the particle’s true nature, because the very act of observation actually changes what it is. Second, quarks can

appear in two places at once. They are not confined to one location at one time. Our discussion will focus primarily on the former quality. Perspective does not make us see reality differently; on a quantum level, it creates our reality. Where you are “standing,” your vantage point, determines what is brought into existence.5 Since the observation of an event changes it, we recognize that our perspective changes our objective reality, because our perspective alters our place of observation.6 Physicists agree, then, that we do not interface with our environment as separate entities. More accurately, we affect reality as if we were a single organism.


Perspective is one of the three translations of the sefirah of knowledge (da’at). In this particular context, da’at is the key that opens and closes the chambers of the heart, the seat of emotion. In the language of the Sages, “Without da’at, there is no separation (havdalah)” (Berachot 33a). In today’s language and this context, this means that, without perspective, a person cannot disengage (i.e., separate) from his own emotions and stop himself from being “suffocated” by them. 4 “Accept

a teacher upon yourself” (Ethics of the Fathers 1:16). No matter how a great a person is, there is no escaping some bias. Making wise choices can often be less about knowledge, and more about having the ability to see the situation clearly. 5 Researchers

at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science revealed that the greater the amount of “watching” of these subatomic particles, the greater the observer’s influence on what actually takes place. In effect, this is why we cannot, in an instant, recreate our reality. (A 1998 study reported in the February 26 issue of Nature, Vol. 391, pp. 871–874.) The watching that we speak of is qualitative in nature, not quantitative. The significance of this is that the ability to be in the moment, whole, and focused is more necessary a condition to affecting reality, than the mere amount of time spent vaguely daydreaming a particular existence. 6 The

power of the mind is astonishing. A myriad of studies show that a person with multiple personality disorder — an illness in which two or more distinct personalities inhabit a single body — can manifest traits, desires, memories, abilities, eye color, and even separate IQs for each personality. Documented cases show that each personality also manifests its own brainwave and voice patterns. Each personality can have individual medical disorders, such as asthma, or even diabetes, while the other personality shows no signs or symptoms.


Are You Ready to Heal without Months in Therapy? Welcome to EFT!

us can easily relate to this! Illness occurs due to a disruption in the person’s energy system, which is a souvenir of a negative, unresolved emotional memory. A simple way to explain how it works: Once a circuit is shorted you can’t turn on the light until the circuit breaker has been reset. EFT resets the circuits in your energy system. Hurtful memories are stored faithfully in our sub-conscious, even as we valiantly attempt to ignore them: A sharp word (spoken 30 minutes or 30 years ago) can be disrupting your energy system big time!

By Miriam Langsam MS EFT-Adv, CH

Three F.A.Q.’s About This Healing Wonder:

Here’s how Gary Craig, EFT’s Founder, Describes the Results You can Expect: “…my jaw still drops at the results. I’ve lost count of the number of phobias, panic attacks, traumatic memories, guilt & physical ailments that have been elegantly relieved….even though EFT violates just about every conventional belief out there, the results remain remarkable…We don’t get 100%. But….it often works where nothing else will.”

What is EFT? EFT is a gourmet blend of Eastern & Western wisdom in a “drug-free zone.” It’s a gentle, incredibly powerful Energy Psychology method that will knock your socks off. It diminishes, and often abolishes, a diverse range of emotional & physical ailments.

Notice the emotional source in the following three scenarios. The EFT process will inevitably zero in on several tappable issues: • Ahuva is anxious about meeting critical relatives at an upcoming picnic. She “coincidentally” gets sick the day before the event.

Does “It’s quick, easy, a child can do it & it works on everything” simply sound too good to be true? Though Emotional Freedom Technique has profoundly changed people’s lives, some sadly dismiss it because it’s out of the ballpark of their belief systems.

