Category Archives: Israel

Our First Family Passover

This week we had the privilege and joy of celebrating Passover and, while I did a bunch of research about the formalities of a Seder dinner and the significance of each item, I’m pretty sure we were far from Kosher. But, we tried and we learned and the kids are still too little to completely understand, thankfully.  I really think preparing a Seder takes years of learning and that is something I didn’t quite have.  Someday, hopefully we’ll be able to go to a real Seder dinner. Our church even hosted one this year, but I’d like to celebrate with a family that is Jewish and learn from them. 

So, our evening was a little unorganized and while dipping our bitter herbs in the salty water and washing our hands and eating the Charoset with matzo, somehow we couldn’t remember what the hard-boiled egg was for.  My mom and I searched high and low through the papers I had printed for but must have missed it.  Oh well, next time!  


The beautiful tablecloth was a wedding gift actually from Israel!

Passover Dinner Menu: 

Traditional Matzo Ball Soup 

Lamb with Tarragon and Mint Butter 

Israeli Couscous with Shallots and Parsley 

Brussel Sprouts with Cream and Parmesan Cheese 

Passover Honey Nut Cake 

Mint Tea 

I made a lamb dinner, which apparently many Jewish families don’t actually make for Passover.  The lamb was probably the best I’ve ever had from  a recipe I found on  Our family eats couscous quite often so that wasn’t too different for us.  Actually, Trader Joe’s has a great Israeli couscous and I often follow the recipe on the back, adding raisins and lemon zest.   It’s delicious!   The Passover Cake was very sweet with a great mix of spices and paired nicely with some mint tea. 

Unfortunately, we had some upgrades done to our computer and I am having a hard time posting any pictures or videos.  (We even got a video doing the Baruchs with the kids).  Hopefully I’ll get it worked out tomorrow and can add the pictures a bit late. 

This week was a great reminder of a culture that, for us as Christians, brings us back to the very roots of our own faith.  We enjoyed reading familiar Bible stories in a new light and Tallinn still can’t enter his room without first touching his mezuzah.  In years to come I hope to be able to offer to my children the same experiences I had in Israel.  I will never forget my time there and I don’t think the kids will forget their short “time” in Israel this past week. 

Shalom, Israel!

Matchbox Mezuzah


For several summers growing up our church would do a week of VBS called “Marketplace   29 AD”.   Since my mom was the children’s pastor, this meant that our family was very involved in putting this amazing operation together.  We would “time warp” back into the days of Israel when Jesus was doing his ministry. 

Each day we did different Hebrew crafts, including brick making, wood carving, basket weaving, jewelry making and more.  We learned how to dance the hora and sing songs in Hebrew.  Groups of about 10-15 children were part of a “tribe” with a tribal mother, dressed in ancient robes, learning together in tents outside.  It was during this time that I learned so much about the Jewish culture including the  and significance of Sabbath rituals.  It was also during this time that I learned about a little box called a mezuzah. 

The mezuzah means “doorpost” in Hebrew and contains a passage of scripture taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21.  This is the first passage Hebrew children learn and, placed in a little box on a doorpost, is meant to remind the Jews that there is only one God. 

Knowing we were going to study Israel this week I planned on making mezuzahs, but only last night in my thoughts figured out how I could make it work….using matchboxes! 

Using little matchboxes the kids chose a colored paper to wrap their mezuzah in and decorated them with stickers, buttons and bows.  I printed a part of the mezuzah in Hebrew and we rolled it up like a scroll and placed it in their little box.  Then, they each attached their mezuzahs to the doorposts of their bedrooms and we finished by attaching Cardiff’s to our doorpost outside. 


Addie's mezuzah



Car's mezuzah with Hebrew verses


placing it on the right side of the doorpost



When a Jew enters their home, they touch the mezuzah with their first two fingers, then touch them to their mouths. The kids practiced this as we entered our home with our new mezuzah and as they entered their rooms. 

Shalom Israel

From tropical island to the land of milk and honey, in Israel we have arrived!A land of deserts, rivers, valleys and mountains. A land of Jews, Muslims and Christians. A land that has been ruled by many nations and fought over almost since the beginning of time. A land that I have had the pleasure of visiting twice now, once during a college study abroad and once with our former pastor. I have ridden camels, slept in a bedouin camp, gone cliff diving, been in the room where Jesus shared his Last Supper with his disciples, gone snorkeling in the Red Sea, floated in the Dead Sea, watched baptisms in the Jordan river and sung together with the Saints in many tongues in Saint Anne’s church. Today we have entered the Promised Land!

What a treat to be here this week of Passover. While we have been taking this journey alphabetically, at times there are special circumstances that have led us to shift our letters around and this is one of them, Pesauch.

I loved introducing my children to the map of Israel, showing them the different places I’d been and placing a special star on Jerusalem, the city where our Lord laid down his life for us! We talked a little about the Star of David on the flag as well and hope to get into that more as the week progresses.

We finished our morning reading a very special book “This is Israel”, by Mirolav Sasek. His “This Is” series is such an amazing collection of children’s books, introducing little ones to some of the many great nations and cities around the world, including Ireland, Paris, Hong Kong, Britain, Greece and more. One day, I hope to have all 18. As I read this beautifully illustrated classic to my children, I was reminded of Israel and all it means to me, and so very thankful for this great nation.

Tomorrow we are going to attempt our first Seder. I’m excited and ready to celebrate!