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Redefining the Curriculum - Homeschooling

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2021

Redefining the Curriculum 

“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.” Roger Lewin. Can I propose that today we take some time to think about the individuality of each of our children? Is it possible that instead of cloning the mainstream education system, we begin to tailor our curriculum to the needs and interests of the one being taught? 

I have been thinking about this long and hard. My children have always had an entrepreneurial mindset, and so teaching them has been somewhat of a challenge. We would be in the middle of a History lesson, and my eldest would be off in la-la-land daydreaming about opening a road-side shop! Instead of playing a nice board game, my littles are busy setting up a three-ring circus complete with signs reading, “.25 cents to see a card trick and .50 cents for a face paint drawing.” 

Now, while I know kids play their games and make fun; these scenarios taught me something. They...

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Leadership Lessons Learned of the Ezer Kenegdo from Nigeria

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2021

What I learned About Leadership Taking The Message of The Ezer Kenegdo From Nigeria to Detroit by Minister Onleilove Chika Alston,


In the spring of 2014 I was one of the speakers at a Campus Crusade for Christ NYC Women’s Conference but what was unusual about this conference is that its organizer studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York. The organizer did an excellent job of having a diverse line-up of women speakers. This conference was well organized and empowering but the sister who lead the conference did such a great job of organizing the conference that she forgot to prepare her own message! So, she said “I will just wing it and speak on what the Holy Spirit leads me to.” As she spoke she went back to Genesis and the creation of woman and explained to us that the English phrase “helpmate” did not realty encompass the fullness of the Hebrew term that was used to describe woman and that term was “Ezer Kenegdo” which...

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Nissan - The Month for Sharing the Story

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2021




Nissan (Aviv) is the month we celebrate the glorious Passover and freedom from slavery, where our Holy One shows Himself mighty to save! The yearly re-telling of the original Passover story is one that families throughout the entire world make a priority to participate in. It unites us as one people! This month, I’d like to highlight something related to the Passover ‘re-telling’ that you may not have thought about before: the role of storytelling in forming one’s identity. 

What is identity formation and why do you need to know about it? For one, I think being a community is a lost art form. By that I mean acting like a community, not just labeling ourselves as such. We (especially in the US) are a people of rugged individualism, a banner we wear with great pride. “I don’t need anybody but myself, I am self-sufficient.” 

I live in Montana and can I say, this place was made for...

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Uncategorized Feb 13, 2021


 “Sickness comes from lack of joy; healing comes from joy.” - Rebbe Nachman of Breslov 

Adar is the last month on the Hebrew calendar according to the Torah’s reckoning of months. The Sages tell us that the month of Adar is described as the “month of darkness that turns to joy.” This is because of it being the month of the Purim story, where in Haman’s time God’s people were so close to total annihilation. Darkness precedes the light of next month (Nissan) with its themes of liberation and purpose through the Exodus story. 

The Jews could have been destroyed during Adar, but through the miracles of Purim, where it only looks like God is not there, God’s people triumph. And darkness is turned to light. So, what’s a people to do when we realize God was there with us all along?? 

We get our JOY on!

In the quote above by Rebbe Nachman, God empowers the emotion of joy to heal ourselves. This is the month to...

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Uncategorized Jan 17, 2021


Tu B’Shevat is a Jewish holiday happening on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. In 2021, this falls on the evening of January 27th until the evening of January 28th.  Tu B’Shevat is tied to the agricultural cycle of the Land of Israel. It’s the “new year for trees.” This goes back to Temple times when worshippers offered the first fruits of the trees they planted, after the trees had turned four years old. 


The holiday has its seed formation in the Torah. (Yes, I meant that as a pun since we’re talking about trees) The Torah says, “When you enter the land (Israel) and plant any tree for food, you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden for you, not to be eaten” (Leviticus 19:23). The fruit of the fourth year was then offered to Temple priests as a gift of gratitude for the bounty of the land. The fifth-year fruit and all fruits in later years was allowed for...