It’s sometimes called “Emotional Acupuncture”, but instead of using pins on 100’s of acupoints, EFT generates astounding results by tapping gently on 10-12 specific ones. These acupoints access the healing points along the pathways of the body’s energy meridians. We’re not just a bunch of chemicals & bones! We were created with a complex energy system that responds, like a sapling to sunlight, to the therapeutic healing power of EFT. Gary Craig, a Stanford engineer, introduced EFT in the early 1990’s. He condensed it from a much longer procedure called Thought Field Therapy. It’s like an invisible First Aid Kit literally at our fingertips! How Does It Work? Albert Einstein taught that everything is composed of energy, which Western medicine, until recently, has basically ignored. EFT is based on the premise that over 85% of all ailments, emotional and physical, are rooted in the emotional. Most of


• As Pnini’s relationship with her mother-in-law becomes more stressful, she suffers from migraines regularly. • Shimon was humiliated in class in fourth grade. He has been prone to morning panic attacks for the past five school years. Why is EFT called “the hidden secret to Positive Thinking”? “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Many people try to think positively, but never get a wooden nickel closer to their goals. EFT is the only game in town when it comes to getting rid of limiting beliefs about money / feelings of unworthiness / scarcity / or any fears, shame or guilt about bringing your dreams to fruition. Here’s an example. Ruchi consciously tries to “think positive” – yet she often finds herself stuck: She’s eager to apply for a position as a pre-school director, but instead of emailing her resume, she keeps procrastinating. Why? Here are some possibilities: 1. She’s embarrassed to seek a higher paying job due to blocks regarding money. 2. Her “inner critic” is working overtime. 3. A past failure is eroding her confidence.

The Good News: You can spend hours saying positive affirmations: “I’m talented & creative / I’m happy…happy… happy! / I can easily succeed at my new job,” .and it will definitely make some impact on your life.

The Bad News: The impact will be minimal – if you don’t resonate with the words that are coming out of your mouth. In other words, you can never fool your inner critic! That little voice inside you is strong enough to topple a thousand affirmations. You’re probably very familiar with it: “Oh yeah? Who are you kidding? / Maybe somebody else could pull that off – somebody smarter, older, younger, with more connections… not me… not now… not yet.” The Best News: A secret ingredient exists that must be added to the positive thinking mix: EFT is the life-changing switch that rewires your inner chatter, and finally activates your affirmations. Without EFT, Positive Thinking is just a pipe dream. It’s time to take a leap outside of your comfort zone, take a taste, and be flabbergasted by the results. Miriam Langsam, MS EFT-Adv, CH is an EFT Practitioner & Coach. She specializes in Stress Mgmt., Relationship Issues, & Traumatic Memories. She sees clients in her Boro Park office or by Phone. She also runs EFT Phone Groups & can be reached at 718.854.3808. www.naturalhealingny.com


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You were recently awarded Brooklyn’s Best Laser Hair Removal, by the Brooklyn Award Program! How does that feel? Ariela: It was so exciting to receive this award! Our hard work really paid off. We take pride in achieving the best results possible for each client. This award says and explains everything. Tell me when you knew you wanted to have a career in the beauty business? Ariela: Ever since I was a little girl, I was extremely into a women’s beauty. My mother always took care of herself in every aspect, as a woman should. From then on I knew, I wanted to be in the beauty industry, I had many goals I wanted to accomplish in this field. What was your major in college, and how long ago did you start in the beauty industry? Ariela: When my family moved from Israel to Canada I was still very young and motivated. In college I majored in business administration and graduated with a diploma. I then made a move to New York and studied esthetics at Christine Valmy and got my license. That’s when it all started. . . I began my journey shortly after I graduated in 1992. I am celebrating my 20th year in serving the community, this October! That is quite an accomplishment. What helped you get your business off the ground? Ariela: My first customers were friends, who were extremely satisfied and spread the word. From there my business solidified, and as I established my clientele, my confidence grew. In addition, my husband inspired and pushed me with his encouragement and has really guided me. I’m very thankful.


