Wednesday, 28 December 2016

How to Lace a Corset, Lace Bridal Gown

In our Bridal Gown Gemach we have a few gowns that require lacing at the back. The brides all tend to ask how best to lace the gown. Since I do not have a model at present, I decided to search for a video that would illustrate how best to lace your wedding gown.

The video is beautifully filmed and easy to follow.

Another question that a few brides have raised is how to get out of the dress at the end of the evening. This obviously will be a personal preference. You can either have someone to assist you and an outfit to change into at the wedding hall so that you leave in a nice outfit that will be easy to get out of later on. Or, if you have a patient groom (Chatan) he can assist you to under the laces. It will require a little patience, so if your groom does not have the right personality, either change into another outfit at the hall or select a gown for yourself that is a bit less fussy.

Happy bridal gown shopping.

If you are in Jerusalem, do stop by to visit our bridal gowns.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Thoughts about our Childrens Book

Our first book to come out is our children's book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom". We had a lot of fun writing the book and selecting the appropriate photographs to go with it. The book is out on Amazon and other on-line retail bookstores. It has had a slow start. I do admit I got put off from promoting it when someone took a dislike to me and wrote up a dreadful review. This of course is not only unfair to me but there is another author involved in this book.

Well, since then I had a few other positive reviews. I guess you can't please everyone all of the time and it's certainly helped to receive some positive input. We currently have this book listed on a GoodReads GiveAway and there is 23 hours left until the winner is chosen to receive a signed copy. I am delighted to see that 340 readers are interested in this book. That is very heartwarming for me and gives me some encouragement to continue. We have further books that we would like to bring out, so every reader who shows interest, every positive review and every sale helps us to progress towards bringing out quality books that aim to inspire and encourage others to live a life of meaning and purpose with good, strong, healthy values.

Please help us to reach this goal by purchasing a copy of either the English or the Hebrew edition or both. It makes for a lovely gift for your child for Chanukah. 

If you have any questions about the book or our other books or books that are in the pipeline, do be in touch.

This Post was written by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Searching for a Bridal Gown

It's quite a major task to prepare a wedding. There is need for a Chuppah, a hall, to draw up a guest list, decide on catering, organize flowers. The list goes on. For one happy new Kallah, first on her list has been searching for the right bridal gown. I feel honoured that ours was the first Bridal Gown Gemach that she came to. Our discussion made me realize how much we need our full centre. In the meantime, we offered all that we could and it was a wonderful feeling to keep on hearing, "Oh how beautiful!" or "I LOVE this one!"

As things turn out, some of the dresses that our Kallah loved were not the right size for her. We would love to have the funds to move our bridal gowns to larger space and to have more variety of gowns and other items such as bridal veils. But, in the meantime, we had fun selecting, trying on and fitting bridal gowns and helping the Kallah to decide what style she is looking for.

It is not often that one gets to see a young lady dressed in a bridal gown looking at other bridal gowns. Such a fun, having service to be involved in.

If you are a Kallah in Israel, do be in touch to visit our Bridal Gown Gemach, located in Jerusalem. For those renting a bridal gown during the month of November, you have the potential to receive a gift towards your new home. Gifts are limited while there is stock so hurry along to rent your bridal gown.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

New Kallah visits our Bridal Gown Gemach

We had a fun time a few days ago with a Kallah in our Bridal Gown Gemach. Out of the 59 dresses that we currently have available, she found at least 6-8 to try on and out of those probably 3 or 4 that she really liked. It was so interesting to see her enjoyment with totally different styles. It was also very satisfying to see that the bridal gowns look really good on an actual bride.

Each dress had a need for certain alterations, mostly as they are long and our Kallah was short. While our Kallah is deciding which style she prefers we'd like to invite other Kallot to come and visit our Bridal Gown Gemach. There is a selection of some very different gowns, all of them modest.

For those who have a busy schedule, you can book a package with us, rent your bridal gown and while you are at it, book your Chatan and Kallah lessons and have a relaxing session or two as well. Remember to let your friends know to come in and enjoy.

We look forward to welcoming you into our Bridal Gown Gemach.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 25 September 2016

7 Lessons Learned from Popcorn

7 Lessons Learned from Popcorn
by Shoshanah Shear

Every item, object, plant, animal or person has a purpose. We have the ability to take any event or item and elevate it by contemplating the lessons one can learn or what positive purpose that item has in this world. Let us take popcorn as an example. Popcorn is actually quite an amazing food product.

