Sunday, March 31, 2019

Shalvati? Shalva Tea!

With Purim behind us, Pesach Preparations (and Procrastinations - like this blog post) are in full swing. For many, if not most, there's always at least a bit of stress until the holiday is finally in place and we all sit down to the Seder and breath that sigh of "Thank G-d, We Made It". In years past, I would find some serenity in the knowledge that "stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts" and I'd treat myself to a little something to get me through the next round of cleaning, shopping and cooking. But this year, I'm trying something new...
...Shalva Tea. Herbal Tea from the Land of Israel.
Today's Hebrew lesson:
"Shalva"= serenity
"Shalvati" = my serenity
Shalva Tea. Cute, right?
(This play on words is not mine. It is printed on the package - as you'll see below - but only works in a Hebrew/English combo because "tea" is pronounced "tay" in Hebrew!)

When we were in Israel in January, my dear friend, Shoshana, invited me out for coffee. Her daughter recommended that we visit the cafe in the beautiful, new, state-of-the-art Shalva building. Shalva is a non-profit organization that supports and empowers individuals with disabilities and their families in Israel. They provide therapies, activities and loads of love. When we lived in Har Nof, Shalva was a small neighborhood operation, started by local parents of a child with disabilities who wanted to help their son and others like him live a better life. (Read more here.) What a wonderful surprise to see what they have since accomplished!

It was a rainy day so I couldn't take pictures of the lovely sculpture garden outside. But when we entered the building, we were greeted by a huge, colorful butterfly mobile that fills the open, airy atrium.

The staircase up to the cafe offers one of the many meaningful messages that Shalva is all about...
One wall is dedicated to the smiling faces of their clientele
while another brought me to tears with this plaque:
Names of all the couples who met while working at Shalva.
But the piece de resistance was the workshop
where disabled young adults (photos of whom were not permitted) were filling little bags with I-wasn't-sure-what, sticking stickers on the bags, folding cardboard sheets into the shape of a box and...
I was so impressed by this assembly line and finished product that I went straight to the gift shop and stocked up for the folks back home - and one for myself, to save for this very occasion.

In the coming days and weeks, when I need a break from the Pre-Pesach Panic, I'll sip my Shalva Tea and Remember Jerusalem, the holy city about whom King David famously said: "...those who love you will be serene." (Psalms 122:6). May we soon enjoy a cuppa together in a peaceful, rebuilt Jerusalem.

Wishing you and yours Pre-Pesach SereniTea and a happy, healthy holiday when it arrives.


  1. That is so beautiful! First I read the staircase steps backward - then realized you have to start at the first step! Thank you for writing this for your "desserts" (great word either direction). Thank you for sending to us all.

  2. Beautiful! I am familiar with Shalva and with Shalva Tea. Thank you for sharing the tea and your experiences with the world. Looking forward to sharing a cuppa with you in our holy Homeland.

  3. Don’t forget about the Shalva Band which has accomplished so much and has performed in several countries - truly amazing!

    1. Yes!!! Thought about including them but if you click on the "read more" link to, they're right there on the home page and they're absolutely wonderful!

  4. Ooh I love tea and would love to have a cuppa of that shalva tea to do some serious soothing now! Anyone coming to Brazil soon?!! Very touching the plaque about the volunteers! Another great article Shprintz, thanks!! Pesach kasher ve'sameach.