Explain laser hair removal. Ariela: Laser hair removal utilizes focused beams of laser light that penetrates through the outer layers of skin directly into the hair follicles below. The laser light targets the pigmented hair, effectively destroying the follicle, which then your hair growth begins to lessen. Many believe that laser hair removal is painful and expensive . Ariela: Many years ago, when you did have laser treatments, yes the sessions were painful. However today, technology has much more advanced machines that are pain free. Silk And Sheer uses Alma Soprano, a machine which is painless and is FDA approved. Laser hair removal is safe, efficient, cost effective, and in the long run less expensive than waxing! While waxing is performed repeatedly for the rest of your life, a laser treatment offers a permanent solution. You are definitely receiving more than what you pay for. Are you certified & how do you make sure you and you staff are updated on the latest technology? Ariela: My staff and I are certified. We renew our licenses on a yearly basis and are certified by New York State. Our clients are insured as well. Every year my technicians and I attend seminars and shows to keep us updated. I can’t help but notice how beautifully designed your salon is! How long have you been at this location? Ariela: Thank you! I have been at this location for the last three years, which is convenient for most of our clients to get to. The soothing décor helps relax our clients. Our goal is to offer everyone a pleasant experience. Cleanliness is definitely one of our top priorities.

To make an appointment at SilkAndSheer Please call: (718) 645-4546 2508 Coney Island Ave. Brooklyn, N.Y. 11223 Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:00-8:00 Friday 10:00- one hour before Shabbat. Sunday 10:00-4:00. Web: www.silkandsheer.com Email: info@silkandsheer.com


By avi FisHoFF & yaakov sHain

CHapter 7: essenCe or CirCumstanCe GPS! Navigation for Your Soul

After all the good and bad that I do... who am I really?

"!`ed l`xyi `hgy it lr s` `caf xa `a` iax xn`" cn sc oixcdpq zkqn ilaa cenlz

“Even after he sinned, he is still a Yid!”


gave every Yid the status: "YISRAEL" and there is nothing you can do to lose it!

:mc`a yi mitzy dyly" ".en`e eia`e d"awd .`l sc dcp zkqn ilaa cenlz

“There are three partners in the creation of man: Hashem, father, and mother.” Spiritually speaking, Hashem invests into your being by inserting a piece of His holiness, called a dnyp (soul), as the Torah says: "Hashem blew a living SOUL into his nostrils."

"!gtp ekezn gtpc o`n :miig znyp eit`a" jlie zyxt wicv ixta `aen xdef ipewz f:a ziy`xa

Just as when a person blows out, the air comes from within him, so to, when the Torah says that Hashem blew a soul into man, where did that soul come from? From within Hashem! (So to speak.) An essential part of every Yid is a lrnn wel` wlg, an actual piece of G-dliness inserted directly by Hashem, Creator of the universe. Therefore, the core of every Yid is pure and holy. This is known as "the pintele Yid." This eternal, enduring, infinite, pure G-dliness within us is an indestructible supernatural power with the ability to prevail over the raging flames of evil that constantly attempt to disconnect us from Hashem.

who uplifted their physical beings through a life of purity and holiness, thereby morphing into physical manifestations of G-dliness. Thus, even the physical aspect of every Yid is pure and holy.

nOW WE CAN UNDERSTAND: rxd xvid cvn dxwna wx edf mi`hegy s` - l`xyi" "!ixnbl mdl dlitpd okzi `le daeh mytp mvr la` fh:a xacna dac yxcn lr sqei ur

Since we are created from pure goodness, it cannot be that we sin because we are "essentially" bad and it cannot be that our sins have the ability to change our "essence" from good to bad. Therefore, when you sin, it is not because your ESSENCE is corrupt; rather, it is only because of circumstances brought upon you by the Evil Inclination!

il`xyid ald zeiniptl miaaeqd ivedk wx `ed mi`hgd" ".aeh gix dlrnd qcde `q` `edy 'e ze` dxez ly dlnr qxhpew `xwie wicv ixt

Therefore, we must understand that sinning is merely an EXTERNAL act brought upon you by the rxd xvi, Evil Inclination. A person's sins are only like external thorns that merely surround but never affect the internal goodness of a Yid, who is like a sweet-smelling myrtle branch!

yOU SEEM A LITTLE SKEPTICaLSO LET US PROVE THIS TO YOU: ".wlg yi` ikp`e xry yi` ig` eyr od" `i:fk wxt ziy`xa

mzavgn ycew rxf zea`d rxf" rxd xvin mi`heg m`e "!daeyzl mxfer mzeclez rah zyecw

The Torah says: Behold, my brother Eisav is hairy, whereas I am a smooth-skinned man.