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Uncategorized Jan 14, 2021



(Picture of an olive tree, Jerusalem, Israel 2019)

For those who like to party, you’ll get another opportunity this month. No, it’s not one of God’s biblical feasts, but it’s been around for some 3,000 years. Not that age equates with goodness, but I thought it was interesting that it’s been a thing for that long. 

What am I talking about? The holiday for trees, called Tu B’ Shevat! Judaism has used this date (the 15th of the Hebrew month Shevat) traditionally to link trees to humans and trees to the Torah. So that makes this a good month to look into the biblical significance of trees. 

Trees are an interesting motif seen in the scriptures and also were important to ancient cultures, including pagan ones. This isn’t surprising since the Holy One of Israel first used trees to teach us spiritual things pertaining to the 3rd day of Creation, and, as all things that come into the hands of people, these original...

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Is it ok to be angry? Tevet - Goodness and Judgement

Even though the names of the months are all of a foreign derivation, there are hints in the names relating to our understanding of Hebrew.  Tevet is a “good” example of this, if you’ll pardon the pun.  The indication is that Tevet is derived from the word we are all so familiar with, Tov.  So, the rub with this information is, the emotion associated with this month (according to the Rabbi’s) is anger.  Anger, as with all of our emotions, is not right or wrong.  It just is.  Where it gets us in trouble is when we let the sun go down on it.  Be angry, but don’t sin — don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger; otherwise you leave room for the Adversary.” (Eph 4:26-27 CJB).  Even Paul recognizes that it’s ok to be angry, yet he follows it up by admonishing us to not let the sun go down on it.  When we do, we leave ourselves open to an...

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Kislev - Dream a Little Dream

Uncategorized Nov 16, 2020



(Photo by Randy Heaton, Arches National Park, Utah, September, 2018)

Have you ever heard it said that the Torah portion for the week, when we know what to look for, will match what’s going on in our life that week? The ancient wisdom of God’s Word is timeless and has relevant importance to us even today. Each week we have an opportunity to glean the Torah for today’s inspiration. It’s a Torah principle called “living with the times.” I have countless personal examples of this principle active in my life. Maybe you do too. If not, keep an eye out. Write them down. 

Within the Torah portions of Genesis, an interesting theme emerges: most of the dreams mentioned in the Torah (10 in fact, dreamed by 7 dreamers) are in the book of Genesis! Most appear in the Torah portions of   Vayeitzei, Vayeshev, and Mikeitz, all read during the month of Kislev. The sages say, therefore, that dreams are an important topic to...

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Cheshvan - God of the Breakthrough

Uncategorized Oct 16, 2020



Can I be honest with you? I’m tired. Really tired. These last two months, Elul and Tishrei were some of the most spiritually significant months of HaShem’s1 calendar that I remember experiencing in all my years walking with Him. I’d prayed that I would receive all that the Holy One wanted for me in His Fall Holy Days. I wanted all the blessings, chastisements, inspirations to do better, all the forgivenesses, all the miracles, and every bit of His Presence He wanted to offer. 

 Well, He came through in big ways on all fronts. But I am just a human, and all this touching of the Divine has left me spent. You too? I call it intimacy fatigue and I am thankful our Father understands and even helps me to break through the wall and not shrink back now. 

 Enter the month of Cheshvan or Marcheshvan as it’s more properly called. Note that “Mar” means “bitter”. Some say the bitter comes because this is the only...

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Tishrei - The head of the year

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2020


Tishrei is a Hebrew month that is both the 7th month of the year and also (since the second century) referred to in the Mishna1 as the “head” of the year for years, sabbatical cycles, and the jubilee.

In scripture, God sets Nisan (the month of the Exodus from Egypt) as the first month of twelve in a year. The birth of nation Israel, and the giving of Torah sets the year, says the Holy One. 

“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you” (Exodus 12:1-2)

The Mishnaic sages have taught that Tishrei is the birth month of Creation, therefore Jews see Tishrei as the most central event to ever take place and consider it the head of the year. With such a jam-packed month of set apart events2 in Tishrei, it’s easy to view this month as the spring from which we can draw from to sustain inspiration throughout the months that...

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