MESH Report April 9, 2024

The sun shone brightly and spirits were high as our energetic volunteers prepared 50 take-away meals for our MESH guests. Working hard on chopping were Rabbi Julie and her sons Ilan and Rafael.  Always willing volunteer Susan Rosenblatt filled little cups with tartar sauce while Carole Rothman wrapped Italian rolls. Alex Kent got the main course ready for the oven. Continue reading

MESH Report February 27, 2024

A most efficient crew prepared and packed Chef Sarita’s hearty, tasty and nutritious BBQ Chicken Feast for 50 in a repeat record time of 2 hours. The A+ Team included Captain Sarita Eisenberg, #1 First Mate Lou Hammerman, and First Class crew members Linda Ariel, Susan Rosenblatt and Lynne Kurzweil.

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Hardening the Heart: Thoughts on Parashat Va’era

The notion of hardening the heart occurs 20 times in the book of Exodus.

Ten of these occurrences state either that Pharoah hardened his [own] heart (8:28, 9:34) or say that Pharoah’s heart hardened, suggesting that this was something that Pharoah did on his own (7:13, 7:14, 7:22, 8:11, 8:15, 9:7 , 9:35). The other ten occurrences attribute the heart hardening to God (4:21, 7:3, 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8, 14:17).

The idea that God intentionally hardened Pharoah’s heart has always troubled me. Why would God do that? And how, if God made this happen, can we blame Pharoah and hold him accountable for his actions? Continue reading

MESH Report Sept 12, 2023

Our team for this first MESH of the year included Linda Ariel, Lou Hammerman, Lynne Kurzweil and me (Sarita Eisenberg).

We made our signature dish of barbeque chicken – each guest received 2 drumsticks with a generous side of roasted potatoes and a slice of bread. The meal also included a serving of cole slaw, fuit cup, cookies (left over from Selichot), and a bottle of water. Continue reading

Cool Down with Soup

When we think of cold soup , we most often call to mind a bright tomatoey gazpacho or a silky smooth vicysoisse. Gazpacho is technically a blend of raw vegetables including tomatoes,cucumber, bell peppers, often bread and spices. A simplified version was most likely brought to the Iberian Peninsula of Spain by the Romans and then given a local twist. It is simple and quick to make and has endless variations.

Today blended fruit soups, sometimes including tomatoes, are also called gazpacho. Continue reading

MESH Report June 29, 2023

We started out the MESH year making 20 meals, then 30. For this last MESH of the year, we upped the number to 50 meals.

Our MESH team included the trusty trio of Linda Ariel, Lou Hammerman and me (Sarita Eisenberg) plus Lynne Kurzweil. Aileen Grossberg provided the bread and dessert and delivered the packed food.

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Jewish Relativity: A Seder Story

We had what I consider to be small seders this year ― 6 people the first night at my sister’s and only 10 (plus our 2 toddler grandchildren) here for the second night.

I am from a family of six (I have 2 brothers and a sister). My mother had two sisters – each with a spouse, one with three children and the other with five. Adding in my grandparents meant that we had 20 people at each seder. So 20 is what I always considered to be a normal-sized seder. Continue reading