Parsha Cake, Parsha Cake, open the parsha and see what you bake!
a place to post pics of my parsha cakes for my nephews & nieces & how I keep my kids busy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Other parsha ideas

If you are coming here, you are either, based on my google stats, looking for a way to make goat cupcakes or want to make your Shabbos table fun. In either case, you have come to the right place.

There are a ton of resources out there with ideas from people who share the passion that the Shabbos meal should be marked by fun and camaraderie. Kids should feel like they can partner with their parents to create the Torah learning and Torah discussions at the table.

So stolen from a list of resources to help make the Shabbos table F-U-N.*

Parsha projects: crafts and snacks
Challah crumbs: A little bit of everything
Adventures in Mama-Land: Parsha worksheets and ideas
Jewish Homeschool: worksheets, parsha crafts
Double portion: some other recipes and insights
Themed thinking: Geared to families and even adults, here is another recipe blog on the parsha
Parsha activities: exactly what it sounds like

If you have any other suggestions, please  add them to the comments!

And if I have any more brilliant ideas, I will post them here if you promise to post yours!


* if this feels unconventional and non traditional to you, feel free to stick with the standard Shabbos meal format of "Sit still. Wait for kiddush. Stop grabbing. Hands off the challahs. If I told your brother that means you too. Stop playing with the silverware. ..We'll get to dessert soon. Can you please help your father sing shalom aleichem. Now stand up so I can ask you your parsha sheet questions. Shmulkie, do you have a dvar Torah to read. Go ahead. Pay attention to your brother reading please. Sit still. Candy for whoever stays quiet during parsha. You are all excused. Can you believe the Rabbi said that? Come back to the table Bentching time! Off to bed. Good Shabbos!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's been a while . . .

So . . . it has really been a while since I have last updated this blog.

Lest anyone thinks parsha cakes have stopped being produced in our family, they haven't . They've just gone from being Renaissance art to being a more modern interpretation of the parsha. Some weeks, the desserts are so simple I don't take a picture. Some weeks, the kids design the cake at the table. We are learning what designs we can do on Shabbos and what we can't. That itself is a good lesson. So no more awesome pictures.

I tried to let parsha cakes die because my Fridays became overbooked when I started working. Then . . . one day, after a long, hard day, my poor six year old started crying. After detailing all his other woes, he finished off by saying the worst part of his young, miserable life was that our cakes on Shabbos looked NORMAL!!!! (Cue the heartrending sobs). The horror! The misery!

What mother can look her child in the eyes after hearing how she has devastated him and not make a parsha cake. But, after a year of glorious confections, the kids were begging for soup and veggies on Shabbos and didn't eat the cake. While art is nice, wasting food and money is not. I'm refuse to make cakes that are beautiful and delicious but sit, So there have been modifications to the program. Instead of recreating the creation of the world, I serve black and white cookies. On Parshas Chayei Sara, I made a rounded cake sans frosting and asked the kids how it connects to the parsha. They came up with 4 ways. I can make sheep very quickly with marshmallows and cupcakes. There are a lot of parshios with sheep. The kids don't seem to mind the change.

Perhaps they don't mind because parsha has now become a 24 hour long affair in our house. Once the kids learned you could be creative with parsha, woo boy - there was no turning back. And they know their parsha well; after all they had a year of parsha cakes.

So this year's theme, they seemed to have decided, is how to turn each parsha into some violent reenactment that involves wrestling. The "better" parsha plays get practiced and reenacted for many weeks.  For some reason, the plays involve blankets, costumes, and pillows. And knives. and swords. and light sabres. and guns.

A sampling:
Noach - drowning in the mabul. Using blue blankets to smother everything.
Vayera - one son was tied down on a kids desk with a karate belt. The other kid was pretending to shecht him with a long bubble wand (which has "disappeared". Thank you very much). The angel, wearing pillows on his arms, flapped around a lot yelling avraHAM, avraHAM! (Excedrin....)
Chayei Sarah - Eliezer goes to find Rivka. His camels turns out to have neon green vampire teeth and proceed to eat everyone around.
Toldos. - Esav and Yaakov had a lot of sibling rivalry that needed a lot of wrestling to work out
Vayishlach - WWF Yaakov vs Esav mania! and from my 4 yr old: "Totty, will you be my Shimon- we need to kill out Shechem."
Vayeishev - of course Yosef being THROWN in a pit
I thought we were safe until Vayechi.

We basically were. The kids acted out the shevatim over and over again. Until, they decided that donkeys and lions are mortal enemies and . . . .

Recently, my kids have started asking "How does some random thing connect to the parsha" Fun, Fun, Fun.

After a few fun weeks of parsha sheets from school, parsha cake, parsha plays, and parsha connections, and even parsha pictures (from Torah Tidbits) one kid pipes up "I have an idea! How about we act out something from the parsha and you have to guess!" It was 10 o clock. Shabbos had started at 4:30. My husband and I looked at each other "Parsha Charades? Maybe we can do that ...tomorrow:)!