Shalom Bayis


Dear Dr. Weisbord,

We are fortunate in having our parents living nearby and invite them often for Shabbos lunch. My wife is generous and caring and has always gone along with this arrangement. My parents are rather outspoken, especially my mother. I enjoy their conversation and am used to my mother’s opinionated ways. I mostly take them with a grain of salt. She can tell me I shouldn’t allow a child to do this or that, or criticize their behavior, and I just nod and then do what I want. However, it upsets my wife a lot. Last time they came over, the kids were a little wild, and my mother criticized our six-year-old. My wife got angry and told her she had no right to discipline our kids. My parents were in shock and hurriedly bentched and left. It was extremely unpleasant. I don’t know where to go from here. Do we owe them an apology? Should they come less often? Should my wife chill out? Our children are fairly young now, but how do we explain the situation to them when they are older? Any tips would be appreciated.

Wants Family Peace Again


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Dreams Come True : Journey to Be’er Sheva: The Aliyah of the Neuman Family

be'er sheva

“Wow,” I exclaimed to my friend as we walked the streets of Be’er Sheva, “this must be the greenest city I have seen in all of Israel!” We had traversed miles of beautiful fields and landscape to spend Shabbos with former Baltimoreans Rabbi Yaakov and Judy Neuman and to check out their community. Now we entertained ourselves exploring expansive areas of green grass among the lovely houses and apartment buildings that comprise this sprawling city in the Negev. I was soon to find other delights unique to Be’er Sheva.

We arrived early on Friday, and after we settled in, Judy kindly served us a light lunch and encouraged us to have some fun and walk to the largest Eco mall in the entire Middle East, only about five minutes from her home. An Eco mall, I learned is an environmentally-friendly mall, where, for example, the light is generated from solar panels, among other innovations. Be’er Sheva, we discovered, has malls and shopping centers galore, lots of culture, museums, as well as ancient archaeological sites.

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Venahafoch Hu: Tips for Eating from Megillas Esther: Restoring Sanctity to Eating … and to the Rest of our Lives


There are a number of lessons we can learn from Megillas Esther to help us with compulsive eating and, in general, with behaviors we would like to modify. Some of these have been discussed in previous articles in this series, which are available on the Where What When website.

Feel full and complete, not lacking: Haman had only one person (Mordechai) who did not bow down to him, and it was worth nothing to him that everyone else did bow down. He could not perceive himself as “full,” only as “lacking.” He inherited this bad trait from Adam’s eating of the Tree of Knowledge. Adam (Eve is included with Adam here) could eat from any tree in the garden but one. The serpent was able to convince Eve that she was lacking something, until she could not stand it and ate. This is one interpretation of the connection of Haman to the word “hamin” (both spelled H-M-N). Haman’s essence is included in Hashem’s question to Adam, “Hamin ha’etz… did you eat from the tree?”

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Thank You, Lamont, Patti, Jorge, Hector, Michelle, Truman, and Christopher!


How many of us take the time out of our busy lives to recognize those who help us? They may be home health companions, waiters and waitresses, grocery baggers, shopkeepers, and even neighbors. All of them give us a helping hand. Here is just a small sampling of the many wonderful people who go above and beyond duty in aiding members of our community with a warm smile and a full heart.

Bags Are his Business

If you’ve shopped at Seven Mile Market, you know Lamont. Like the proverbial postman, Lamont has been loading customers’ vehicles with the familiar blue bags 40 hours a week in rain or snow, sleet or heat. Yossi Lax, a fellow employee, remarks, “People really love Lamont because he knows what everyone needs and even remembers where they parked their car. On erev Shabbos or Yom Tov, he knows exactly what to say: “Have a good Shabbos!’ or ‘Have a good Yom Tov!’ I would call him ‘Lamentsch’ because he is a mentsch. I don’t remember a Friday that he didn’t buy flowers to bring home to his wife.”

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A Faird Is a Jewish Horse, of Course!


Soon we will once again hear the story of Mordechai, who was taken for a ride on the King’s horse, led by the infamous Haman. That was a Persian horse, but did you ever hear about a Yiddisher faird?” So now you are laughing: a Jewish horse? What’s that!?

