Preparations were started for Purim Day at about 8:30 A.M.
Every year I look forward to Purim, the holiday to celebrate the miracle of the Jewish people’s deliverance from a decree of King Achashverosh to destroy them. What is so special about Purim in Jerusalem? Here, turn a corner and see the hand of Hashem (so to speak) at work, where we experience free-flowing unrestricted joy. I’ll turn to up-coming events and then describe my plans for the next few days including some of my miraculous events.
Unfortunately, today the Jewish Community in Brussels does not anticipate Purim with the same Simcha this year. The community is under a lockdown, Shimon Bretholz, a Jewish community worker, describes the massive security presence that always accompanies Jewish activities in Brussels differently. “It…massively destroys us all.” The never-ending fear and feeling of always being on high alert are exhausting. The week of the attack was meant to be a light moment when Brussels Jewish community would come together to celebrate Purim with some high profile communal events. Residents were planning a major Purim party for the whole city and expected a thousand attendees, all hearing the Book of Esther together and celebrating the holiday. Instead, all public events have been cancelled. In the hours after the attacks, Brussels’ Jewish communal leaders set up a situation room, monitoring the security in their city. “They fear there will be more attacks and (warn against) taking any unnecessary risks,” Rabbi Menachem Margolin, CEO of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, explained to Israeli newspapers.
Rabbi Margolin, whose office is located next to the bombed Maelbeek metro station, says, “The Jewish community here in Brussels and in Europe in general is not surprised… We’ve been receiving alerts for a long time now. Despite the shock the city experienced, we were not surprised. Of course, we feel the concern and the pressure, but we were really not surprised by everything that’s going on in the city. It was only a matter of time before such an attack happened.“Today was awful, unbelievable, such darkness…” Isabelle Steinkalik recounted to Aish.com. Brussels looked like a “death city. People are afraid. When it was just terrorism against Jewish people they didn’t so deeply care. Now it’s changed. People are realizing terrorists can kill anybody.” Brussels’ main Jewish school dismissed its students at 12:30, asking parents to pick up their children one at a time to avoid having a crowd in front of the building. Brussels resident and community activist Shimon Bretholz was one of the terrified parents picking up their children. “There is no future for Jews in Brussels,” he adamantly told Aish.com. “There is also not a future for Jews in Europe.” He would like to move to Israel, he explained, but first needs to find a job. Isabelle Steinkalik concurs; Brussels’ Jews are leaving, moving to Israel and other places. Rates of aliyah increased 25% in 2015 for Belgian Jews; overall about 200 Belgian Jews relocate to Israel each year.
Purim Events in the city are displayed in the following link: Map:http://www.janglo.net/index.php?option=com_adsmanager&page=display&catid=99&tid=386990&utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Janglo+Weekly%3A+Purim%2C+Good+Deeds%2C+and+the+Jerusalem+Marathon&utm_campaign=20160314_m130233470_Janglo+Weekly%3A+Purim%2C+Good+Deeds%2C+and+the+Jerusalem+Marathon&utm_term=WOW_21+Amazing+map+of+Purim+events+around+Jerusalem
The first international edition of the Geek Picnic is taking place this
Passover in Jerusalem, Israel. Or rather taking over Sacher Park.
The Geek Picnic portends to be a science, technology and art festival to make you experience all that is “geek chic”: from revolutionary scientific research to the latest high-tech gadget. The event takes place on three days during Passover. Buy your tickets early for the event on April 25, April 26, or April 27.
Jerusalem’s Sacher Park has been chosen as the first international, outside Russia, open-air foray for this sensational event, which has been taking place annually in St.Petersburg, from 2011, and has quickly become a global phenomenon, joined by enthusiasts from all over the world.
Israel, the start-up nation, represents a fitting setting where to venture for an international edition of the Geek Picnic, and Jerusalem, with its unique mix of academic and technological excellency alongside its historical and spiritual heritage, was selected after careful consideration for its potential to offer fertile ground for the festival to grow in new, groundbreaking and inspiring directions.
The array of events and attractions at the Geek Picnic is meant for different kinds of audience: professionals, geek enthusiasts or families looking for fun and educational entertainment.
The Robotic Garden – Zoo of robots of various sizes and shapes, from all over the world.
The Third Industrial Revolution – Have you ever imagined printing an espresso? Check-out the most ground-breaking uses of 3D printers.
The Makers – Some of the most influential inventors and artists in the world today are here for you to meet them.
Digital Art – Art and science fuse in performances combining multiple technologies, dance and music.
Gaming Zone – It cannot miss a gaming zone, for all geeks who love to play with the support latest technological toys.
The Virtual Realm – 2016 is the year of virtual reality. As many devices are becoming available to the general public, Geek Picnic showcases some of the most sophisticated virtual reality technology, for you to try and be mind-blown!
Geeks and Gadget Market – The biggest fair of all-that’s-geek.
Wearable technologies – 3D printed clothing, try them on!
Bionics and Cyborgs – Technology used to improve the human body. This interesting, at times controversial field has a space at the Geek Picnic through the stories and experiences of people that, for disabilities or desire to “upgrade” have become “super-human”.