fh:a xacna dax yxcn lr e"fxdn

Physically, we are also rooted in pure holiness, since we are the direct offspring of the miyecwd zea` (holy forefathers)

uend dlre oxebd zty lr oicner gxwe ueewl lyn :xn` iel iax" ".exiarde ey`x lr eci ozpe gxwa uend dlr exrya jazqpe ueewa d"q dyxt dax ziy`xa

There were two people standing at the edge of a granary; one of them was very hairy and the other one was completely bald. Suddenly a big wind came and blew loose chaff all over them. The bald guy simply wiped his head and all the chaff slipped off. However, the chaff became entangled in the hairy man's thick bushy hair, and he had a very hard time getting it all out. So too with Yaakov and Eisav, the extremes of good and bad:

The explanation is as follows: Internally, every person always wants to fulfill the will of Hashem, Creator of the universe. Therefore, when a person has trouble doing what he is supposed to, we understand that his Evil Inclination is not allowing his inner pure self to do what he really wants to.

"!dvex zn`ac meyn 'ip` dvex' xn`iy cr oitekc `da" 'k dkld 'a wxt oiyexib zekld m"anx

d"q dyxt dax ziy`xa

This is why we can physically beat the husband! We need to knock his Evil Inclination out of the equation and FREE him to do what he really wanted to do all along- and that is: what is RIGHT in the eyes of Hashem!

Throughout the year, the wicked Eisav becomes filthy with sin and has no way to properly clean himself, whereas Yaakov (meaning every Jew) becomes filthy with sin throughout the whole year but then Yom Kippur wipes the filth away!


,xtki dna el oi`e dpyd zeni lk zepera jlklzn :ryxd eyr jk" dpyd zeni lk zepera jlklzn :awri la` "!xtki dna el yie mixetkd mei `ae

We learn two amazing things from this Medrash: 1. The Medrash does not say that the difference between Yaakov and Eisav is that Eisav sins all through the year whereas Yaakov never sins! This shows us that the Torah understands that human beings- even though we are precious, pure, and holy- can still sin every single day of the year! 2. The Medrash clearly shows us that there is a fundamental difference between Klal Yisrael and the rest of the world: A Yid's sins do not cause internal corruption. Therefore, even after you sin all year, you can cleanse yourself with one quick swipe, just as the bald man wipes the shmutz off his head. Why? Because it isn't really part of you. My cell phone dropped into a bathtub full of water. Obviously it stopped working and I was sure that it was ruined. A friend suggested that I put the phone into a closed bucket of uncooked rice for 24 hours. Skeptically, I followed his advice, and to my great surprise, the phone worked like new! I was sure the water had destroyed my phone's ability to receive signals from the satellite way up in the sky. However, I learned that those connections were perfectly intact and once the water evaporated- the phone worked like new! (Try it- it works!) The lesson is clear: Even if you are COMPLETELY SUBMERGED in the destructive murky waters of sin and your connection to Hashem becomes "waterlogged" - the reality is that if you completely immerse yourself within the pure confines of the Holy Torah, allowing your soul to "dry up" from "sin damage," you will discover that you have not lost the ability to once again connect to purity and holiness. This concept is not just a hypothetical, obscure, far fetched thoughtit is the foundation of our religion and it affects our daily lives. Here's the proof: In Jewish law, a person can divorce his wife only willingly. If a man refuses to divorce his wife, the rabbinical court may use force to "convince" him to "reconsider" and give the divorce of his own "free will," and it is a proper divorce. The question is, if they forced him to give the divorce, then how can this qualify as giving the divorce willingly?

!d`xea oevx zeyrl iinipt utga dvitg iilkyd ytpdy iptn" dxiar zeyrl e` devn lhal etwzy `ed rxd exviy `l`... "...epevxa dyr xak aey exvi yyzy cr dkedy oeike 'a wxt m"anxd ixac xe`iaa ,c"rtlp jkitl d"c 'h oniq jepg ci z"ey ixacn 'k dkld oiyexib zekldn

,l`xyia lnr d`x `le awria oe` hiad `l" "!ea jln zrexze enr eiwl` 'd `k:bk wxt xacna

