Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
And they're never in harmony.
So your faith goes in one direction, your intelligence in another direction and your emotions in a third direction.
Somebody will strengthen your faith, another group will inspire your emotions and a third will appeal to your mind.
Posted by Cookie at 4:09 PM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
hi there fellow earthlings
a supremely happy chanuka to you
and every single Jew
and don't forget
a little light chases away a lot of darkness
light up the night my fellow darkness slayers.
no need to try
just open up
its all inside
shine on little neshamaleh
Posted by Cookie at 3:07 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
i was walking down rosewood
on my way to shul
passing all the blossoming fall trees that never change their colors
did you know that la is beautiful?
i never knew
so a few blocks from my house i notice two trucks coming up the street.
one a garbage truck.
the other a fedex delivery truck.
stopping by the different homes.
on the same block.
around the block and back
we are all like trucks in this world.
we can deliver important packages.
or go around collecting everybody's garbage...
Posted by Cookie at 8:10 PM
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
painting by hufreesh dumasia
to all my dear sisters and brothers
from near, from far, from everywhere.
may you be bencht
with a lichtigen yar
where the bonfires in your hearts glow all day and all night
with joy and passion and love for your fellow
in the merit of all the great tzaddikim
upon whose shoulders we stand
Posted by Cookie at 9:08 AM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
life continues to fascinate
it humbles us up the hills
and tests us in the valleys
but the best is when it showers us with delicious rains of blessing
around the bends
of life's journey
here's wishing you bucket loads of revealed brachos every moment of every day.
Posted by Cookie at 12:42 PM
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I have a new rule.
No computer before davvening.
Rule broken yet again.
Well, all I want to say is hey have a great day and look the sun even came out now my bananas will ripen and we can make banana almond rice milk smoothies yummeroo.
Posted by Cookie at 9:32 AM
illustration by hannah konola
i'm sitting on the platform next to all the other thomas trains.
engines steaming, whistles blowing.
waiting, waiting, waiting...
twiddling my thumbs, knitting a scarf, reading a book, whittling away at time.
just waiting for the conductor to wave the flag...
till i finally realize the conductor is me.
GO you little dimwit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Cookie at 8:59 AM
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
illustration by lauren nassef
whenever i see your pictures on facebook
it makes me want to crawl back into bed
when i'm safe and sound
from under my blanket
i wanna call you up
and invite you over
for a play date
just to play
no preconceived notions
just me and you
and a box of lincoln logs
Posted by Cookie at 4:12 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
so you're going along, minding your own business...
same old same old, every day routine old...
life sends you a whole new script.
so you start rolling along with the new things that come with new things...
no more thinking
shopping, buying, choices.
white gold, rose gold, yellow gold?
princess cut, tiffany setting?
full skirt, lace, no lace?
for a moment you forget the old.
then one day things settle for a moment and you have a chance to go and read a word of inspiration.
so you check in to chabad.org
and read a simple baal shem tov story.
all the sudden everything comes settling down around you like the snow inderoysen.
you start to remember who you are and what you are and where you're going.
and the old and the new come together like old friends.
how lucky are we that we were blessed with the tools and means to reconnect with our source, anytime, anywhere.
Posted by Cookie at 7:52 PM
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
trust in Hashem
and you will surely know
Hashem will help you
wherever you may go
but there's so much to learn rebbie
all the sforim in the library
it'll take so long to learn every one
i'm afraid i'll never be a talmud chacham
so when your heart gets heavy
let me tell something true
it will help if you remember
that you are a chosen jew
and moshiach is coming soon
to melt away our pain
just like a candle melted
by its burning flame
why am i writing songs in the middle of the night, you ask? hmmmm.
dunno. that's what's running through my head...
the clouds will part
the rays shine through
six thousand suns
will raise anew
(that is such a beautiful song.
i wish i knew the real words.)
must go to bed.
let's talk again another time, eh?
as life awaits us on the other side of morning.
wishing you all pleasant dreams and only good things.
Posted by Cookie at 12:33 AM
Friday, December 28, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
illustration by Pietari Posti
This morning I wake up.
Thank you Hashem.
Sun filters through the blinds with promises of 71 degrees.
(Yeah baby, I love CA on days like these)
It's never good to stay in bed...as the mind starts to wander...
To thoughts of life.
How each of us is born on a track.
Till one day, for whatever reason, whether by force or by free will, we somehow manage to get bumped off our track.
And onto another.
Only this track don't be leadin' us to the places we ought to be going.
We're trying to fill someone else's shoes.
Dream some other dude's dream.
Or maybe we got bumped so hard, we're not even on a track anymore.
Just speeding over dirt and grass and hills, totally out of control.
Bam, bam, ouch.
Today you wake up.
And say, that'll be all.
I'm sick and tired of this.
Where the world did my track go?
(This post sounded better in my head. In my bed.
Go learn some tanya...it's the best track jumper.
Have an awesome day.
Posted by Cookie at 12:02 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I feel guilty and gluttonous to horde so much good cheer all to mine self.
so i am here to share it with you on this fine day.
(oh, this smile leaves so much out...
it's missing the expansion in the chest
a giggle in the throat
a lightness in the step...)
Posted by Cookie at 11:37 AM
Friday, December 7, 2007
Avremel sent us a cd with maoz tzur.
The one that my zeidy a'h used to sing.
Mother is not in the kitchen when father pops it into the handy dandy under-the-counter cd player in the kitchen.
I listen with half an ear as I am busy typing about hakuna matata and ain od milvado...
"Nice harmony...interesting...hmmm...i wonder who's in the choir...woah creative...yivunim, yivunim nigbitzee oolai...beautiful."
The song ends.
Mother walks into the kitchen.
Walks over to the player and presses play.
The song begins.
Suddenly her entire body straightens in concentration.
Tears well up.
I can't even imagine what the song evokes...
For her the harmonies don't matter.
Or the choir.
There's a whole world in this song.
A flood of memories.
A different place.
With holy souls and generations past.
We should be zocheh to sing maoz tzur with all of our zeidehs with moshiach in yerushalayim ir hakodesh tonight!
Posted by Cookie at 9:36 AM
How there are two roads one can take to no worries...
"Hakol Biydei Shamayim"
Because life is not important
And nothing matters anyhow
Because life doesn't belong to us
And everything is His will
ASHREINU MAH TOV CHELKEINU!
Ah Freilichen, Lichtigen Shabbos Chanukah B'Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh
Posted by Cookie at 9:15 AM
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
illustration by Audrey Ficociello
As a child you think you need to mature and change so that you can really live.
You need to analyze and sophisticate.
And dress to impress.
You need to know more.
Until you realize that all this time you were trying to become something...that child you once were was everything you should ever be.
Honest and trusting and real and alive.
Go back to where you came from.
And take the wisdom of your many years with you...
Through the hills and valleys of life.
Till you reach the meadow of your youth.
Posted by Cookie at 11:47 PM
Sunday, December 2, 2007
painting by Sylvia Hartmann
It tastes like Moshiach this morning.
Sitting in the backyard.
So much warmth.
But not too much.
Saying Tehillim on the lawn chair.
Strains of Karduner play through the screen door from the kitchen.
The air smells fresh.
The heart feels happy.
The lips sing words of praise.
I am still on a high after a farbrengen with Rabbi Reuven Wolf last night in honor of Yud Tes Kislev.
This is not the first time I've heard him speak, but it is the first I've heard of his journey to Chabad Chassidus and the unique truth and joy and depth that he couldn't get enough of.
When we got home, on such a high we couldn't go to sleep, I sat talking with my mother till late in the night.
She told me a story.
Some thirty years ago my parents moved on shlichus to FL.
One day my mother was visited by one of her chasseedishe cousins from Boro Park.
My mother excitedly told her about the new campaign that they were doing to get Jewish women and girls to light shabbos candles.
This was at a time when shlichus was still somewhat of a novelty to the outside world.
She showed her the candles and candlesticks that was being handed out and shared stories of the lives they had touched through this mivtzah.
My mother's cousin looked at her with a confused expression on her face.
But why do you care?
But why do we care?!!!!!!!!!!!?????????
We don't even realize how novel the idea is that we care!
It's so normal and natural to us that we should care about every Jewish neshama.
And even if we don't care every second of the day...we still care.
And even if we don't live up to everything we should be as shluchim of the Rebbe...we still care.
And even if sometimes the pressures of the world get to us and we forget that we're soldiers in HIS army...we still care.
L'chaim my friends.
Here's to an inspired, light-filled week.
May you be blessed with an appreciation for chassidus.
