Not In Jersey: October 2015 October 2015 - Not In Jersey

What I’ve Been Reading #99 Featuring The Mystics of Mile End

Friday, October 30, 2015



Books with a Jewish theme intrigue me, and I was excited to read The Mystics of Mile End by Sigal Samuel. As I read the book, it reminded me of Bee Season and The History of Love. All of these books discuss Jewish mysticism, a topic which I don’t happen to know very much about.

“In the half-Hasidic, half-hipster Montreal neighborhood of Mile End, eleven-year-old Lev Meyer is discovering that there may be a place for Judaism in his life. As he learns about science in his day school, Lev begins his own extracurricular study of the Bible’s Tree of Knowledge with neighbor Mr. Katz, who is building his own Tree out of trash. Meanwhile his sister Samara is secretly studying for her Bat Mitzvah with next-door neighbor and Holocaust survivor, Mr. Glassman. All the while his father, David, a professor of Jewish mysticism, is a non-believer.

When, years later, David has a heart attack, he begins to believe God is speaking to him. While having an affair with one of his students, he delves into the complexities of Kabbalah. Months later Samara, too, grows obsessed with the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life—hiding her interest from those who love her most–and is overcome with reaching the Tree’s highest heights. The neighbors of Mile End have been there all along, but only one of them can catch her when she falls.”

There are four sections to this book. The first is narrated by Lev at 11 years old. The second is narrated by his father, David, and the third by his sister, Samara. The fourth is in third person, and is about all of the main characters including Lev’s best friend Alex and Mr. Glassman. While the mystical aspects of the story were a bit hard to understand, the story of the characters and their relationships are all identifiable and readable. The family dynamics, especially the parts about how each member of the main family approached religion differently, made the story meaningful to me. The sibling relationship was probably my favorite part.

What have you been reading lately?

October In Review

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Time for another monthly wrap up! Today and tomorrow the kids are off of school, so I may still be doing more and posting more about this month, but for now, here are some of the highlights!

Family Activities:


  • I reviewed a Mouse Trap.
  • Dave and I went to a fun dinner out.

Our cocktails matched our clothes!

mailbox  truck
We got a new mailbox, and here Simon tests it out. Dave borrowed this truck from work for a trip he took and here is Zachary enjoying it!

I hope everyone had a good October!

Annual Pumpkin Pictures 2015 (& Swap Reveal)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

We recently took our yearly trip to the Powell Pumpkin Patch to pick some pumpkins and take our annual pictures! It is always fun to see how much the kids have grown.









More pictures from this year:

DSCN3800  DSCN3787DSCN3801DSCN3802DSCN3804
DSCN3805  DSCN3806DSCN3810DSCN3811DSCN3812DSCN3813DSCN3815
DSCN3814  DSCN3816DSCN3817DSCN3818DSCN3819

Also…today is the link up for the fall swap I participated in, the For the Love Of Fall Swap. Here is what I got:

Not so much fall related, but crafty items for me and the kids! Thanks to my partner, Seri.