The Torah says: "Hashem did not see any sin amongst Yaakov or any perversity amongst Yisrael. Hashem his G-d is with him, and the friendship of the King is within him!"

oiic zi`e oic zi` ixde - 'awria oe` hiad `l'y okzi ji` dxe`klc" "?eiig exzei oxze `ed jexa yecwd xne`d lke' e"hw sc dpyd y`x ipipr 'a wlg mely zeaizp

This sounds really good, but come on- how is it possible that Hashem just ignores our sins- isn't there any justice system? The reason is revealed to us at the end of the pasuk:

ezee`z `lnne `heg `edy drya mbc :epiid" :ea `xwp eaal f` mb ea xread rxd xvi lr xabzdl gk el oi`e "!?iwel` 'd oevx cbp `edy xac dyer ip` ji` e"hw sc dpyd y`x ipipr 'a wlg mely zeaizp

The words: "Hashem his G-d is WITH him" refers to during the sin! This means that even when you don't have the strength to overcome the Yetzer Hora and you fulfill your desire- deep down inside of you- your heart is torn to shreds as you cry: "How on earth can I go against the will of my G-d?" Since this is how you really feel deep inside of you while you engage in the sin, Hashem does not take your sinful actions at face value and does not consider it as if you truly meant to rebel against him!

here's the play by play: The prosecuting angels come running to Hashem: "Look what Moishy is doing!" But Hashem looks past his action and sees Moishy's broken heart, and responds: "This is what you are bringing Me? A distraught Yid who is so upset about doing something against My will?!"

dxiard ziiyr ici lr `xapy j`ln" "!dnly dpi` dlretd ik - mly eppi` r"if ryef iax mya g"v adf zxepn xtq

Since every time you sin, you regret going against the will of Hashem, you don't sin with a truly happy heart. For this reason, the bad angels created by your sins are never whole- for deep down, your heart is not completely in it!


GPS! Navigation for Your Soul

even after so many sinsyour essence is still intact:

now we can understand the powerful words of the medrash:

mi`hgd ieaix ici lr ixnbl zeakl xyt` i` zecdi uevipdy" "!llk aeyl xxerzn did `l ok `l m`c

!md miwicv - l`xyiay miryx ,eicbea elit`" "!miwicv mlk jnre :xn`py

'e ze` dxez ly dlnr qexhpew `xwie wicv ixt

f"k wxt ziy`xa `zxhef `zwiqt

Your internal "pintele Yid" can never be extinguished- even by an abundance of sin! For then it would be impossibe for a bigtime sinner to ever be able to return to Hashem!

Even a seemingly rebellious wicked Jew is really... are you ready for this? A TZADDIK!

Authentic Yiddishkeit clearly believes that even after sinning over and over, day after day, year after year, all the receptors that connect us to Hashem are still completely intact and ready to be used! They don't become musty, dusty, or rusty!


mirexb xzeid l`xyi iryety dnc" ytp zexiqna jxazi 'dl aeyl xxerzdl cg` rbxa mileki "!mytp yxeyc dcewpd zexxerzd ici lr edf

jiwel` 'd cr l`xyi daey" "jpera zlyk ik

'e ze` dxez ly dlnr qexhpew `xwie wicv ixt

The fact that one who intentionally rebels against Hashem can completely turn around in one moment and stand ready to literally die for Hashem is only possible because he possesses an indestructible spark of G-dliness deep inside him!

over the centuries klal yisrael has witnessed this phenomenon hundreds of times. here's just one story: During the terrifying years of the Holocaust, the Nazis, yimach shimam, gathered all the Yidden of a town into the main shul on Yom Kippur. The Yidden were squashed together, gripped in fear, not knowing what would happen to them. They knew that the Nazis were capable of burning them alive in the shul, as they had done elsewhere. After hours of waiting, the Nazis ym"sh burst into the shul with their top Jewish informant. This was a non-religious Jewish thug who had sunk to the lowest depths of the underworld. Before the Nazi invasion, he would terrorize the religious people and extort money from them. He was such a dangerous thug that when anyone even heard his name mentioned, they cringed in fear. Since the Nazi invasion, he tried to find favor in the Nazi's eyes by being an informant. Now, the Nazis roughly shoved this Jewish thug into the shul. They had an agenda. They opened the Aron Kodesh, took out a Sefer Torah, unrolled it on the floor, and commanded the Jew to relieve himself on the Torah! To everyone's shock, he refused! The Nazis beat him mercilessly; however, he would not shame the Torah. They beat him and beat him until he died right there on the spot. The next day, the Rabbis decided that this holy Yid, who was murdered Al Kiddush Hashem, should be buried with the Sefer Torah for which he gave his life. Source: Umasuk HaOr on Megillas Esther, p. 263

