Review with Edison Train Station Mural

Edison Train Station mural
Mural at the train station in Edison, New Jersey

We were picking up a friend last week, and I spotted this mural of a river. I call it the Edison Train Station Mural. I am guessing the river depicted is the Raritan River. See what happens when you bring your camera on small local trips? I never noticed the mural before. I decided to do a quick Google search, and guess what? The mural is by Katherine Hackl of Katherine Hackl Pottery & Tiles.

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

  • Ilana-Davita has a weekly review, and in the weekly review she links to the recent JOFA journal. I open the journal (a pdf), and what do I find but a nice article about Eva Oles, z”l, of Highland Park who passed away earlier this year (I didn’t even know she had died until I was sitting shiva for my father – I was a little distracted). It is written by Roselyn Bell, whom I know as Rosie. Thank you, Rosie, for the sweet words.
  • Lorri has a review of the book Nehama Leibowitz: Teacher and Bible Scholar by Yael Unterman. Years ago I wrote a short post on an essay by Yael Unterman.
  • The March Jewish Book Carnival is on Ann Koffsky’s blog.

Burning Chametz

chametz burning in Edison New Jersey
Before Pesach we have a custom of burning chametz (bread, crackers, cereal, pasta, anything made of five grains: wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt). When I was a kid, I remember burning chametz in our backyard. Now there are laws about creating fires, so observant Jews get special permission to burn chametz. This burning took place in Edison, New Jersey.

chametz burn lulav
A tradition we have in our family (and others do as well) is to burn the lulav, the palm branch left over from Sukkot, the fall holiday in which we sit in a booth outside for a week.

smokey bread chametz and lulav
In this photo you can see both lulavim (plural of lulav) and real bread. It got quite smokey – my husband doesn’t remember it being so smokey in the past. Maybe this is because the regular Edison staff were on vacation for Good Friday and a nice person was left in charge who didn’t quite manage the smoke? I don’t know, but I left there sniffing my clothes, wondering if I smelt like someone who had walked into a smokey bar.

I had enough time to attend biur chametz (burning of the chametz) this year because I managed to get all the cooking I had planned the day before and early in the morning. One of the most popular dishes among my sister-in-law’s family that I made was mushroom paté; personally, my favorite was the marinated beets with ginger and garlic. Planning to make both of those again tomorrow.

Nature Notes: The Path

woods in Highland Park near path to RPRY
There is a path at the edge of Highland Park by the Edison border that leads to my children’s school. On one side are houses, but on the other side of the path are lots of brush and trees and weeds and who knows what else. The brook runs alongside all this woodsy brush.

brook by path with green

Anyone able to identify these large leafy plants growing on the path?
large leafy plants

I spotted a robin! There’s something green in the robin’s mouth: a worm, catepillar or a leaf?
robin with green caterpillar

Birthday Parade in Edison

children in blue and white shirts in Edison, New Jersey
No, it wasn’t the birthday party of any of these nursery school children. It was a Birthday Parade for the 63rd birthday of the State of Israel. When my daughter was in nursery, she wore one of these shirts.

daugher with camera
Now she is in third grade, and she was taking photos along side her mom (me). And chatting with her friend. I’m not sure why she so wants me to be at the annual school parade for Israel, but there I was. I’ve been doing this for a while: here is the 2008 post of this little parade.

therapy dog
Some of her focus was on this dog named Winston. He is a therapy dog.

therapy dog
Here is a portrait shot of Winston the therapy dog. Anyone remember Belle, also a therapy dog? There is also a dog at the bottom of my 2009 RPRY March Around the Block for Israel post.

school parade for Israel
Getting back to the parade, there were children, teachers, parents and neighbors in our little march around the block for Israel. I had a great time chatting with a fellow blogger, Pragmatic Attic.

edison police cars
Thank you to the policemen of Edison, New Jersey who guarded our parade.

Thank Heaven – SOOC

thank heaven for little girls
“Thank heaven…for little girls…” – this is a scene from Gigi, which was performed at the Middlesex County College Theater Camp that my daughter attended. The director of the camp introduced the song by saying, “remember the name Michael Mills.” He is the adorable boy in front of those teenage girls singing the song that was originally performed by Maurice Chevalier.

Review with Stained Glass Menorah

Stained Glass Detail at Congregation Ohr Torah, Edison, New Jersey
Stained Glass Detail at Congregation Ohr Torah, Edison, New Jersey

On My Blog

hawthorn_thorns warped_candles dreidels
doughnuts_challah Lighting Candles on Second Night of Hanukkah hand_shadow
I had plans to draw a cow and put it on my blog (like when I did the sheep), but this never happened. Can anyone guess why I wanted to put up a cow?

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Attention Jewish Photo Bloggers: JPIX, the blog carnival of Jewish Photo Bloggers, is next Wednesday, December 23. So please send in your links to favorite photos by December 22. You may also send them to jpixcarnival at gmail dot com. And if you are not a Jewish Photo Blogger, you are invited to come back to this blog on December 23 to see the “show.”

Pesky Settler will be hosting a JPIX on February 25. Thanks for volunteering.

Pre-Sukkot Links

Watercolor: A Study of an Aravot Leaf, 2008
Watercolor: A Study of an Aravot Leaf, 2008

After that bad news of antisemitism* in Edison, New Jersey, I had to post some good news of the Temple in Highland Park re-opening its sanctuary three years after a terrible fire. I haven’t been inside the new sanctuary, but at some point I’ll go over there with my camera and take photos.

Someone remarked that the shortest Yom Kippur service in Highland Park is at the Temple. The longest is where we attend, Congregation Etz Ahaim – not even a break this year. One of the reasons is the beautiful piyutim (liturgical poetic songs) sung by our visiting chazzan, Refael Ishran. I started listening to the CD of the chazzan in the hopes of preparing a post about the piyutim. Stay tuned.

*If you want to know why I spelled antisemitism without a hyphen, you will have to take Prof. Roni Stauber course on the History of Zionism, coming to you online for free sometime later this fall. Stay tuned for more on that, too.

Ruby Tuesday: Puss n Boots

Tom talks to the orphans and the cat
Tom talks to the orphans and the cat

My daughter was part of the Middlesex Theater Camp show last Friday that presented “Puss in Boots.” In this scene, Tom has inherited the cat, while his sisters have inherited gold and land. He also has a flock of orphans under his guardianship.

The King, Ladies in Waiting, and the Lady in Purple
The King, Ladies in Waiting, and the Lady in Purple

Whenever this “lady” in purple opened her mouth to sing, the other actors yelled “No, DON’T SING!” Do you know which one is my daughter?

Musketeer Soldiers Behind the Magical Puss
Musketeer Soldiers Behind the Magical Puss

It seems that the talking Puss really wants to be a musketeer, like those pictured in this photo.

One final note: going to theater camp was a big adventure for my daughter. She was with people that are from different backgrounds than her own. One neat little skit that she put on for open mike (just for the other campers and the counselors) was with one of her friends that she knows from her ballet class. On their own the two made up this skit in which one talks in Ukrainian and the other (my daughter) talks in Hebrew. Neither understand each other, but then they finally figure out that they both know English. I was very proud of her for doing this skit and for telling me about it.

For more photos with a little or a lot of red, visit: