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Ep. 163 - Getting Ready for Yuntif with Balagan Be Gone

This week I'm chatting with Rebekah Saltzman, owner of Balagan Be Gone, about how to get ready for yuntif without the stress. I know you'll love her no-nonsense approach and will find something to take with you to make your holidays more enjoyable! 

More about Rebekah: Rebekah holds a degree in fashion design from Parsons School of Design, and for many years worked as a graphic designer. Rebekah’s passion for the environment and helping people improve their lives drove her to change careers and create Balagan Be Gone.

Rebekah’s straightforward approach to managing “stuff” and her no-nonsense ability to get to the heart of what is important combines with her people skills to help people get control of their lives through organization. By helping her clients streamline everything from clothing to papers to books and household goods, they have found that they get the most out of their possessions and stress less about managing it all. Her experience in moving her own household several times, in combination with her organization planning and doing has led her to specialize in working with clients who are facing a move, whether upsizing or downsizing. She has found that her skills extend to helping others with time management, as well.

She is the author of Organized Jewish Life and the podcast host of Journey to Organization, her monthly membership with the same name helps people declutter virtually in real time!

Follow Rebekah Here:


<00:00:00> Kayla Levin: Episode 163, Getting Ready for the Holidays with Rebekah Saltzman of Balagan Be Gone.

<00:00:40> Kayla Levin: All right. I am so excited to have you here. Joining me on the podcast. We've got a lot of ladies who are gonna get ready for the holidays, and if they're anything like me, they've got their head in the sand and they're hoping that someone just sweeps at the last minute and offers to clean and cook and do everything for us. So,

<00:00:56> Rebekah Saltzman: Well I can't do that.

<00:00:58> Kayla Levin: you're not?

<00:00:59> Rebekah Saltzman: I can help you. I wish

<00:01:02> Kayla Levin: I'm I'm, I'm bringing Rebecca on this week to talk. She's a, a professional organizer and much more. I think that that's, you'll, you'll give us more of an idea of the work that you do. So just so everybody knows, we're gonna start by talking about really just, I'm just gonna pick her brain.

<00:01:15> Kayla Levin: That's the truth. She's giving me a free coaching session. She thinks it's a podcast interview, about how to get ready for the holidays with a smile. And we're talking about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, but I'm sure that the skills you're gonna share are gonna be relevant, even if someone's listening to this at any point in the Jewish calendar.

<00:01:31> Kayla Levin: Right, exactly. and then afterwards she's actually just published a book. It is super exciting and there's much more, and she also has a membership program. So I'm gonna give her an opportunity to share a little bit more about that as well at the end of this episode, and we have a giveaway, so you're gonna have to listen to hear that too, but it's super awesome.

<00:01:51> Kayla Levin: Okay. So Rebecca handing it over to you.

<00:01:54> Rebekah Saltzman: Okay. I'm ready.

<00:01:58> Kayla Levin: We've got all the ages and phases here on the, How to Glow podcast. For me, I'm a mom, I've got five kids. Thank God with my youngest is three months old today. We're gonna be here.

<00:02:09> Kayla Levin: We're Baalei Teshuva we don't have parents that we go, actually, that's not true. My par my in-laws became from, which is very, very cool. So we probably go to them for some meals. But we're not traveling. They live nearby and we have people listening probably who haven't made Yuntif yet, and still aren't making Yuntif or maybe are making it for the first time.

<00:02:25> Kayla Levin: And we have people who are hosting children and grandchildren. No pressure, but can you give us something that could work for all of us?

<00:02:33> Rebekah Saltzman: Something for everybody. Okay. So I will just say this about myself is that I grew up religious and we went to my parents all the time or my in-laws all the time.

<00:02:48> Rebekah Saltzman: And I didn't really make a Yom Tov, for real, until we made Aliyah. So we had already been married for like, I don't know, 12, 13, 14 years. I didn't have anything and I basically had to start from scratch. But the thing is, is that what I found is no matter what position you're in, if you are just starting out, if you've been married for a while, if you are making your yo Tove or if you're going away, it doesn't really matter.

<00:03:19> Rebekah Saltzman: The key to staying on top of things is lists. List building is super important and a good list you'll be able to use from year to year. What I mean by that is when you can create. Menus when you can create shopping lists, when you can create, uh, sort of situations on how to, cook. So what I mean by that is the order of operations for cooking.

<00:03:50> Rebekah Saltzman: So for example, what do you cook first? What do you cook? Second? What can you prep while the first thing is cooking kind of thing. Like when you can sit down and plan that out, everything's gonna go a lot more smoothly. The same thing is true. Even if you are not making yo own toes, you still need to get yourself to the airport or get your car com you know, ready, whatever it is, the key is gonna be a checklist.

<00:04:13> Rebekah Saltzman: What do you do to get to where you need to get to, not feeling like, you know, you just got run over by a truck. Mm-hmm cause that's not a good feeling, you know, to go into any Yom Tov you know, you wanna be sitting at the table and feel like rested and calm and relaxed and. I find the best way to do that is to make a list.

<00:04:36> Rebekah Saltzman: Now, the best thing about making lists for packing let's say is that you can reuse and adapt them for every single trip you always are gonna take for forever and ever mm-hmm . So I just make, I advise my clients. I'm like, let's just make one spreadsheet. And every time you have a new trip, you copy the first trip onto a new tab and voila , you know, all you do is make edits for the season or for who's coming, or, you know, in case it's a little bit longer, a little bit shorter, but it's much easier to build off an existing list than to start from scratch every time.

<00:05:12> Rebekah Saltzman: And that is true in life. In general, any time you can make a template for yourself, things going forward in the future are gonna be easier. So if you are making Yom Tov, sit down this time, make a list of all the things you wanna cook, gather all the recipes in one place, make your shopping list. Then next year you don't have to do that.

<00:05:35> Rebekah Saltzman: All you have to do is execute the plan.

<00:05:37> Kayla Levin: I wanna talk about two things that I love about this, that you're saying. So, number one, we've talked before on the podcast about, planning versus execution and this idea of like, when you go to the grocery store and you don't actually know what you're making for the week, and you're like trying to make the decisions as you're executing by doing the shopping and you come home so exhausted because they're two different like modes of thought, right?

<00:05:58> Kayla Levin: So when you're sitting down making your list, what you're really forcing yourself to do is have that planning separate from the execution. So you're really like allowing both of them. And I think I'm glad you're pointing this out because in our prep for Yuntif sometimes we're in such a rush or we're so already nervous about time that we don't feel like we have the time to sit down and do that, but really it ends up saving us time.

<00:06:23> Kayla Levin: Right.

<00:06:24> Rebekah Saltzman: But the real reason why I think it ends up saving us time is not because it saves us time because you know, you're separating the task that too. But the real reason I think it saves us time is because it cuts back on our decision fatigue. So when you go to the grocery store and you don't know what you wanna make, and you have to.

<00:06:48> Rebekah Saltzman: Summon your imagination, that's really hard. That's double the decisions that you would normally have to make if you were just following a shopping list, because now you have to be creative and you have to execute the list. Mm-hmm . But when you pre-plan, you cut back on the decisions you need to make in a shorter period of time, you know, we only get a certain number of decisions that we can make every day, right?

<00:07:11> Rebekah Saltzman: Like there's a, a, a, a physical limit to, to how much we can actually decide every day before our brain is worn out. So when you can separate the tasks, it's easier for your brain to make those decisions for you. And you extend your brain power, if you will. Mm-hmm , which is, that's really huge.

<00:07:31> Kayla Levin: Yeah. Yeah. And I think, and I think on the other.

<00:07:35> Kayla Levin: I mean, it's kind of interesting cause we're talking about decisions, but that one of the things that I think is a resistance to sitting down as well, is a resistance to sitting down and doing the list is that you have to make the decisions, right? You can't keep fantasizing that you'll make every single dish you saw in Mishpacha magazine or that you, you know, will like magically get this more time.

<00:07:53> Kayla Levin: But you, you really have to sit and look at, okay, we need to actually create the meal or we need to make a decision of whether we're you're having people or not, or things like that.

<00:08:03> Rebekah Saltzman: Right. But it's a one time menu because you're gonna get to use this menu every single year for the rest of your life, for as long as you want.

<00:08:11> Rebekah Saltzman: Mm-hmm the thing is, is I get wanting to make a different menu. Every Chavis I get that. But for Yom Tov part of the beauty is. Is is the repetition from year to year, because part of the beauty is you come to grow to expect these certain foods. I'll give you an example. When I was growing up on Rosh Hashana my mom always made Cornish hens and stewed up this stew.

<00:08:39> Rebekah Saltzman: It was kind of like SIMIS, but not exactly. SIMIS with broad egg noodles. Now I love the Cornish hens. And I remember every year we would all fight about how much rice there was and that my mom never had enough stuffing rice to go, you know, with it. And that, that was everybody's favorite part and the stew, which I hated, but I still, to this day, whenever I conjure the image of Rosh Hashana that's what I think of my mom's Cornish hens and the stew.

<00:09:02> Rebekah Saltzman: Those things are symbolic for us and our families come to love and enjoy them. And it builds expectation or it builds excitement, really not expectation. It builds excitement for the foods of those holidays, but it also takes something off of our plate because we don't have to reinvent the wheel every time mm-hmm

<00:09:24> Rebekah Saltzman: So our families, even though you think that they might not be, our families are actually excited for these comfort foods of the Chagim and it's okay because. That's gonna make them so happy it's gonna make them, I think, in my opinion, it enhances the spiritualness of the Chag when you're expecting this food and, and it's delicious and you love it.

<00:09:52> Rebekah Saltzman: Do you know what I mean?

<00:09:53> Kayla Levin: Yeah, totally. You made me so excited. It's like really true. It's like, this is our version of the pumpkin spice latte. right. Like what would happen if one year Starbucks was like, we're gonna go a different direction is just gonna be cinnamon chai. Like, no, everyone would be really upset.

<00:10:07> Kayla Levin: At least in America. We don't have that problem here anymore. Right. But it's, you know, like it creates that nostalgia and that anticipation and, you know, for sure. And I, I feel like you're almost turning on its head. Like to me, I would think, well, Yuntif if it's so important, like it's so special, let's make sure that's where we really like show off as a cook.

<00:10:26> Kayla Levin: But you're saying, you know, have your fun and creativity on Shabbos every week when it's your normal week. But Y if we already have a lot on our plates and we wanna have the koach to daven and we wanna have, you know, like our schedules are, are. Wonky than normal. This is a better time for us to like, it's it.

<00:10:42> Kayla Levin: It's not necessarily well in a way it's less pressure because you know that these recipes work, you've made them look,

<00:10:47> Rebekah Saltzman: it's not that they're not special. Right. It can be special. It's just that you're not reinventing the menu.

<00:10:53> Kayla Levin: Yes.

<00:10:54> Rebekah Saltzman: And that's the difference, like there are special things that you only make for Yom Tov, and that's what makes them special.

<00:11:01> Rebekah Saltzman: Yeah. You see it's Cornish, hens and stew on Rosh Hashana it's it's, um, stuffed cabbage on Sukkot it's whatever, a certain kuggel on Pesach, like it's those things. And, and, and historically we have those foods. We only ate Hamentaschen on Purim. We only have Matzah Pesach. We, you know, you could make those things all year round, but then it minimizes the specialness at that time of the year

<00:11:27> Kayla Levin: hundred percent.

<00:11:28> Rebekah Saltzman: So, so it's, it's about reframing it a little bit. It's not that. Re- repeating is less. It's actually more, it builds anticipation. Like don't you get excited for Hamentaschen?

<00:11:41> Kayla Levin: Yeah, totally. I do.

<00:11:44> Rebekah Saltzman: right. I love that. Yeah. You know, and you can be creative within that. You know, you don't have to, you can, you can integrate new recipes yearly, but when the basics stay the same, you know, and definitely there are gonna be some years where you're, you might not be able to get something, so you'll have to shift and pivot, but when you have the bones already set up, it makes needing to shift and pivot easier.

<00:12:08> Kayla Levin: Mm-hmm okay. Let's talk about now. If someone's, let's say they're not the ones making Yuntif they're going away. Okay. So I love like the packing list makes a lot of sense. It's very similar things. Every time, you know, I said to you, before we start, I'm not organized like you are. So my thing is always, once I go on a trip, I'm relieved when I figure out the thing that I forgot.

<00:12:28> Kayla Levin: Cuz I only, I always forget just one thing. So once I know what it is, then I can stop worrying about what it's gonna be. Maybe I should be using your list right. Then I could be checking them off. But yes. Thank you.

<00:12:38> Rebekah Saltzman: Oh yeah, definitely.