1) Popcorn is quite versatile, add a little salt and you have something savoury, add some sugar or sweetening and you have a sweet treat. String some thread through it or add a bit of food colouring and you can have a decorative treat too.

2) Have you noticed the wonderful variety of shapes with each popped corn? Each one is different. I am not sure if anyone has photographed popcorn and compared the shapes to the next batch, but in every pot, bowl or box of popcorn every one is unique. If we stop and think about this. Every person is unique too. More than this, there is an abundance in this world. Just look at the variety of shapes in each popcorn! To me this makes me stop and think there must be a Creator to this world. Let's look at a few more examples as to why there must be a Creator and what we can learn about our Creator.

3) Looking at popcorn, I'd say our Creator must be filled with kindness. Imagine, you can have a dried cob filled with corn that has gone hard and yet, it is not a waste! Take those hard seeds, place them in a pot with a little oil and some heat and in a short time the corn will have transformed from a hard seed that could break your teeth to something that is soft, versatile, tasty and even nutritious. It's low in calories, high in fibre and contains beneficial anti-oxidants. Isn't that great kindness to us. On top of that, everyone, from the age that they are old enough to eat it, likes popcorn.

4) Popcorn gives us hope and inspiration for our potential to grow and develop. Think about it for a bit. Popcorn undergoes a total transformation once placed in a pot with a little oil and heat. If that is the good that can come out of a few hard seeds, think about the potential for every person who is filled with far more than the hard seeds are. If we apply ourselves correctly, we too can grow, change and develop to become who we are supposed to be and give goodness and happiness to the world.

5) Popcorn is quite magical and gives excitement to others. Once again I regard this as a kindness from our Creator. Mostly popcorn is yellow. We already mentioned the transformation of shape that takes place, but popcorn changes it's colour too and becomes a fluffy white that can accept any other colour when the food colouring mentioned above is applied.

6) Popcorn is such a gift. It makes watching a movie or attending a party so much more fun. For those who love popcorn at the movies, doesn't it provide the perfect way to occupy your hands and mouth while you settle into the idea of the movie? By the time you have finished your popcorn, you are absorbed into the story-line and able to concentrate despite sitting still for a long time.

7) Personally, I think popcorn is one of those items that proves there must be a Creator. What scientist or other person would be able to come up with an item that has so much that it offers. Who would be able to make such a total transformation in terms of consistency, shape, colour, texture and to come out with variety, positive lessons and nourishment too?

Next time you enjoy your popcorn, consider all the wonderful lessons that simple popcorn offers. What a wonderful way to elevate your healthy snack and use that time for good. Let the food for thought fill you with inspiration and motivation to apply your skills to something positive and productive.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Remembering Who We Are as Rosh HaShanah Approaches

It's Elul and with just over two weeks to Rosh HaShanah, there is much work to be done. Are you aware of the work required during the month of Elul? How are you progressing with your introspection and inner reflection? Is it helping you to do Teshuvah? Are you managing to revise your goals for the coming year?

Whether you are aware of how we as Jews should be spending Elul, whether you are struggling or even if you are very involved in preparing for Rosh HaShanah, the video below produced by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is important to watch. It takes almost 6 and half minutes to watch but the content is packed with meaning and very moving.

 "Why I am a Jew" ... a message for everyone.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Limited Time Offer For Tuvia Finds His Freedom

I have been thinking of offering a special on our book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" for a while. I wanted to do it at the start of Elul, but somehow life got busy and it did not happen. No matter, here it is today, available for a week ONLY.

So hurry along to this link and you can get the English version of our book at the low price of JUST $9.50. This is an incredible special and available for ONE week ONLY. 

The book is also available in Hebrew. If you are interested in the Hebrew version, be in touch, perhaps we will reduce that too, we are not sure as yet. 

We are very excited about this special. If have any interest in Turtles, Tortoises and how to help them if they get lost, this is the book for your to read. It's short, informative and has real photographs in colour.

If you enjoy the book, how about writing a comment to let us know what you liked about it and to help your friends to know about this book too.

Shoshanah Shear

Friday, 9 September 2016

Elul is a Good Time to Check Mezuzot and Tefillin

It is customary to check one's Mezuzot and Tefillin during the month of Elul in preparation for the new year which begins on Rosh HaShanah. Where does this custom come from? Do you check them every year? Is it just superstition? Is it just something to keep one occupied and give the Sofer work to do?

