10 Ways to Enhance Your Jewish Home

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Shabbat on a card table. Shabbat on a card table.

I’ve written before about the ways in which the Jewish home is a mikdash me’at, a little sanctuary. Taking care of your home is an important part of Jewish living, whether you live in a tiny studio apartment or a mansion. Here are some simple ways you can make your home more of a sanctuary, a safe, calm place in the world. Choose one or two and see what happens after a month or two:

1. Make your home as safe as possible. Did you know that this is an actual mitzvah? Deuteronomy 22:8 says that when you build a new house, put a railing around the roof, so no one will fall off. The rabbis extended that mitzvah to include fixing all things that are unsafe around your home. Get rid of frayed electrical cords and things that can trip someone. Change that light bulb: it’s a…

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8 Easy Steps to A Simple Shabbat Dinner

Coffee Shop Rabbi

How can your household begin to keep Shabbat? One way to do it is with a simple Shabbat dinner.

Note:  If you are new to Shabbat, make only a few changes, or even one change, at a time.  Try things and notice what happens and how you feel.  Adjust as necessary. This is a lifetime project. Blessings may be said either in Hebrew or in English. Do what is comfortable for your household.

  1. MAKE IT SPECIAL:  “Special” will mean something slightly different for every household. Perhaps you will use a tablecloth, or invite a friend. Whatever you do, make sure it is food that you like and that will not add stress. If cooking is hard for you, have good takeout. Many Jews eat challah, a sweet egg bread, on Shabbat.
  2. YOU WILL NEED:  Two candles, wine or juice, bread, yummy food.
  3. SET THE TABLE Put the candles in…

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To GTD or not to GTD.

Lets face it.  I’ve read the David Allen books, listened to the audio books, read the blogs, various articles, blog posts, etc., ad naseum,  and have tried….really tried to implement GTD.  And I end up falling flat on my face in the world of time management every time.  Seriously, I’ve wondered if there was a GTD Anonymous meeting I could attend as I felt that I was a total GTD failure.   Then I happened on this blog post at Greekpreneur.com, entitled: “26 Reasons Not to Use GTD“.  Though written in 2008 it made a lot of sense and now I’m at a loss at why I invested so much of my time and energy into GTD.

I still want to improve my time management skills so I recently went through my library and dusted off a couple of resources that I’ve had for years.  The first was a book written Richard Winwood, “Time Management: An Introduction to the Franklin System” and the second was a cassette tape series entitled: “The Insight System for Planning Your Time and Your Life“, taught by Charles R Hobbs.  The book is based on the original Franklin Day Planner (now Franklin-Covey), and the tape series, on the Day-Timer planner.  Both planners are awesome, by the way and are almost similar. The principles taught in these dated resources are still sound and, in my humble opinion, are easier to implement than that of GTD.

Unfortunately I’m missing some of the cassettes from the “Insight” series, so while I scour the house looking for them I’m going to give Richard Winwood’s book another read and see if I can untangle my time management nightmare.

So….I’ve babbled on about time management long enough.  Anyone have time management suggestions, you’d like to share?