Sunday, June 18, 2006


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"Chizuk" (m., pl. "Chizukim"); encouragement, derived from the root "chet" "zayin" "kuf," meaning ;" to be strong;" as in "The Torah teacher gave his student ‘chizuk,’ ‘encouragement,’ in his study of Torah."

I was at shul this evening to listen to a dvar Torah given by a congregant at seudat shlishit (the third meal). Afterwards I was talking to another congregant, someone I don't know too well, but whom I enjoy speaking with whenever I'm at shul.

She's friendly, has an "open face" so to speak, is someone to learn from and emulate. Her four children range in age from 16 to 25, so one would think that we don't have much in common, and she is about 8 years older than I. But she is a warm and wonderful person to know. I usually go home and tell my husband about our latest conversation.

In talking to her this evening, she threw back at me almost what I just described about her. She told me how she always enjoys speaking to me, how I'm friendly and open with my thoughts, how she perceives ME to be calm and laid-back about my kids (I straightened her out), how we can talk even though we're of different generations.

I responded: "You know how there are Jewish Mutual Benefit/Benevolent societies? Well, I think we're members of the Mutual Admiration Society!"

She laughed and told me that she goes home and thinks about our conversations, and the greatest compliment she gave me tonight is that she said I give her a tremendous amount of chizuk.

Me? Giving HER chizuk? She's a businesswoman who's done a more-than-fine job, with her husband, of raising 4 children with clever Jewish heads and warm Jewish hearts. She is a fine woman with a good head and heart of her own.

What great pearls (or in my case, pearlies) of wisdom do I offer her that she'd equate it with chizuk?

But you wanna know what the greatest irony of the situation is? With her declaration that I offer her chizuk, she was giving me chizuk right back!


I usually don't name names in my posts, but I will. This woman, of which I speak so highly, is named Rosanne Teplitsky. She used to be an art teacher at a local Jewish day school for children with learning disabilities, but not too long ago, decided to wear a different hat. The result of that new hat is "Praline." Read the following:

The newest entry into kosher chocolates is Praline Chocolate Creations, at 1118 Centre St. in Thornhill, the first to service the kosher market north of Wilson. It’s no wonder co-owners Rosanne Teplitsky and Eti Kaufman sought to open their doors two months ago in the highest populated Jewish city in Canada.
Teplitsky said, “I was looking for something fun, something that would make people smile.”
She too hasn’t had any previous experience in chocolate making but she does work with a professional chocolatier one day a week. The interior of Praline looks like a jewellery store.
Teplitsky said, “It was designed by my daughter,” complete with glass cases filled with truffles and goodies instead of diamonds and rubies.
Teplitsky added, “Of the 700 square feet I rent, almost 500 is devoted to chocolate making.”
The inventory includes truffles, both dairy and parve, Teplitsky said, adding that “we have glass and leatherwear, which can be filled for gift giving.
“We are the only store selling kosher, parve fudge in North America.”

Rosanne Teplitsky brings her own brand of sweetness to life. Chocolate! Now isn't that a variation on chizuk?

One Year Ago

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One year ago this weekend, I was wearing a new skirt for Shabbos dinner.
I wore that same skirt to shul this Shabbos.

One year ago this weekend, it was VERY HOT & HUMID but with a BALMY BREEZE.
This Shabbos it was the same weather.

One year ago this weekend, I was in Los Angeles.
This Shabbos I was in Toronto.

One year ago this weekend, I was invited for Shabbos meals to a friend's home, and was treated just like family.
This Shabbos I invited friends and family to Shabbos meals in my home.

One year ago this weekend, our pug, Tyson, died.
This Shabbos our shih-poo, Max, was full of life.

One year ago this weekend, I was out of town over Father's Day.
This year I'm in town for Father's Day.

One year ago this weekend, I made long-distance calls to my father and husband for Father's Day.
This year I can celebrate in person with both my father and my husband.

A lot can happen in a year. I thank G-d for both my father and my husband.

Happy Father's Day to two very special men in my life.