Let us take a look at the Mitzvah (commandment) of Mezuzah and Tefillin. Yes, these are commandments given from G-d to Moshe Rabeinu (Moses our Teacher) and come directly from the Torah. The Kitzur (condensed or shortened) Shulchan Aruch lists the law of Tefillin (Phylacteries) before Mezuzah. The commandment for a male Jew (over the age of 13) to put on Tefillin is a positive commandment that comes from the verse in the Torah: "And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be frontlets between thine eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8). The laws continue to include what age to begin wearing Tefillin, when and how to wear Tefillin, the problem of not putting on Tefillin for those who are supposed to, how to carry Tefillin and more. Women are exempt from putting on Tefillin as it is a time bound Mitzvah. What to do if your arm is paralyzed is also addressed. 

In the 19th law related to Tefillin it states: "It is proper to have one's Tefillin examined twice in seven years to make certain that they have not become defective through mold or perspiration. If the cases are torn, or if they were soaked in water, the parchment must be examined." Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 7:19 

Immediately after the laws related to Tefillin, come the laws related to Mezuzah. The commandment to put a Mezuzah on the door post of the home of a Jew is also a positive commandment that comes directly from the Torah. It comes from the verse: "And thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of they house and upon they gate" (Deuteronomy 6:9). The laws include where to affix a Mezuzah both in terms of the type of building or dwelling place and in terms of which rooms, which side of the door and where on the door post would be the appropriate position. How to put up the Mezuzah, reciting a blessing when putting it up is also explained. In law 12 it states that "The Mezuzah of a private dwelling should be examined twice in seven years ..." Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 8:12.

From our experience, having moved apartments numerous times, it is important to check your Mezuzot too. If the landlord or landlady tells you it is not necessary, our experience is that it is. In the one apartment where we listened to the landlady not to check the Mezuzah, the apartment was broken into. After sorting out what was stolen, what damaged and what remained in tact, we went to look at the Mezuzot only to discover one of them was totally upside down and completely Pasul which means no longer fit to be used. 

For those who argue "but the Mezuzah is new", again we say, check it before putting it up. The next apartment we moved to we had to put up our own Mezuzot and went out to purchase new ones. It took us 6 months of going to the Sofer, having the Mezuzah checked, which sometimes took a few days or a week to get an answer, finding out that one or more Mezuzot was not fit to use, having to purchase new ones, going to have them checked etc. It took a very long time before we managed to find a full set of Mezuzot that were brand new and fully Kosher, meaning fit to use. 

Is it only our own idea? When talking to some fellow Jews, one shared the following: "we hadn't been so Makpid (strict) on checking for a few years... My husband was diagnosed with the Machala (Hebrew - for the disease which refers to the C-disease. It is best not to state the name of that disease). The following day I took them all and his Tefilin to be checked, Every SINGLE ONE was Pasul! We fixed what we could fix and we replaced what needed to be replaced. And my husband had a true Nes (miracle) and with zero medical explanation was healthy again!"

The Lubavitcher Rebbe often recommended to check one's Mezuzot and Tefillin, especially when problems arise or there is lack of Brachah in a home.  

Having learned just a snippet of what the Torah law states, together with two examples of problems that can occur with problematic Mezuzot or Tefillin, what do you think? Is it just superstition? Is it just man-made? Is it just a way to create work for another? I don't think so! But to answer the last one, every person needs a means to earn an income. For one it is healing others through becoming a doctor, nurse or other healthcare practitioner. For one it is becoming a technician of some sort. Someone might be a store owner or receptionist or secretary. For those who take the time to involve themselves in mastering a section of Torah and sharing that knowledge with others in order to give a service, what greater way is there to earn? After all, G-d tells us that He gives us freedom of choice, however, He offers us the good and the opposite, the path of life and the path to the opposite. It is up to us to decide which way to go. For those who are wise, taking the time to learn what the Torah teaches and to put it into practice will bring one to discover that this is the path that leads to blessing, whether in this world or in the world to come. 

