Happy Father's Day!

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Ooh, boy, David's gonna be so mad when he sees this. Here is a picture of him enjoying a nice carb-infested beverage at my birthday dinner at the local falafel stand. I think he ordered it just to make me jealous. Well, I showed him. I drank half of it, and then made him take me shoe shopping. 

So I just found out an hour ago that it's Father's Day in the States. I was surprised, because I didn't even realize it was June already, and I totally forgot about the fact that Father's Day exists. So of course I called my mother to wish her a happy father's day.

Why would I call my mother, you ask? Fools! Who made my dad a father? My mom! Duh.

You know, I think I have a pretty decent argument there. Don't women have to suffer through 9 or 10 months of pregnancy, depending on who you're asking? How many months do fathers contribute to the growing baby inside Mommy's tummy? What? None? How dare you say that! Fathers have to put up with nine (or ten) months of complaining, moaning, all-day morning sickness, massage my feet, my back really hurts, midnight cravings for pancakes and ketchup, tossing and turning at night, paying for a new wardrobe every month, etc.

Incidentally, I remember my first pregnancy. I ran to the Motherhood store in the mall after I had stuffed my face so my stomach would look really bloated, so I could buy myself a pair of ugly maternity pants with the super elastic waistband. OMG, speaking of pants, you should read my Sheitel in Blue Jeans. I guarantee you'll crack up at this insanely ridiculous story! 

Double OMG. I just remembered what Rav Brody posted about sheitels, and here I am posting a sheitel article!  

What was the point of this post already? Oh, yeah. To all you awesome dads who do your best to be good fathers to your children, Mazal Tov! Enjoy your day. And to all you awesome moms who feel the need to buy your husbands something because you made them a father, STOP! Didn't you do enough work already? (You know I'm just kidding, right?) 

Enjoy your day!

~Racheli


Racheli's 1,000 Calorie Gluten-Free Coconut Lemon Muffins

Lemon muffin 2

Last night, I was totally overwhelmed with work and Shabbat prep, so I decided to make muffins. I like to eat, especially when I'm stressed. Actually, it's more like a compulsion. I just have to eat all the time. Since I'm basically eating very low carb, I came up with this recipe, and it's pretty delish if I do say so myself.

WARNING! This recipe is:

1) not for people who eat high carb or are counting calories

2) not for people who are afraid to bake without measurements

3) not for people who don't like coconut, walnuts, or lemon

4) not for people who have better ways of spending their time than experimenting with coconut lemon muffins because they're desperate for something sugar free and gluten free that won't kill them or give them excruciating stomach pains.

If you are none of the above, definitely try it! Here goes:

4 eggs, the cream from a can of coconut cream, ground walnuts, ground almond, (I used more walnut than almond because almonds are crazy expensive!) xanthan gum, lots of lemon juice (I used lemon concentrate because I'm lazy like that,) baking powder, baking soda, and any sugar-free sweetener your little heart desires. You can use stevia, apple juice concentrate, the fake stuff, silan, or whatever. I think that was everything.

You can also add shredded coconut flakes, or if you're feeling fancy, make a whipped topping from another can of coconut cream. See below for pseudo-directions. 

To get the cream from the can of coconut cream, you should let it sit in your pantry for three years like I did, or better yet, put it in your fridge for a few hours until the creamy part rises to the top. DO NOT SHAKE THE CAN! Don't use the leftover liquid. What is that, anyhow? Coconut oil? Slime? 

Mix it together until it looks like a fluffy blob. Scoop it into muffin pans and bake it for God knows how long. You know, until it's done. Let it get on the browner side. If you can control yourself, wait until the muffins cool a bit before you eat them. They will have a moist, fluffy, and strangely gummy texture. 

I promise that I will never, ever write a cookbook. (Bli neder.) 

Shabbat Shalom!

~Racheli

p.s.- While you're waiting for your muffins to finish baking, don't miss Rav Brody's OMG post below on wigs! OMG!!! 


Is Your Sheitel (Wig) Kosher?

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Several years ago, it was discovered that many wigs that observant Jewish women were wearing contained natural hair from India, where many women are idolaters. Jewish Law strongly prohibits using or deriving benefit from anything connected to idolatry. It caused a tremendous scandal, and here in Israel, all wig-wearing observant women moved over to hats and scarfs until the wigs reappeared with "rabbinical kosher certificates", that the hair was either European (which is very expensive) or synthetic (which many women call "donkey tails" and is considered unfashionable).

Fast forward a decade. We just received a comprehensive, strongly documented report on the state of kashruth in wigs from Rebbetzen Ahava Margaretten which you can download at this link: Download Indian Hair Report.