And the joy of living a meaning-filled life.
And the next time you're in LA, go learn with Rabbi Wolf.
You won't regret it.
Posted by Cookie at 1:08 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Did you know that we are part of something huge?
Something so holy it's beyond anything this world can even try to comprehend?
I must admit this is probably the first year that i have a true appreciation for yud tes kislev and what it really stands for.
(and even that is just a drop in the proverbial bucket)
Yeah, people think we have it easy.
But in truth F.F.B.s have it tough.
It's our struggle to be wowed by the everyday of our lives.
To gaze with awe at the norm that has become our routine.
To look deeper than the background that surrounds everything we do.
L'chaim my dear friends.
It's yud tes kislev...FARBRENG!!!
And learn, learn, learn cuz there's no end to learning.
And there's no other way to survive in a world like this with a neshama like ours.
Lshana Tova Bi'limud Hachasidus Ubi'darchei Hachasidus
Posted by Cookie at 10:03 AM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
illustration by Audrey Ficociello
it was a fine day.
it was a gorgeous cloud-filled sunset day.
full of pinks and blues.
such lovely hues.
day in day out day in day out
is it just me...
or is it warm in here?
blogging is such sweet sorrow.
but it sounds goodly in the hoodly.
i remember the nights before gimmel tammuz when i would go to bed and after saying shma would say:
the rebbe zol zayn gezunt moshiach zol shoyn kumen
the rebbe zol zayn gezunt moshiach zol shoyn kumen
then after a while it turned into...
moshiach zol zayn gezunt the rebbe zol shoyn kumen
it's kinda nice to type on the kitchen table rather than on my desk upstairs.
surrounded by grapes
and apple cinnamon oatmeal from ralphs with lower sugar.
yeah - that stuff is way too sugary for mine taste.
was as awesome
as was mine.
Posted by Cookie at 10:11 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I've become a boy.
Allow me to explain.
Just the other day Shmueli slaps my car with two large rectangular magnetic strips meant for advertising.
Los Alamitos Hebrew High
Fun, Meaningful, Accredited (wow I've memorized this) now enrolling blah blah blah...
At first I was like, "nice, he thinks my car is so classy people will want to send their kids just because they see the advert on such a classy car with such a classy driver".
Then I was like, "darn, why must my car have two large magnets stuck to its sides...they're bringing down the neighborhood".
Either way I swallowed my pride and drove on, through smog and fog and blog.
Well, it happened.
I was driving down Los Al Blvd and needed to make a very necessary yet slightly impractical move.
So I cut over one lane and caused the driver behind me to step on his breaks a bit harder than he would have liked.
As I turn into the turning lane he rolls up next to me.
I look at him with an apologetic gesture and a little wave only to see his eyes drift...
From my sorry face in the window to the door of my car...
Then it hit me.
I have officially become the driving representative of all Jews in Los Al.
Forget Los Al, the whole world.
Now this guy thinks that all Jews are idiots and lousy drivers to boot.
As I round the bend towards home the whole yarmulka and tzitzis thing dawns on me.
I mean, I know about the concept but I've never felt it this strongly before.
So this is what it feels like.
There's no hiding.
I'll be more careful next time.
Posted by Cookie at 10:51 PM
Sitting at mine desk.
It's late in the night.
My picture wall stares back at me.
Here I see you, eyes closed, dripping wet from dunking your head in the baby pool in your old backyard.
There I see you, with a slightly distracted look on your clown face that purim in our shul, surrounded by your crazy aunts in full costume.
And there again, all dressed up in ND's arms, the ever-present head band on your head.
There's nothing like a first.
If you only knew how much joy you brought to our whole family.
It sounds sorta kinda corny and lame-o lame-o, but it's true.
You were like my daughter, sister, friend.
So small and cute and delicious and edible.
And now you are like my age.
I mean, we can nearly share clothes...
Not just the wool sweaters I would accidentally put in the washing machine so they shrunk to a size only you would have fit into.
(Which reminds me...I have a sweater for you.)
(Are you sleeping over tomorrow?) (I hope so.)
I must wish you a good night.
You should be in bed by now (ahem) so I won't keep you any longer.
Enjoy your day tomorrow.
And remember what uncle Eli said.
Today was the birthday of chassidus and Yud Tes Kislev is the bris...
Nar oif simches my dearest.