For those who still wonder, why in Elul? In the Hallachot (Torah Law) related to the month of Elul (Kitzur Shulchan  128: 3) states that "men renowned for their good deeds / people who are serious / people of action customarily check their Tefillin and Mezuzot in this month. Similarly, with regard to other Mitzvot, any matter that requires attention should be taken care of." To explain this a little further, Eli Kahn offers an excellent comparison. It is usual to balance ones check book and check one's bank balance on a regular basis and to file taxes once a year. So too with Judaism, in the month of Elul we take the time to make sure our accounting is all in order. One of our spiritual documents is to be found in our Mezuzot and Tefillin.

If anyone would like to learn the laws relating to the month of Elul and preparing for both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, you are welcome to sign up to learn with Rabbi Eliyahu Shear. He is an excellent, patient and dynamic teacher and teaches both individually and in small groups. Torah learning takes place in person or via Skype with webcam, making it accessible to everyone.

Shabbat Shalom from Yerushalayim

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Welcome to our Bridal Gown Gemach

Welcome to our Bridal Gown Gemach. It has taken quite some time since moving to clear things up enough to begin renting out the bridal gowns. We still have some work to do to get this section of our centre to the level that we want it to be. So please excuse the space being a little smaller than we wanted. We also hope in time to add items such as bridal veils.

While we work behind the scenes to continue to develop the wonderful centre that we are creating, we'd like to invite you to come and take a look. If you are getting married or know anyone who is, we would like to invite you to come and view the bridal gowns in our Bridal Gown Gemach. 

The images above show me with a few of the bridal gowns. This is to demonstrate that the gowns are really in the centre we are developing and it is not all talk.

This last image shows what I was looking at. The gowns are all lovely and quality. They are all modest in keeping with Torah standards as is fitting for a Torah centre.

So come along and take a look. If you rent your bridal gown from Chessed Ve'Emet, you can do a Mitzvah with your rental as a percentage of the proceeds goes to assist an orphan to rent her bridal gown too. 

We look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 29 August 2016

Book Sales

We are so excited to have begun our day with 3 sales of "Parshah in Just Two Minutes" by Rabbi Eliyahu Shear and 1 copy of the Hebrew version of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear. It is so exciting to know that even with minimal marketing there are slow but gradual sales happening.

For those interested in our book "Parshah in Just Two Minutes" we are excited to stated that it is in the process of undergoing a revision and certain improvements. In addition we have obtained two letters of approbation from well known rabbis and are in the process of obtaining a few more. We aim for the revisions to be completed very soon and the revised version together with the letters of approbation to be made available as soon as possible. If you are interested in purchasing your copy, please be in touch to find out when the revised version will be complete.

In the meantime, we are very busy with out next book, or perhaps books is more appropriate. What an exciting adventure this has become. 

If you have read any of our books, please consider leaving a positive review.

We look forward to letting you know of further additions to our publications.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Shavuah Tov - Great Start to the Week!

It's been a busy but creative day at Chessed Ve'Emet today.

Editing a book, networking, preparing for some freelance writing work and then time for a bit of creative fun. We've been making up some hand-made greeting cards ready for our next sale. 

We still have some items left from our Post Moving Sale so please be in touch if you would like any of the following:
- second hand, fully lined curtains. We have 3 different sets in 3 different colours
- a vacuum cleaner used only 3 times
- a set of tea cups and saucers, new, un-used but not in their box
- a set of espresso coffee cups and saucers
- an artsy vase
- 2 sets of new linen for single beds
- 2 new white men's shirts
- picture frames

Next step will be placing these items on our website, be in touch if you would like the link or come back to visit for the next blog post. 

Once we have sold off these items, our next sale will be art, hand-made items, some drawings and our books. Stay tuned for details of our sale. Please do support our sale. Every item makes for a lovely gift for yourself or others and it helps us to continue our work. Many of the hand-made items are made by widows and orphans and help to provide them with income.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Thursday, 14 July 2016

First Review of Parshah in Just Two Minutes

The following review is our first review to be posted onto Amazon for my husband's new book:"Parshah in Just Two Minutes." It comes with 5 stars. We are very grateful for this review.

Full disclosure: This book was given to me as a gift by the author, with whom I have had cordial relations for years. This review is mainly for a Jewish audience but useful lessons applied to all nations.

The weekly Parshiot (individual Aliyot) are summarized in English. Each of the Five Books has a epigraph page which can serve as a leitmotif to initiate discussion. There is a useful glossary at the end that translates Hebrew terms that appear again and again.