a:ci wxt ryed

The Prophet Hoshea says: "Return, Yisrael, until Hashem your G-d, for you have stumbled with your sins!"

if you carefully analyze this verse, you will have these questions: 1. The prophet should have said "return TO Hashem," not: "return UNTIL Hashem." 2. Every Jew thinks to Himself: (or at least should!)

lkei dkki` envrl ayeg icedi" zevign exviy ei`hg lk ixg` 'da weac zeidl ribdl jxazi myd oial epia milicand miqkne lfxa "!?jexaa waczn xex` oi` ixd c"pw sc xeyrl dqk oia 'a wlg mely zeaizp

Come on- let's be really honest: after all the rebellious, revolting, hideous, horrific, dreadful, appalling, disgusting, awful, sickening, repugnant, horrid, ghastly, grisly, and slimy sins that I knowingly committed directly against the will of Hashem, is it really possible for me to return "jiwel` 'd cr" all the way back UNTIL Hashem? How can a low-life spiritually contaminated sinner like me actually still connect to the ultimate of all purity and holiness? 3. The prophet should have told us to return to Hashem "because you sinned and messed up your life!" Why, then, does he say, "come back and return to Hashem - because you STUMBLED with your sins" as if to cover up the severity of our sins and suggesting that we just somehow... kinda... you know... accidentally... "stumbled"?

jly mi`hgd lky iptn jiwel` 'd cr aeyl jgka" "jzedn mvra iepiy mpi`e "zepelyk" wx md e"hw sc dpyd y`x ipipr 'a wlg mely zeaizp

The answer to all of these questions is: YES! Even after all the sins you did- YOU CAN STILL return literally all the way "jiwel` 'd cr" UNTIL Hashem! Why? "jpera zlyk ik" Because each time you sinned, it was ONLY because you "stumbled" due to the Evil Inclination! Reuven was a really good yeshiva boy. When his friend Chaim got married, Reuven rented a car and drove

eight hours to be at the wedding. At the wedding someone "spiked" the soda with vodka and without even realizing it Reuven had alcohol in his system. The wedding was over late and Reuven was pretty tired... but he set out for the long drive back home in order to be back in time for yeshiva the next morning. In the darkness of the night, he dozed off... BOOM! He veered into the other lane and hit a car... which spun out of control... and hit a tree. Reuven was arrested for driving under the influence and was sentenced to ten years in jail. Throughout the ten year Reuven sat in jail, his parents NEVER missed a chance to visit their beloved son. They knew that even though he did a terrible thing, outside factors were to blame for this horrible occurrence. When they visited their precious child and saw him in a prison jumpsuit, treated like a common lowlife... their hearts went out to him... and they suffered along with him! Their poor child was in the same jail as thieves, drug dealers, and drunksyet they knew and believed that he was NOT one of them! Seeing their dear son in this lowly situation only magnified how different he was from them... and how much he did NOT fit in with these criminals!

the same applies to each one of us: !!!'oelyk `l` df oi` ,lrnae cxna `heg icediyk elit`e" ... `heg 'id `l ie`xk `xead zlecb z` xikne rcei 'id m` ik "!zrc ilan `hegd mc`k epic ok m` c"pw sc xeyrl dqk oia 'a wlg mely zeaizp

Even if it seems that you are sinning against Hashem out of defiance and rebelliousness- it is really only due to a stumbling block! The truth is that the only reason you sinned is because the Evil Inclination managed to wrap himself around your better judgment and somehow NUMB your brain to the point that you were in a fog- like a drunk man who can't focus on the ramifications of his actions! It was never your internal will to sin- YOU never signed off and agreed to this and you surely aren't proud of what you did! Therefore, you will be judged as someone who sinned unintentionally!