All my love.
Posted by Cookie at 10:28 PM
Shalom wants to know if a seashell is a phone to the ocean
Posted by Cookie at 10:49 AM
Monday, November 19, 2007
To learn is to live is to balance
To listen is to hear is to nod
To see is to know is to believe
To feel is to hold is to empathize
To cry is to show is to connect
To love is to leap is to open
To care is to call is to be there
To write is to think is to share
And to you I say hang in there...
Life ain't all that bad
And even if it is, you're stronger than that
So pick up your chin
The sun'll come out tomorrow so you gotta hang on till tomorrow
Come what may
Tonight is yud kislev
Here's a sicha in honor of the night
Read and enjoy
A gutte nacht my fellow chassidiste's
We should merit the redemption from this deep, dark and dank exile tonight
Posted by Cookie at 9:59 PM
Sunday, November 18, 2007
illustration by Julie Cork
Come hither ye reader as I must share with you a tale that brings a chuckle to my heart and a giggle to my larynx.
It was four score and ten years ago.
On a cold wintry night in Nov, Dec, Jan or Feb.
(twilight zone music playing in the background)
My little brother, who must have been around ten years old at the time, walks into the kitchen and puts up a kettle on the stove.
When it whistles he runs upstairs and returns carrying a negel vasser kvort and shissel.
He then begins pouring the water from the kettle into the negel vasser kvort.
"Brother, what the world are you doing????"
"Well," he replied, "every morning when I wake up and wash negel vasser the water is freezing cold.
I'm boiling the water so when i wake up in the morning it will be warm."
"Aha. I see. Genius."
The next day...
"So brother, how was the water for your negel vasser?"
I love that story.
Posted by Cookie at 11:43 PM
Friday, November 16, 2007
illustration by audrey ficociello
so i'm talking to my mother in the kitchen this morning over the sound of gardeners and running water from the sink and to the smells of challah, chicken and g. fish baking.
i as usual am being overly analytical about topics best left to their own conclusions...poor mother must deal with my idiosyncrasies as i do live in her home...and she knows as i know that most of the things i rip apart and put back together end up resolving themselves after a certain period of time only to leave me feeling like an over-obsessive moron.
which only serves to remind me of my many imperfections...and prompts me to say the following...
"life is not about perfection, it's about making the best of what we were created with."
mother says, "you should put that on your blog."
i think, why should i put that on my blog? it's not like i came up with the concept.
then i realize it doesn't matter whether or not i came up with the concept.
mother says; you must obey.
so i did.
but of course, now that i've broken my fri. morning routine and list of things to do (dessert, set up bed for z.r., do a deep cleaning on the backyard for bentzy's l'chaim next sunday [you're all invited...1-4 our house]) my mind must go on one of its random hikes.
what does that mean?
especially in the world and society we were blessed to be born into.
it's really pretty easy to feel like we are respectful daughters...compared to all the kids out there who yell and curse at and ignore and disrespect and disregard their parents makes us shine for just listening to a simple command like, "please wash the lettuce for shabbos".
but we are taught that with regards to ruchniyus we should not compare ourselves to those that are lower than us and gloat, but rather to those higher than us...the ones we should strive to be like.
i will share with you a story.
it is true.
the names have been changed to protect the innocent...
(fine, it's my bubby)
many years ago there lived a family in a small apartment on president street in the crown heights section of brooklyn ny.
the father was a saintly man who strived every day just to do a favor for a fellow jew; the mother a G-d fearing woman who dedicated her life to her children and husband.
and so it was that one day a young child passed away and one of the daughters came home with the sad news and shared it with her mother.
when the father found out about this he berated the young girl for telling her mother and thereby bringing unnecessary pain to this special woman.
"but she would have found out anyways..." protested the girl.
"not matter, you don't have to be the one to cause her pain.
(not direct quotes, bear with me, i wasn't there)
indeed this seemed to be a pattern.
whenever there was an occurrence of tragedy, pain, loss or suffering on any scale, be it large or small, the children learned from their father that mother was to be protected from the news as much as possible.
all for the purpose of not bringing unnecessary pain to this special woman.
time flies by like clouds passing in the sky.
the family grows and with it the joys and sorrows of life.
the children now have families of their own and carry on the tradition of sharing as much good news as possible with the matriarch while shielding her from as much pain as they can spare.
the mother is now k'ah 91 years old.
and although the man who stood by her and protected her for all those years has since passed on, the legacy that he instilled in his children has not and has continued with his grandchildren.
thank you zaidy for giving us a model to live above and beyond the demands of modern society.
good shabbos all.