Why do I feel Jews especially should buy this booklet? (I bought another copy to give as a gift):

1) As the author notes in the introduction, we are commanded to not let the Torah depart from our mouths, day and night. If you read the two minute chapter in English out loud, you are on a path to fulfilling that Mitzvah - Hashem will assist you on that path.

2) The book is very handy at meal times. I struggle sometimes when sitting at the dining table with young-ish children to initiate appropriate conversation & speak words of Torah while eating, in fulfillment of BeRahamim LeHayyim: "This is the table that is before G'd" (Ezekiel 41:22).

Why is it important to speak words of Torah while eating? Zohar Teruma 153 explains:
"Of a table upon which words of Torah were not spoken, it is written: "For all [such] tables are full of vomit and filth, so that there is no place clean" (Isaiah 28:8). It is forbidden to bless over such a table. What is the reason? Because there is a table, and there is a table. A table should be set above before G'd and be always ready so that words of Torah may be spoken on it and that it should include letters of the words of Torah. "

3) The author (a Rabbi) and his wife live in Eretz Israel, have devoted themselves to myriad initiatives (Mikveh, buying books for scholars, money for indigent brides, etc, check out his website 
) to perform acts of kindness. All this despite life in Eretz Israel not being easy from an economic point of view. We Jews in the Galut are commanded to assist our brethren, assisting Torah scholars especially and priests.

As a cautionary tale, remember what happened in the time of Judges, with the tribe of Dan, Michah's Teraphim idol and the Levite who went up from Bethlehem and found himself a fat livelihood as Michah's private Priest. This priest was the grandson of Moshe, Yehonasan ben Gershom ben Menasheh. He seems to have felt it necessary to hire himself out for Avoda Zarah. Why? I cite from Rav ABY from the AZAMRA institute in Jerusalem:
"So Yonasan was a Levite for whom the intended system of supporting the nation's spiritual teachers through tithes (the Levitical 'maaser') was evidently not working in Bethlehem, forcing him to go off in search of opportunities for parnassa, livelihood, wherever he could find them. This in itself is a reproof against the people of whatever time it was that this story occurred: by failing to support their teachers by the Torah system of tithes, they forced them to demean themselves and base their ministry on money, with all the attendant evils."

Support your teachers so they may not have to demean themselves for money. A lesson for all people, Jews and Gentiles.

For all these reasons, in my considered opinion, it is worthwhile to buy this booklet.

By Daniel Billar

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Another Outlet for Tuvia Finds His Freedom

I was busy preparing a letter in application for a book review and decided to look again at where our book is available. I was delighted to discover that our distribution has expanded. Our book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" is available on Barnes and Noble too. 

It is so exciting to find our book cropping up on more and more websites that sell books. This is the first book that we wrote and has been self-published via CreateSpace. Here is the list of the websites that we know the book is available on. Please note, the book is available in both English and Hebrew.

So here goes. Tuvia Finds His Freedom is available online for sale on:

The CreateSpace eStore.
Amazon in the US 
Amazon in the UK

And our latest discovery is Barnes and Noble 

We have the book in 3 libraries so far too. This list is for the English version of the book, I still need to prepare a list of the Hebrew version online. However, if anyone is interested, by visiting the links provided you will be able to find the Hebrew book too.

This is very exciting. As we work to promote our books, we are seeking suitable blogs to do a book review or an interview of either or both authors. If you have a book related to kindness to animals or anything Torah related, and do book reviews, please be in touch.

Have a wonderful day

Friday, 24 June 2016

Kindness to an Orphaned Baby Elephant

There are many ways to show kindness to an orphan. Sometimes it takes a bit of thought and creativity to figure out what would be the most suitable type of help for a particular orphan. When Temba a baby elephant in South Africa lost his mother, he could have been left with the herd of elephants to allow nature to take it's course. With enormous kindness and concern for animals, the team of Shamwari Rehabilitation Centre decided that intervention was necessary.

Watching the video that follows brings tears to the eyes of someone who is sensitive to nature and kindness. The incredible Divine Intervention that took place on many levels is so special to watch. Just to begin with, how did they decide that one particular sheep would be the perfect one to become a friend and give the baby elephant the necessary incentive to start drinking milk once more.

The video teaches so much on so many levels. Set aside 50 minutes to enjoy. It's well worth the time and you can gain so much from watching this.