Many of the Yiddish misehs (tales) of the Old Country, by Sholom Aleichem, were about Tevya der milchiger (Tevya the dairy man), later written into a play entitled Fiddler on the Roof. Tevya delivered dairy products to the folks in his Russian village. One day the anti-Semitic government officials decided to expel the Yidden from their shtetl (town) as was the custom in many sections of Europe. Prior to leaving, Tevya goes to the barn and thanks his faird for pulling his dairy wagon for so many years. Of course, he speaks to his horse in Yiddish.

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Purim Recipes


Purim is coming! (Of course, that means Pesach is also coming, but I’m not going to think about that yet.) Filled with friends, family, and food, Purim is one of my favorite holidays. One thing I love is to see so many people I don’t normally get to see. Dropping off shalach manos and sharing a seuda, it is a time filled with achdus: brotherhood and unity.

Here is an easy menu for the Purim seuda. Serve the dips with challa for a pre-appetizer course. Then serve the soup and egg roll together (you can dip the egg roll into the Thai Coconut Corn Soup!). The brisket can be made ahead and frozen, and the zaatar oil dip keeps for three weeks in the fridge. 


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Amona and the Arrangements Law


Before the Oslo “peace” accords, there were no hilltop outposts. When a group of Jews wanted to start a new town in Judea and Samaria, on empty government land, they did so, and the town immediately received governmental recognition.

       After Oslo, in order not to raise the ire of the Western powers, Israel stopped building new towns in Judea and Samaria but continued expanding old ones. Threats from such initiatives as Oslo, Wye, Annapolis, Camp David Two, etc, etc., led to the creation of “outposts,” new towns built from scratch outside the boundaries of the established towns of Judea and Samaria. The thinking was this: If we don’t use it, we’ll lose it.

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Toward a More Meaningful Purim

mishloach manos

Our Sages teach us that Purim is an even holier day than Yom Kippur, but this feeling of holiness can be hard to access. Especially for women, who are often very busy with the physical preparations and demands of the day, Purim can be a challenging holiday to relate to on a spiritual level. For that reason, many women find themselves feeling disconnected from the lofty ideals of the day.

These ideals, and the mitzvos of the day, are universal, but the way in which we connect to them must be personalized in order for our Purim to be meaningful. To do this, we need to utilize our own unique personality and strengths when relating to and engaging in the avoda (spiritual work) of Purim. This self-awareness of who we are and what works to connect us to Purim will help us (and those around us!) have a better experience overall and reduce the feelings of stress and burnout that come from pushing ourselves too hard, particularly in areas that don’t come as naturally to our personalities.

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Behind The Scenes at CPAC with Ambassador John Bolton

john bolton


Over 10,000 activists from across the country poured into the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Prince George’s County on February 22-25, 2017, for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The conference, which is sponsored by the American Conservative Union (ACU), is held at the site annually. CPAC, established in 1973, is the premier gathering of the conservative political movement. This year’s conference had all of the notable names in conservative politics in attendance, such as Senator Ted Cruz, Ambassador John Bolton, Vice-President Pence, and even President Trump. It marked the first time a sitting president addressed the

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Crepes on Fire!

crepes on fire

Ooh la la! Crepes are delicious and French and can be very fun for the Purim seuda. They are also super-easy, healthy, can be made gluten free, and can filled with just about any filling you would be willing to eat. They can be savory or sweet and used as an appetizer, entree, or dessert. They can also be gussied up “Fancy Nancy” or a pedestrian street food.

Recently, I went to the TA tea and demonstrated how to make crepes suzette – or their much more exciting title, crepes on fire.  Where did crepes suzette come from? Crepes had already existed in France before 1896. The addition of the flambe and alcohol was the crucial new step that distinguished crepes suzette from plain crepes with filling.

Who made the discovery? It’s a mystery! Henri Charpentier (a young teenager at the time) claimed he created the dish by accident – accidentally setting fire to the alcohol in the dish in front of the then-Prince of Wales (King Edward VII) and that the king requested the dish to be named for his friend. Auguste Escoffier (of melba toast and culinary school fame) also claimed to have invented the dessert. Whoever created it (and I wish I knew definitively), the end result of orange butter, sugar, and crepes is truly delicious. The fire caramelizes the sugar and blends the flavors so amazingly that it elevates them to the next level.

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