,`xead zelcba dbyd ly edynl ribdl ick dfd mlerl cxi icedi" eilade eizeiezya laleane rewy z`f zxenz seqale 'bbey' xcba lkdy 'jpeera zlyk ik' zpigaa df ixde cifna dyer icediy xzeia mixengd mi`hgd elit` "!`ed jexa yecwd ceak z` oian epi`y meyn wx df ixd

How can you be sure? It's really quite simple: If at that moment of your sin- you would have truly recognized the incredible infinite greatness of Hashem- would you have still sinned? Absolutely not! If you would be standing in the Bais HaMikdash- would you do this sin? Of course not! At the Kosel? Never! On Yom Kippur during Neilah? No way! Therefore, there is nothing that can BLOCK YOU from returning to Hashem:

so what does the yetzer hora do to us? !daeyza xefgi `ly icedi lr cgeina xabzn rxd xvid dpdc" "!daeyzd gk lecb dnk rxd xvid rcei ik b"pw 'a wlg mely zeaizp xtq

The Yetzer Hora knows that if you really try to get back on track and become better, you will succeed in improving your life! That's why it works really hard to make sure that you don't even try!

,daeyza aeyl leki epi` xak 'eli`k' icedi ipta `ed cinrn ok lre" xfge ezaeyza cnr `le daeyz dyr minrt daxd jk lk xak ixdy "!?mrt cer daeyz dyri m` dzr el lirei dne - didy zenkl b"pw 'a wlg mely zeaizp xtq

The evil twisted Yetzer Hora tries to convince you that it's too late for you to return to Hashem. After what you did?!?! Forget about it! Hashem's never seen anything like that before! Besides- you already made up your mind to be good so many times and still you FELL again and again- so what good is it if you would pick yourself up again?! But the truth is that we know and believe that Hashem understands our personal difficulties and struggles, and Hashem takes into consideration our inner pain stemming from our distance from Him. Therefore, when we do what we can, He accepts us back with open arms! Time after time!

eiyrn ederpni lkae egexa leti l`" `heg icediy dn lk ik ie`xd daeyzd z` biydln "!lrnn wel` wlg `id icedi ly eznyp ik !oelyk `l` mvra epi` c"pw sc xeyrl dqk oia 'a wlg mely zeaizp

Authentic Yiddishkeit understands that you should not despair and you should not give up on trying to repent, rebuild, and reconnect to Hashem, because every sin you did is only due to external stumbling blocks and it does NOT properly represent who you really are, for your ESSENCE is a pure soul, and your pure soul is a piece of G-d - so how can you be bad?!?!

l`xyi od oiaiag" "!mdipia dpiky oi`nh ody it lr s`y 'f dyxt (dplie) dax xacna

mely zeaizp xtq

You were sent down to this world on a mission to live with some sort of comprehension of the greatness of G-d and your commitment to follow His command, but in the end, you got sidetracked and confused and became immersed in stupidity and nonsense. No sane person would ever do that. So the sins that you did while in a dazed and confused state of mind- even those that you did on purposewere not while you clearly felt and perceived the true greatness of Hashem! Did you know what you were doing? Well, technically you did- but did you understand what a terrible thing you were really doing and the consequences of your stupid idiotic actions? NO WAY! The proof is, that while thinking clearly- you would NEVER do those things! That is why Hashem will have mercy on you and purify you from all of your sins!

The Jewish people are so beloved that even when they are spiritually bankrupt- Hashem still remains with them! There is no thought or action you can possibly do that will ever cause Hashem to stop loving you! In spite of your sins, Hashem has NEVER left your side, and He will never leave your side!

This is why Hashem loves you even after you sin: mc`d `hgiy mcew `ed ia`" "!mc`d `hgiy xg`l `ed ia`e mely zeaizp

Hashem is your LOVING FATHER before you sinand He is still your BELOVED FATHER after you sin! To reach the authors: GPSFORYOURSOUL@gmail.com.