We'd love to hear what you learned from watching this video. What did you learn about kindness in general and kindness to animals in particular? What did you learn about respect? What did you learn about appreciating nature? What did you learn about caring for an orphan?

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Study the Parshah in Just Two Minutes!

We just received a thank you and some feedback from a friend. She wrote in to say that she had received her copy of our latest publication, "Parshah in Just Two Minutes". This is the third friend to write in and not only thank us for sending a copy but to give us some valuable feedback and comments too. We so appreciate the time that each person takes to let us know if a book arrived, to take the time to look through the book and to be kind enough to share their thoughts about the publication. Every opinion helps us to know what our friends and readers value and would like to read.

Thank you to each of you who has taken the time to respond.

Amongst her feedback, our friend mentioned that this book does not have in-depth discussion about the weekly Torah portion. She mentioned that she enjoys reading the work of someone else who provides in-depth commentary however that she seldom has the time to do so. Thank you for highlighting one of the purposes of OUR book. "Parshah in Just Two Minutes" by Rabbi Eliyahu Shear is not intended to be an in-depth discussion on the Torah. It is a concise summary that helps the reader to get to know the Parshah. It is for the busy business person or housewife who needs to fulfill the Mitzvah of reading the daily Torah portion but lacks the time to do so effectively. It is for the Jew in Shul who needs either a reminder as to what each Aliyah is about while waiting for the next Torah reading or who needs some Torah to help to keep him or her focused in order to observe the Mitzvah of not speaking in Shul.The book is also valuable for the newcomer to Torah at whatever age he or she is. It gives a brief overview of each daily portion of the Parshah. As stated on the back cover it is to give the reader the gist of the Parshah and nothing more.

There is so much that we still want to add as a sequel to a series that could include things like insights into the Parshah. We appeal to those who value our books to sponsor dedications within the books so that we can write and produce more quality publications.

Looking for an overview or summary of the weekly Torah portion? You can obtain a copy of the book too. We are delighted that the book is already out on the following well known online retail bookstores:

- Amazon - the main Amazon for the US
If you find the book on any other websites, please do let us know so that we can update the list of where the book can be found. 

Thank you for supporting Chessed Ve'Emet and our publications, gifts and services.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Developing Recovery Centre for Sea Turtles

One of the great things about writing a book is that you get to know a lot about a given topic, often after the book is written. In keeping a look out for what is happening regarding tortoises and turtles, the topic of our first kids book, I'm learning so much.

In Hebrew the word for turtle is Tzav Yam, that does not really distinguish whether the water is sea water or fresh water. I forget how our amazing translator dealt with this issue, however, here is an interesting piece of information about sea turtles. 

Did you know that sea turtles are endangered? So much so that there is a need to establish a recovery centre that will cost $2M. The Sea Turtle Recovery Centre is to be created at a zoo in New Jersey called the Turtle Back Zoo. Now that is a fascinating name for a zoo. I took a look at the website and am impressed with their mission. As to how the name came about, according to the website it seems that in 1962 Max Drill, Inc was awarded funding to begin a zoo on a 15.5 acre plot of land. The zoo opened in 1963 and the name came from a specific rock formation on the mountain side near the zoo. 

From the looks of things, the zoo has a particular interest in creating a special place both for the animals and for children. I love the idea behind the mission statement, take a look: "TURTLE BACK ZOO is committed to providing an enriching recreational experience that fosters excellence in wildlife education and wildlife conservation, so that present and future generations are inspired to understand, appreciate and protect the fragile interdependence of all living things."

Well, I learned a lot about a zoo in New Jersey that I had not known existed. I also learned from the article, that the US has 6 different sea turtle species. Did you know that? 
It certainly sounds like the Turtle Back Zoo is committed to caring for the animals and the environment. It's a bit far for me to visit, so if you happen to know the zoo or to visit, do drop a note below and let us know what your experience was like. 

Shoshanah Shear

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Enjoying Responses to Our Books

We had our book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear on display at a recent sale. It was quite fun and interesting to hear peoples responses to the book. One was interested to hear that certain tortoises and turtles are endangered species in Israel. For two others, looking at the photographs in the book prompted them to share stories of friends who have a pet turtle. When asked if it was a land turtle otherwise known as a tortoise or a water turtle, they were not sure. 

If you would like to learn the difference between tortoises and turtles, do buy our book where the difference are clearly outlined.

