We spent Shabbos by Mendel’s parents on South Main Ave in the Albany community, together with Rabbi Mendy and Devorah Leah Mathless of University Heights Chabad. Also joining us for Shabbos was a Queens College student named Zack F. interning for this semester at the NYS Assembly. Mendel’s sister Mushky was also home, as she is on break from Touro College in NYC. We couldn’t get over the fact that this is her senior year, and that she got all A’s last semester, and that she got an internship to the Rusk Institute.

It was a really nice Shabbos, and an enjoyable getaway for us. Dinner was over quite early on Friday Night but we stayed up shmoozing, reminiscing and discussing all kinds of things until long after midnight. Mendels’ mother told interesting family stories about when the kids were young, that were telling about how much changes (yet stays the same) even in one generation.

It was a brutally cold Shabbos. We bundled up in layers to go out. On Friday Night the temp was below zero plus any windchill affect pushing it farther below that. But we did make it to the Shteeble on New Scotland Ave for all the prayers by night and day, and after the morning service there was a nice Kiddush spread including a delicious hot-dog Cholent. It was cold even for Albany, and we felt bad that poor Zack got such an intensely cold first taste of our State Capital! But he was a good sport.

Rabbi Rubin shared segments from a new book published by Rabbi Moscowitz from Chicago with background information, historical and scholarly notes about the Rambam (Maimonides) and his works. It was interesting to see a human side behind the very accomplished and polished Maimonides, a little glimpse into his how his mind worked and why he chose to do things the way he did.

One of the dishes Mrs. Rubin made was a Za’atar dip, a middle-eastern specialty that ties right in to this week’s Torah portion. Za’atar is hyssop which many say is the biblical “Ayzov” plant. In this week’s Torah portion of Bo, Ayzvov (or hyssop) branches were used as the “brushes” to put the blood of the Paschal Lamb on the doorposts on the night of the Exodus.

Shavua Tov, a good week to all!