For those who are skimming this article and won't download the whole report, here is a shocking excerpt that one cannot ignore:

Interview with a shaitel macher (wig-maker) with 18 years experience:

“I would like people to know... that myself first hand can attest to the utter misrepresentation we are handed with our shaitels. I have been a shaitel macher for almost 18 years. I have learned from some of the industry's leading members how to identify hair, physically hand tie hair into a wig, how to construct a wig from scratch, as well as cutting, coloring, and washing techniques only know to the top artist. Approximately 8 years ago I began the difficult process of starting my own line of wigs. Making contacts and having representatives in China is not an easy process. I learned quickly that there are no morals in business in China. Hair which was hand selected here from brokers coming straight from Ukraine would be sent to China only to return blended and processed with other hair which I did not send or request.

The factories always offered tags for my wigs which stated "100% European hair" even if we had just negotiated using Brazilian, Mongolian, or Uzbekistan hair. They also always offered the "kashrus" label with the blessings from "the rabbi" which of course they told me didn't exist. At that point I realized that there was no way that I could create a product which I really believed in or stood by. I myself who was dealing directly with the factories would never really know if the hair which I sometimes cut from a woman here in the states would actually return unadulterated or blended with something else. The fact that the factories clearly had no scruples regarding misrepresentation to my customers meant that they would most likely swindle me too. I decided to forgo manufacturing my own line and the money that would come with it.

It's important for women to know that factories will insert any tag necessary to make a sale. Many shaitel machers have no clue that they are being duped. They are told it's European hair and that it has a hashgacha, but the reality is far from such. They simply don't know.”

-Quoted directly word for word on June 11th, 2017. Shaitel macher chose to remain anonymous in this report.

Who wants to play Russian Roulette with Halacha and even take the slightest chance with such a serious d'Oraita transgression as benefitting from idolatry, issur hana'a me'avoda zara. I want to clarify that although Rav Arush's and my wife and daughters cover their hair with tichelach (scarfs), I never interfere in the debate between the pro-sheitel and the pro-tichel factions, especially since many righteous spiritual leaders such as the Rebbes of Gur, Chabad, Vishnitz and Belz allow their female followers to wear wigs, as well as most of the Lithuanian and Yeshivish world. Yet, when it comes to such a serious breach that could be a tremendous stumbling block for the public, we here at the Beams found the urgent need to sound the alarms and flash the warning yellow lights. Please be very careful.

One thing is for sure - if you wear a wig, consider the advantages of moving over to synthetic. And, if you do make the commendable move from wigs to scarfs, we'll be happy to direct you our own Rebbetzen Racheli Reckles or to Rebbetzen Rivka Malka Perlman who'll be happy to show you how to look gorgeous in a scarf. Blessings for a lovely Shabbat!


Father Don't Cry

Here's a pre-Shabbat treat: the ever-fantastic Avraham Fried singing one of my favorites - I'm sure you'll love this melody as much as I do. In case you'd like to sing along with the vid, the lyrics appear below. Enjoy, and let's hope that Hashem wipes away all tears of pain, and only tears of love and joy remain - amen and Shabbat Shalom!

Father Don't Cry, Composition and Lyrics by Avraham Fried

I will never forget the night I saw my father cry
I was frightened and alone and his tears were burning in my eyes
Deep in my soul I held him tight and tried to ease the pain.

Father in heaven it's no secret at all
When You think of Your children
How far they are from home
Two tender tears fall from Your eyes
And Your cries shake the world
I cannot bear to see You this way.

Father don't cry
I love You too much to see You in pain
And and only You Who created tears
Can wipe them away forever
So bring on the day when there'll be only joy
You and I will smile
Bring on the day when there'll be be no more tears
We'll never cry again.

I know it's tears of love
But still it hurts me just the same
You have always held my hand
And now I want to hold Yours too
And be there for You
Don't You agree it's time to send the tears away

Father in heaven there's no reason at all
Your precious children still are so far from home
We've done all we can now it's in Your hands
Let it end, oh, let it end,
The whole world is waiting for You.

Father don't cry
I love You too much to see You in pain
And and only You who created tears
Can wipe them away forever
So bring on the day when there'll be only joy
You and I will smile
Bring on the day when there'll be be no more tears
We'll never cry again.


The Healthy Self-Image

Feel Good About Yourself
Who doesn't want a healthy self-image? When you feel good about yourself, you can not only love everyone else, but the whole world feels good about you. It's easier than you think. Today's lesson will not only show you how to avoid the pitfalls of being down on yourself, but will show you how to build a healthy self-image. Don't miss it!

G-d willing, this evening's life-saving emuna lesson and broadcast entitled "The Healthy Self-Image" will take place on the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EDT); the shiur is open to the public - both men and women are invited. You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time.  If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it later this coming week on Lazer Beams. 

If you haven't done so already, as preparation for today's lesson, read Racheli's fantastic article, Love Yourself.