I very much enjoyed and appreciated those who shared their stories. It is wonderful to see how animal lovers will open up and discuss their experiences with animals, especially the type of animal written about in the book.

One lady said she wished she had grandchildren of the right age to purchase the book for and liked the fact that it is in English and Hebrew. For those who have children or grandchildren a year or so young, you can put the book aside for them to enjoy when they reached the right age. For those who have children or grandchildren who are teenagers, we have had teens and even adults enjoy the book. 

Looking to improve your Hebrew or your vocabulary in either English or Hebrew? By purchasing both books you can cross reference to make sure you understand all the words. It becomes a fun way to improve your reading and comprehension skills.

For those who love tortoises and turtles, buy your copy today!  If you are in Jerusalem, be in touch to purchase in person. For those outside of Jerusalem, hurry along to any of the online retail bookstores. You will find the book on Amazon in the US, Canada, UK and Bookdepository, CreateSpace eStore to name but a few and remember to let us know what you thought of the book after you purchase it.

Have a great day.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Copies of Parshah in Just Two Minutes Ready for Mailing

It's another fun day at Chessed Ve'Emet. We are busily sending off copies of "Parshah in Just Two Minutes" by Rabbi Eliyahu Shear to friends of Chessed Ve'Emet who have supported our activities over time and in a generous way. We value all those who take a personal interest in our work. As a result, each copy receives a hand written note of thanks

We look forward to having the means to hire a graphic designer to design a letterhead and compliment slip. In the meantime, we hope the attractive writing paper will be appreciated too.

I love looking at the cover. It's special to know that the photographs that went into the design and the cover design are my husband's creative and beautiful work and an indication of the care taken throughout.

You can obtain a copy of the book too. We are delighted that the book is already out on the following well known online retail bookstores:

- Amazon - the main Amazon for the US
If you find the book on any other websites, please do let us know so that we can update the list of where the book can be found. 
I've enjoyed taking a short break from parceling up the books in preparation for mailing, time to get back to work. 

Have a very blessed day


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Fun and Excitement at Chessed VeEmet

  Rabbi Eliyahu Shear opening the box 

We had so much fun today at Chessed Ve'Emet. We were busy preparing for a Shidduch interview when there was a ring at the door. "You have a delivery!" we were told. 

We did not expect the books to arrive quite so quickly. The proof copy had taken over a month to get to us. We had so much fun opening the book to discover copies of all 3 of our books. "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" by Rabbi Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear both in English and Hebrew as you can see in the image. Along with "Parshah in Just Two Minutes" by Rabbi Eliyahu Shear.

The image shows the books as they appeared in the box. It's such a wonderful feeling to be able to see the progress. First one book, then the translation into Hebrew and finally a third.  If you are in Jerusalem you can purchase a copy from us in person. For those unable to get to us in Jerusalem, all 3 books are available on 

- Amazon - the main Amazon for the US
We have some work ahead as quite a few have to be shipped off already. Such fun work and such a wonderful surprise.
Join in the fun by ordering your copy from any of the above online bookstores. If you find our books on another website do let us know so that we can add it to the list.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Five More Items Ready for our Sale

We are two days away from our upcoming sale and time to share a few more items.

This one will be a treat as you can get a signed copy and meet the author. You will have to hurry though as we only have a few copies left. Time to consider a second printing!!

For those who enjoy fantasy, beauty, improving your child's imagination, this book is absolutely delightful and written by my very favourite author. It is of course "Why Unicorns Eat Lavender" By Rosemary Kahn

Still in the line of books you can obtain a copy of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear in English and order your copy in Hebrew.

We have such a fun assortment of goodies on sale it is hard to know what to feature next. Should we share an item of art, a few of the old post cards, our artsy vase? Hm, what are the items that you would MOST like to see at our upcoming sale?

So our next item to showcase will be a stunning set of bedside lamps.

And... below you see just one of our 5 Sheitals going at amazing prices. You will have to come and try them on to make sure if they fit, suit you and are the right colour etc. 

Here it is our one and only artsy vase!! It's fun, unusual and waiting for the perfect buyer. Will that be you? We are waiting to find out.

Yes, we have variety at our sale on Wednesday. Visit our post of: "Six Items for Our Sale" to see a few more items that will be available.

