The Key to Success

This was a tough week at work, ladies and gentlemen. And whether it is good or bad, one thing that helps me feel better after a really rough day is baking. It doesn’t happen often, but Jason knows that if I come home and bake something on a regular week night, it has been a truly trying and miserable day. Last Thursday was just such a day and after a series of events that worked me up into a tizzy, I determined that it was going to be a baking night. But what to bake? I mulled a few options over in my head, but then it came to me: “I know! I can make a shlissel challah!”

Uh, a what???
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The Scouting Mission & Three Tips for Future Scouters

Last we left our heroes, talk of a Raleigh move was coming into focus as a more full-formed possibility. Jason and I both knew that when talk of a move got serious, at least one trip down to the area would be necessary to determine if this was a place we could actually see ourselves living. So, we did some research on the area, booked our flights, and dove into the adventure head first. After I got off the flight and began driving around, though, I started thinking to myself, “Oh my God, what are we getting ourselves in to???”  

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The Holiday Where We Enslave Ourselves to Celebrate Our Freedom from Slavery

Pesach. Passover. Ugh. I guess the best place to start here is with a little bit of explanation. I would imagine that the vast majority of people think of two things when they hear the word “Passover”: 

1. Matzah.
2. Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments.

That’s in no particular order, but let’s be real, Charlton Heston is probably #1.

Anyway, in case you are unfamiliar with the basic gist of the holiday, Passover celebrates when God freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt.  Charlton Heston Moses approaches Pharaoh and demands that he release the Jewish people. When Pharaoh refuses, God unleashes the ten plagues on Egypt, the most horrible of which being the death of the firstborn son. The Jews paint lamb blood on the doorposts of their homes and are “passed over” by this plague. Afterward, Pharaoh allows the Jews to leave, so they grab their unleavened bread and get the heck out of there. Pharaoh, though, has a change of heart, and sends his army after the Jews to bring them back. God performs another miracle and parts the sea so that the Jews can pass, but releases the waters once they are through, crushing the pursuing Egyptian army beneath the waves.

To commemorate this amazing story, the Torah commands that we do a number of things. Do not eat bread with leavening for the entirety of the holiday, which can be either 7 or 8 days, an explanation for which can be found here. Retell the story of the exodus from Egypt. Have a festive meal where you drink at least 4 cups of wine while relating the exodus story. Wow, this sounds great, right?  Continue reading “The Holiday Where We Enslave Ourselves to Celebrate Our Freedom from Slavery”

Moving to Raleigh – Are We Really Talking About This?

Chatter of a Raleigh move has actually been going on in our house for months. In fact, it’s been a topic that has been floating around for so long that I don’t even remember when it was first mentioned. I do remember, though, that it didn’t begin with, “Here’s an idea, let’s move to Raleigh!” Jason and I have always thought it might be exciting to live somewhere else for at least a few years. These discussions were mostly collective daydreaming – oh, wouldn’t it be cool to live in Europe for a few years and really experience another way of life? But then, talk began to happen that the company Jason consults for is trying to move some of its operations and employees down to Raleigh, NC to save money. An important person at the company who Jason works with took the plunge and moved his family down to Raleigh, and reported back that the area was great and that things were really cheap. “Hmm,” we thought. “Would we ever want to move to Raleigh?” The seed was planted at that point, but nothing more.  Continue reading “Moving to Raleigh – Are We Really Talking About This?”