Spiced Lentils with Chicken and Rice

Beit Shalom really liked this recipe!
Adapted from Jamie Gellar.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Yield: 8 cups
Serves: 6 to 8


Skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 1 pound

1 cup lentils

1 cup black japonica rice or brown rice

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 red onion, diced

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom or equal portions of nutmeg and coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Kosher salt season to taste

If cooking for the alloted time cook rice with all ingredients but if leaving in crockpot overnight for the next day, I suggest making separately and leaving the rice at room temperature overnight and then serve the chicken over the rice.

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir. Cook on high for 4 hours.

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No Bake Peanut Butter Squares

Can be made Parve or Dairy.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup earth balance or butter
1 cup smooth/crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 (36 squares) graham cracker crumbs (I used HEB’s Hill Country Fare brand parve Cinnamon Graham crackers)

2 cups (1 pkg) choc chips (Whole Foods has excellent Parve dark chocolate chunks)
1/4 cup pb

Finely crumble the graham crackers and add the rest of the ingredients for the base. Spoon into a 9 inch pan.

For the topping, melt your chocolate and pb on the stove/microwave and top the base with this.

Let cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares to serve. Can be made several days before Shabbat and stored in the refrigerator to ease Shabbat prep on Friday.

To make a 9×13 pan just use 1.5 times these ingredients. If you double the recipe, you can make a 9×13 pan and a 8-9 in pan.

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Thank HaShem for Everything

As parents to Shai (a 21 months old) every moment is a teachable moment. Regarding prayer, we wake up and say Modeh Ani (the prayer thanking HaShem for restoring our soul to our body after the night’s sleep), before/after a diaper change we make a modified brachah of Asher Yatzar thanking HaShem for his body working as He created it to work, when eating we say the brachot over the various foods, and at nighttime we say the Bedtime Shema.

Yeshaiah usually just listens as Imma says Modeh Ani in Hebrew in the mornings, but consistently thanks HaShem at each diaper change. He can completely say three of the brachot over food and is learning to discern which brachah goes with which food. At bedtime he covers his eyes as he davens, mimicking our movements by swaying back and forth and says part of the Shema with Abba and Imma.

When Abba and Imma pray the daily prayers, Shai will sit quietly, usually on Imma’s lap or in her arms, and participate. He’ll join in with the Shema during the appropriate time.

So, with all this being said, this week we were at Half Price Books (http://www.hpb.com) and as Shai was playing on a step stool, he said, “Thank you HaShem for Neshama (soul).” I stood in amazement realizing Yeshaiah had just formed and said his first prayer to HaShem unassisted! I can’t even recall the last time we talked about neshama so I was shocked to hear this word incorporated into his prayer.

We must continuously teach and be exquisite role models for our children and the children in our community. These amazing creations of HaShem absorb so much from birth on that we never know what and when they are incorporating information and experiences into their identity. It is our job as Torah observant believers in Yeshua to teach them to be good disciples of the Master, to walk in the ways of the Torah, and to live as Hashem wants us to live; not as what is easy or convenient for us, because we are what the next generation of our community is modeling. What do you want your community’s legacy to be?

Baruch HaShem that through the children You have entrusted to us, we learn to draw closer to Your ways. Cause us HaShem to more closely follow Your Torah with each passing day. Thank You for the children You have placed in our homes and communities. Amein!

Shalom and Shavuah Tov,

Rebbetzin Murphy


Running To Be Set Apart


Children  will make sense of life based on the foundation and experiences you give them.

A few days ago while out in public, our family was in a store that had decorations for Valentine’s day. Since our family doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, we, as adults, ignored the decor. Our inquistive son Shai (21 months), who notices everything around him, saw a cupid. His immediate response was, “Ha yeled ratz im kippah,” or “the boy is running with a kippah.” We praised him for his ability to communicate so clearly to us and went on with our task at hand never explaining anything more about the cupid.

What a blessing that in Shai’s world everything must fit into the foundation and life experience that his Abba and Imma have created. Just his simple statement shows how at 21 months old, he is being set apart from the world.

With the help of HaShem, may we, as his parents, continue to model for him a set-apart life. May Shai continue to take in life through his set-apart filters allowing worldly practices to be so foreign to him that he always sees HaShem and Godliness in all he sees and does. Of course, as Shai gets older, I pray for discernment for him to know HaShem’s ways from pagan, wordly ways.

May we all, as role models for our children and the next generations of Jewish believers in Yeshua, take caution as to what we allow to be part of the foundation and experience of our lives, from somet

hing as small as a picture of a cupid to separating ourselves/our families from man’s ways, so that we continue to set ourselves apart from the world for the service of HaShem.

Shavua Tov!
Rebbetzin Murphy

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Shema Israel!

Fifteen months ago my son, Yeshaiah, was born and the first words he heard outside the womb were from my husband; those words were “Shema Israel, Hashem Eloheinu, Hashem Echad!”  We knew that above anything, we wanted our son to have a strong foundation in the Jewish faith and know that Yeshua HaMashiach is our salvation.

As a co-sleeping family, Yeshaiah sleeps between my husband and I and thereby directly or indirectly participates in our nightly study of Torah and Halacha.  Every night before he, and/or we, go to sleep, we recite the Shema.  During the day we also recite the Shema with him.

This week, as we were preparing to sleep and my husband and I were enjoying some snuggle time with our son, I said, “Let’s say the Shema,” as I was exhausted.  Without missing a beat, for the first time, Yeshaiah sang out “Shema!”  Tears filled my eyes as he has incorporated the declaration of our Messiah-focused Jewish faith!  The next day, Yeshaiah pointed to a picture in our living room of the Messiah and said, “Yeshua.”

Each night this week he has continued to verbally participate in the saying of the Shema and last night he initiated saying it on his own when he was done reading and was ready to sleep.

What a blessing it is to see such a little soul daily declare Hashem as the one and only true God and to recognize Yeshua!

Click the link below to hear him.


Shabbat Shalom,

Rebbetzin Murphy

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My Toddler and the Mezuzah


Can a thirteen month old shape my behavior to be more observant of my faith and daily Halacha?  Absolutely!

Our family has mezuzot throughout our house. I most often attend to it when I enter and leave the home but I have to admit, until a few months ago, I could easily forget its message. Our toddler also attends to the mezuzot throughout the house every time he passes by them while in my arms! This in turn has caused me to remember the intention of the mezuzah–that I am to follow in Hashem’s ways in and outside my home–while doing the most basic chores of the day: putting away laundry, cleaning, changing a diaper, etc. Isn’t it interesting that Hashem entrusts to us the gift of an innocent baby and that baby causes us to draw nearer to Hashem in his learning and modeling of halacha?

If this basic following of halacha has caused this growth, what else might result from more observance? I’ll let you know what I continue to learn.


Rebbetzin Murphy

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