It's happening, it's exciting and now all we need is you to attend. So save the date:
Wednesday 25 May. Not to worry, it is a day time sale - plenty of time to get to your Lag B'Omer
Bon Fire - the times of the sale are: 10h30 - 12h30 and 14h00 - 16h45
Venue is in Katamon, Jerusalem

RSVP as space is limited.

We look forward to seeing you there

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Six Items for our Upcoming Sale

We have a lot to do to be fully organized in our new premises but in the meantime, we are excited to share of our next sale. The images in this post show just a few of the items that will be on sale.
The above linen is a summer set
- Sheet 190x90 cm
- pillow slip 50 x 70 cm
50% cotton; 50% polyester selling for ₪ 40

Our next set of linen is a Single Set by Orline. It contains:
- Fitted Sheet 200 x 90 cm
- Duvet Cover 200 x 150 cm
- Pillow Slip 50 x 70 cm
100% Micro Fiber selling for the amazing special of ₪ 55

There are five sets of linen, all new in original packaging and will be available at our sale for immediate purchase.

The next two photographs show two of our men's white shirts. 

 We have 5 mens shirts in total with sizes:

 1 x 14
1 x 15, 
1 x small, 
and 3 x 17 1/2

We are also selling some cute kids puzzles and assorted new and second hand books.

It promises to be an amazing sale. Do be in touch for details

Hope to see you there

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Hot New Book Release

Amidst the struggles of moving back to Yerushalayim it is with great joy that I share with you my husband's new release. "Parshah in Just Two Minutes" by Rabbi Eliyahu Shear. How can you read the Parshah so quickly you might ask? Well, that is exactly the point. The book contains wonderful, concise summaries of each Aliyah in each Parshah. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the proof copy. It gave me an amazing overview of each Parshah and of the Chumash (Bible) as a whole. I wished I had read this years ago when I first began learning Torah. However, even reading it now with some learning behind me and having read some commentaries, it is a perfect refresher.

There are so many benefits for this book. Stay tuned for a slideshow or video to outline what the benefits are. In the meantime, I am very excited to state that the first day the book came out, we already had our first sale.

The book is available on:

- Amazon - the main Amazon for the US

We hope it will be coming onto other online stores soon too. 

Stay tuned for further updates or sign up for our email newsletter where you can learn more of new developments, books as they come out and so much more.

Have a very blessed day

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A Move That Has Gone Wrong!

Where do I begin this post? If you have followed this blog, you might know we have been trying to move for a few years now. We finally had no choice and made the move. Actually, this move has been a very long saga. The short version is I got married as an orphan Kallah without assistance. Though many do not believe it is possible, that was my reality. The result was that with no assistance to set up our home, we moved 5 times in our first years of marriage. At the end of our first year, we were forced to move in a hurry and the first place we found that was suitable, was in Beitar Illit. No I did not know much about it and our work has suffered greatly for having moved there.

Aside from the area itself, we had a landlord who loved to spring all kinds of things just before a Chag, usually Pesach or Rosh HaShanah. One year he wanted to send a guy to do repairs on the day of Bedikat Chometz. Another his secondhand dinning room table in very bad condition broke just before Pesach and we were without a table for Leil HaSeder. The next year he gave us 3 days to move just before Rosh HaShanah and then an extension to move right after Yom Kippur. This time he said he sold and had someone coming in immediately after Pesach and we had to go before Pesach. We have tried hard to do crowdfundraisers to move and in the end had no choice. We moved but the move has been a disaster.

Here are some images of broken and damaged items.

The above items had been placed onto a shelf in the new apartment and the shelf collapsed a few hours later. The same happened with the dishes in the image below. The new landlord said the second cupboard was not supposed to be for items but for some kind of stove. He never told us that before hand.To us if there was a cupboard with shelves it should be to put items on. Yes we tried the shelves first when cleaning them and they seemed fine. 

The above fans we dismantled and parts are missing.

Torn veil from our bridal gowns. Sorry about the background but I cant yet find the fabric I usually use for backgrounds.

We had 4 chairs. two did not make it to us and this one is damaged. That leaves us with one chair that works.

You can read about our move on the following blog posts:

Two fans broken in our move
Please help us by contributing to our fundraiser in order to replace our food for Pesach that went off in the broken fridge we were given, to replace the damaged items, obtain the basic appliances and furniture that every Jewish home requires and cover this unreasonably high moving bill.
Thank you to anyone who is kind enough to assist.
Shoshanah Shear


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