(i better go call bubby to wish her a good shabbos. :) )
Posted by Cookie at 11:57 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
illustration by paint monster
It's Wednesday night.
And the house is fairly quiet.
All I can hear are strains of mother telling a tale to the sleepy grandkids from mv in the room across the hall.
Reminds me of the stories we used to hear as kids.
The boys room and the girls room were next door to each another, and father would stand in the hallway between the two rooms, with both doors open, telling a story for us as we lay in our bunkbeds.
My window is wide open and crickets chirp once again...
My laptop has asthma of sorts and its fan breathes rather loudly.
Nechama plops down next to me to show the work she's been doing on the magazine for Marc.
Her laptop makes random foghorn sounds.
Mac vs PC.
I guess I'd rather an asthmatic PC to a foghorn Mac.
The phone rings.
Posted by Cookie at 9:16 PM
T'is pretty crazy how when fire threatens your home the things that are most important to you become crystal clear.
The Poway CA refugees arrived at our home two weeks ago after running from the inferno that threatened their home and the homes of hundreds of thousands.
They walked in the door...
My pregnant sister - intact B"H
With their kids - adorable k'ah
Two candle sticks
Two sifrei torah from chabad house
A suitcase of clothes
Some buckets of toys
This is life.
Posted by Cookie at 11:49 AM
illustration by elana nazzaro
Some music makes me happy.
Especially when I'm in the mood of it.
The joy just spreads through my body...pure joy.
Some music makes me hyper.
in'tza in'tza in'tza...
driving in the car...need to watch my speed as the pace of the car begins to match my beats of my heart.
Some music makes me sappy.
And the tears they flow.
Oh, there's nothing better than sappy music for a sappy mood.
Some music makes me dance.
Some music makes me nostalgic for days gone by.
Brings back a memory or a picture, a snapshot of time stood still.
Some music makes me deep.
Makes me feel holy and G-dly connected.
Like a soul without a body.
Some music makes me wanna sing and laugh and cry all at once.
The other day I was listening to some olden olden day vintage avraham fried.
I barely even hear it, just working in the office…
The songs play on...
And on and on...
It's the soundtrack of my childhood.
I can’t say this music makes me particularly happy, or hyper or sappy or dancy or nostalgic or deep…
It just makes me me.
Posted by Cookie at 11:48 AM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
It's 1:55 in the am.
Something makes me come and visit my old blog...I haven't been here in weeks.
Nice to be back.
I start to read.
Post after post after post.
I only make it to June.
Some make me laugh.
Some make no sense whatsoever.
What was i thinking?
Some make me think why was I so self conscious.
Some make me think I'm a pretty good writer.
Some make me cringe.
I feel like deleting all the bad stuff and leaving the good stuff.
I think about writing again.
I feel like I have nothing to share.
And yet I feel like if i don't share I'm doing a disservice.
So maybe what I have to say is slightly lame or unimportant or self serving.
If sharing it with you makes a difference, who am I to crawl into a hole and hide?
We are all inspirations to someone.
Whether we like it or not.
So grab life by the horns
Take every opportunity to shed a little more light.
To be a little more transparent.
A little more holy.
I better post this quick before i change my mind.
Layla tov my friends
Ohmygosh my head hurts from typing in the dark.
I'm sleeping in tomorrow...
Oh the joys of working for yourself.
See you around.
Posted by Cookie at 1:54 AM
Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
It's been decided that rather than shut down, I will merely start anew...
so thanks for coming
come back if you're ever bored
and on those days when i have something impersonal to share, i'll share
old habits die hard
meet you in yerushalayim ir hakodesh
Posted by Cookie at 11:38 PM
the sun will rise no matter
thank G-d for that
i do hope this day finds you well and refreshed
with places to go
and people to see
and purposes to fill
be stronger than yesterday
don't try to be a good daughter
or a good mother
or a good friend
or a good jew
everyday just start again.
that's all, just start again.
it doesn't matter that you weren't your best yesterday.
that you messed up last week.
that you came up short last year.
i liked that.
Posted by Cookie at 11:10 PM