The Michelangelo Secret to Customer Satisfaction By Shoshana Raff, MScA, MSW One day in the middle of the summer, my husband and I managed to go on a mini-vacation consisting of one night in a fancy hotel in New York City. I remember a lecture I heard a while back from a big Rabbi who said that every married couple should go away overnight, without their children, at least once a year. So, following this sage advice, we left our kids with trusted adults and off we went. My husband had done some research and booked us into a fancy Five Star hotel in the heart of Manhattan for a great price, of course. We arrived at The Michelangelo Hotel decorated in fine Italian style marble and paintings, true to its name. After checking in and going up to our room, we opened the door to find ourselves in a lavish and huge one bedroom marble suite, complete with sitting room, desks, walk in closet/ bathroom and king size beds. We could have easily slept our entire family of six in this suite. My first thought was that my husband made a mistake. Maybe he booked the $2,000 room instead of a $200 one? He assured me that he hadn’t made a mistake, maybe the hotel just upgraded us? Imagine, a free upgrade in the heart of New York City…it didn’t seem possible. When we made our way back downstairs I stopped by the reception desk just to make sure we weren’t going to be billed an extra $1800 for our room. As I approached the desk, before I could say anything, the receptionist said, “Mr. & Mrs. Raff, how can I help you?” Now I was really beginning to get nervous, how did she know our names? So I asked her how she managed to do remember our names in such a huge hotel. As a Business Coach, I’m always on the look-out for tricks and tips to help my clients improve their business. And from the looks of it, The Michaelangelo was beginning to look like it was doing something right. But what she told me leads to one of the best business lessons of all time. She said, “I should remember your names you have the best room in the entire house”. “Yes”, I said, “how did that happen?” to which she replied, “it’s our hotel policy to randomly pick a customer to upgrade on a regular basis and you were the lucky couple for tonight”. Now, that’s what I call good customer service. Can you just imagine being on the receiving end of such a huge upgrade? Can you imagine how


special and happy we felt. Not only did it feel like Hashem was smiling down on our little vacation away from the kids, (thusly alleviating me of all my guilt for leaving them), but I knew that this story would also give me the material for a great lesson about the elusive yet critically important concept of ‘customer service’. Most people who run their own businesses are often unsure about what customer service is and even fewer understand the concept of Customer Satisfaction and how important a role it plays in making or breaking your business. The leading management theory experts have coined a concept that research has shown, is one of the best ways to satisfy your customer: Underpromise and Overdeliver. Zappos does it, Amazon does it and I’ll bet your favorite store, restaurant and brand does it as well. The best way to provide good customer service and guarantee a satisfied customer, which in turn ensure repeat business and a positive reputation (remember, with the state of technology today the word about your business can spread fast) is by fulfilling the concept of “Underpromising and Overdelivering”. I expected a fancy hotel room. I got a fancy hotel suite. As a result of normal expectations and the hotel delivery of superior service, my satisfaction and happiness with the hotel was over the moon. So much so that I’m writing an article bragging to thousands of readers about how wonderful The Michaelangelo Hotel is. Had the hotel done the opposite, “Overpromised and Underdelivered” where I expected a fancy suite and gotten a mere room, I would have been very dissatisfied and probably would have not only never returned but would have warned others never to visit here as well. So the hotel, in its wisdom, has a policy that whenever the best suite in the house is empty, they randomly give it to a customer for the night. Rather than leave the suite empty, they understand the small cost and inconvenience in cleaning it an extra time is clearly well worth it since it’s such a valuable opportunity to fulfill the best customer satisfaction adage of all time, “Underpromise & Overdeliver”. Wow a random customer with overdelivered service and ensure yourself a loyal and satisfied customer for life. By randomly upgrading patrons, the hotel turns an empty suite into a thousand dollar marketing opportunity to create a company culture and atmosphere that is focused on customer satisfaction. As a business coach, I always advise my clients that in all that they do, make sure that their business actions lead to ‘underpromising and overdelivering’. Put your customers first, go the extra mile for your customer, even if it’s not part of the job, especially if it’s not expected and I guarantee, your business will thrive. Shoshanah Raff is a business coach in private practice in New York. She also teaches college Management, Marketing & Entrepreneurship courses. You can visit her websites: www.koshershopaholic.com and www.raffbusiness.com for more information about her businesses and coaching services.





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