... my beautful niece got married last night. A few months back, some readers helped me to pick out a set of cookbooks as an engagement present for her. For a wedding present, I decided to send her and her husband a beautiful Birkat Habayit painting that I saw in a local Judaica shop. (For those who are unfamiliar with the Birkat Habayit, it is a blessing for peace and happiness in one's home: "Let no sadness come through this gate. Let no trouble come to this dwelling. Let no fear come through this door. Let no conflict be in this place. Let this home be filled with joy and peace.")
... Supermangirl starts school tomorrow, and the other two start on Thursday. It's been a long and leisurely summer for them, and I think the transition back to school might be a bit of a shock.
... Flash's high school is taking the students on a Shabbaton at the end of September. The cost per student for one weekend is (are you ready?) $320. For one weekend. For a 14 year old. Who will be sharing the hotel room with three other boys. Well now, that's a perfectly reasonable expense, wouldn't you agree?!? Do you know how many hours I have to work to make $320?!? (I'm getting very agitated over here.) The problem is, I didn't let him go to last year's Shabbaton because it was too expensive, and he was truly one of the only boys in his grade who didn't go. He felt very left out, and he wants to go this year. He's a good kid, he rarely asks me to buy him anything, and I decided that I will splurge for this. But I wish that these trips would be planned with a bit more sensitivity for the have-nots.
Weinstein, Mayim Bialik and the Perils of Religious Instruction - *I wrote the following for my Beit Midrash's weekly email, and on reflection I'd like to get feedback from a broader population, so I'm reproducing it here...
5 hours ago