The Lightning Show – The Tesla Coils turns into an electrifying show of high-tension lightning dance.
I Love Science – Conferences by more than 50 speakers, live demonstrations, experiments and discussion forums.
The Geek Picnic will take place in Sacher Park, Jerusalem, on April 25 from 9:00 to 14:30, on April 26, all day, and on April 27, all day. For early birds the ticket costs 124 ILS, while regular ticket price is 144 ILS. Buy your tickets for the event on April 25, April 26, or April 27. THAT IS about $50.00 per person including all children over the age of 5. The city will not make any profit form this event.
The end of this post describes alternatives to the usual sugary and wine gifts for Shalach Manot.
What makes these muffins special is the sweet, orange-gold squash that’s baked-in. You can use canned pumpkin, which works just fine, or you can roast your own spaghetti squash or sweet potatoes and make a puree.http://www.rachaelray.com/2013/11/gluten-free-pumpkin-muffins
One advantage to roasting your own is the toasty, caramel smell it gives your kitchen. I used spaghetti squash, a winter squash variety with rich flesh, lots of flavor, and low water content.
I tried roasting this type of squash with a lot of stock. However, for the final step to achieve a fluffy spaghetti, the pressure cooker was necessary. The membranes and seeds were left in situ, scooped out and eaten after cooking,
Many bakers shy away from spaghetti squash. The easiest way is to slice thru the tough shell prepare slices about 1-1.5 inches. Place liquid in the pressure cooker halfway up your slices. MIx water and stock in the ratio of about 1:1. I placed a steamer inside the cooker. Closed the lid. Listen for the the pressure to rise over two minutes. Lower the temperature to lowest for you stove-top and inserted a diffuser underneath the pot. Cook another 5 minutes. Use the quick release method as the pressure will be reduced.
Sometimes, when the pot is more than half full, I’ll stop the cooking process, open the pressure cooker and redistribute the contents. This is particularly helpful with the tiny sweet potatoes that most folks pass up in the shuk. They are somewhat wrinkled due to water loss from storage. However a pressure cook will plump them up! When I open the cooker, I often add more liquid and sprinkle the surface of the Tates .
Open and test if your roasted squash/sweet potato content is fork-tender, let it cool, then scoop out the flesh and puree it in the food processor(Tip: You can make it a day ahead and store in in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake the muffins).
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, or coconut oil, at room temperature
1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar or apple butter
1 cup pumpkin puree/cooked spaghetti squash
2 eggs/flax meal
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely ground
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/200-250 depending on your particular oven, and line muffin tins with paper muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, turmeric, salt, and baking powder, and set aside.
3. In a stand mixer, or food processor, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla, and mix to incorporate. Add the flour mixture in two batches, and mix just until it’s no longer visible. Fold in 1/2 cup of the walnuts.
4. Spoon the batter into papered and oiled muffin tins. I measure between 40-60 grams for each muffin. Mix together the remaining 3 tablespoons of walnuts, the two tablespoons of brown sugar, and the teaspoon of cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture on top of the muffins.
5. Bake the muffins for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Post Purim Juice cleanse or give as part of your Shalach Manot:
Apple carrot ginger juice;
2 in (2.5 cm) piece of ginger
Wash all produce well.
Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy!
Servings: Makes 2 servings of 16-20 oz (500-600 ml)
Nutrition per serving:
Sodium 11 g
Carbohydrates 41 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugars 35 g
Protein 1 g
Yields and nutritional information are estimated and will vary depending on produce size and equipment used. I omitted the carrots and substituted greens to reduce the sugar content.
Carrol Apple cucumber celery juice (From Food and Wine)
2 Celery sticks
Wash all fruits and vegetables well. Cut the ends off of the carrots before juicing them. It’s not necessary to peel or de seed any of the fruit or veggies; the juicer will separate it for you. Drink the mix immediately after you make it for the highest nutritional value.
Juicing fruits and vegetables is amazingly healthy. There is not a single bottled brand out there that can even come close to competing with what fresh juice has to offer. Making your own juice is more healthful, than drinking commercial juice, with water, added preservatives and sugars. When you juice your fruits and vegetables at home, the result is not only fresh, it’s also 100% pure.
Celery, Granny Smith Ginger, Parsley variation (from Food and Wine)
INGREDIENTS : My recipe X50 only less ginger
2 celery ribs, cut into 3-inch lengths
1 Granny Smith apple—halved, cored and cut into large chunks
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 medium bunch of parsley with stems
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE-Great for after Purim
In an electric juicer, juice the celery with the apple, ginger and parsley. Stir in the lemon juice.
One Serving 35 cal, 7 gm carb, 1 gm fat, 0.1 gm sat fat, 2 gm protein, 3 gm fiber.
Chocolate Beet Cake
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup butter, softened, divided
1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 cups pureed cooked beets
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 serving (1 slice) equals 211 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 56 mg cholesterol, 294 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.
In a microwave, melt chocolate and 1/4 cup butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream the remaining butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs.
In a small bowl, combine the chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla.
Beat into creamed mixture (mixture will appear separated). Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 375° for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Yield: 16-20 http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/beet-cake