Biblical Fiction

Three thousand three hundred twelve (3312). That’s a pretty big number and it’s not arbitrary. That’s the approximate number of languages that at least part of the Bible (Jewish and other) have been translated into. As of September 2020,  the full Bible is available in 704 languages and the New Testament can be read in an additional 1551 languages.

WOW! The Bible- or parts of it- must be the most translated piece of writing ever. Continue reading

MESH – We’re Back!

MESHMESH started officially on Tuesday, October 5. For the time being, we will be preparing take-away meals for 20 people using simplified menus and a centralized drop off for food at the Salvation Army on Trinity Place in Montclair. The process will be different from our fondly remembered in house Carol Starr MESH Cafe. However, our guests will still be receiving a hearty, nutritious meal prepared with care and consideration

Lynne and Aileen did a trial run on Tuesday, October 5 to make sure that basic cooking utensils are readily accessible and that commonly used seasonings are in stock. The hearty meal consisted of macaroni and cheese, roasted broccoli, three bean salad, hard roll, apple, chocolate chip cookie, breakfast bar and 8 oz water bottle. We included the necessary containers, bags, plasticware, condiments, salt and pepper packets. Continue reading

Seasonal This and That

Sept 14 apology

It always amazes me how we transition so smoothly between the joyous solemnity of Rosh Hashanah to the contemplation of Yom Kippur and then back to rejoicing in the bounty of the earth and the gift of the Torah.

On Yom Kippur, we recite a long list of behavorial errors-often by rote. “How to Forgive” by Amy Klein (Hadassah Magazine online)  looks at some recent books about forgiveness. Klein says  “… at this time dedicated to introspection, soul searching and forgiveness, there are mixed emotions: grief for the people who passed; sadness and empathy for those who got sick, lost jobs and suffered in quarantine. But what should we feel for people who refused to observe quarantine mandates or wear masks, who won’t vaccinate (for nonmedical reasons) or who spread disinformation about Covid-19? Or for those who perpetuated divisions in our society? What to do about all the emotions—even rage—at the stubborn ones who we think are responsible for our suffering? ” In her article entitled “How to Forgive”, she cites two books that helped her deal with her conflicted emotions.  Continue reading

Apple, apples everywhere


You know by now that I love to cook. Finding recipes, organizing and writing my shopping list, assembling the ingredients on the counter and following the directions appeal to my inner nature that really, really wants a predictable outcome in these unpredictable times that we are living in.

On the other hand, I’ve spent far too much time in the kitchen these past 18 months. So when planning my holiday meals, I looked for delicious outcomes with minimum effort.

I could not resist sharing with you one last set of holiday recipes. They all use apples, but you could easily substitute pears. Did you know that Shomrei has a pear tree loaded (at least as I am writing this) with almost ripe pears?  Continue reading

A Squirrel in the Pear Tree: That was then; This is now

Editor’s note: This article was first published in 2013 in the print Kol Emunah. See the update below. 

squirrel eatingHave you noticed the little tree right opposite the pre-school playground?  I finally did late in July [2013] when I saw some brown blobs hanging from its slender, leafy branches. When I examined the tree more closely, I realized that it was a pear tree with small, brownish pears-hard as rocks- hanging from almost every branch.

There were more than twenty of the little brown fruits. From that moment I dreamed pears: pear relish, poached pears, pear pie, sautéed pears, a true Sukkot treat from Shomrei’s very own pear tree.  Continue reading

Summer Viewing and Doing (Updated)

There are so many great viewing opportunities right now. With the weather as sultry as it is, and the COVID threat still with us, taking a break for an armchair visit to another country or participating in a book talk is a good idea.

CAVEAT: Always check times for online events. Often the website will be in PDT or even European or Israeli time.

Continue reading