<00:12:39> Rebekah Saltzman: Don't forget a gift because that's rude. Mm-hmm but uh, here's the thing. Even if you forget something, wherever you're going, you can probably go to the store and buy it. Right? like, if you forgot to bring over the counter medication, you can go to the drug store and get it. Or yeah. Maybe whoever you're staying at, has it, or a neighbor has it, like, there are ways to find what you need.

<00:13:03> Rebekah Saltzman: So even if you do forget something, don't beat yourself up about it because whatever it is, big a deal, it's not, yeah. It's something you can, you know, I was helping my neighbor pack today. Actually she's going away and she just had a baby and She was very, very worried, which happens to a lot of people.

<00:13:19> Rebekah Saltzman: They get a lot of anxious when they're they get anxious when they're traveling. And I said to her, I'm like, I'm sure your mother-in-law will be thrilled to buy you whatever you need for the baby. Once you get there, like in case you forgot something, or even if you didn't forget something like it's okay.

<00:13:32> Rebekah Saltzman: Even if you forgot something, there's the washing machine. You can always, you know, wash, whatever you need, and you can double up the clothes if she's not warm enough, like we're not talking about needing a winter coat, you know, and being prepared with only a tank top kind of situation. Like it's still in the middle of the seasons.

<00:13:50> Rebekah Saltzman: If it's a little bit chilly, you'd use an extra blanket and you, you know, triple a layer, her and she'll be okay, like, right. And I know that that's scary for a lot of new moms, so that's sort of a different category, but in general, wherever you're going, there's always gonna be somebody in the community who can lend you a hand or can, you can borrow something from, and there's local stores, wherever you're going, that you can always get what you need.

<00:14:14> Rebekah Saltzman: And so when you can reduce that panic in the anxiety, it's a lot easier to make sure that your trip is, you know, smooth because there's less to worry about. Like when you can remind yourself. It's gonna be okay. I always say to myself, like Hashem is taking care of it, even if I forget something, it won't matter.

<00:14:35> Rebekah Saltzman: Like it it's gonna be okay. And like, when I can take that off of myself, cuz I'm actually a really anxious person when I can actually take that off, like take off the responsibility on myself and like seed control to God. It's so much easier to manage my life in general. But definitely when these small things come up where it's like, there's nothing I can do.

<00:14:59> Kayla Levin: Right. And I think it's such a good point. By trying to be perfect. We're kind of trying to play God. Right?

<00:15:05> Rebekah Saltzman: We're not trying to be perfect.

<00:15:07> Kayla Levin: right. And so I love that with, you know, with your neighbor, what you did is you stopped and like, you didn't just see that she was stressed out.

<00:15:13> Kayla Levin: You were like, you figured out why she was stressed. Right. And I think that for, for a lot of us, you know, if anyone is feeling maybe, maybe a lot of people listening to this are not feeling so stressed, but if you are feeling stressed just to stop for a second and say, what is the actual thing I'm worried about?

<00:15:26> Kayla Levin: Is it not having enough time? Is it the, the, the flight? Is it, you know, like that you won't find anything that you wanna dress your kids in or yourself in or whatever, like actually identify what that thing is, because then you can move forward with it instead of just kind of accepting that you have to be stressed out because you're going into Yuntif

<00:15:44> Rebekah Saltzman: right. I think also it's important. Like it's, it's the identifying, but also finding something where you can let go of the need to be in the, in control. Mm-hmm because. Yes, there is an aspect of organization that is a certain level of control, but the beauty, the real beauty, in my opinion of being organized is that it allows for flexibility when situations get out of control.

<00:16:12> Rebekah Saltzman: So for example, if you know that you are extra prepared in a situation for the airplane, let's say if, if something does happen, you can reassure yourself because you're like, well, I was prepared for this and I can flex and I can pivot. Mm. So like with my friend, we were talking about, you know, clothing, I said to her pack, in addition to whatever you put in the suitcase, that's being checked, pack two, outfits for the baby and one for you and your husband this way in case, you know, she throws up or poops on you or something like that, you'll be able to have a change of clothes and you won't panic.

<00:16:47> Rebekah Saltzman: You know, you're prepared if the situation turns south mm-hmm and that's really the key where you get stuck somewhere or something like that. That's the key is it's about planning enough so that you can calm when you need to flex and pivot mm-hmm because that happens all the time because we make a plan and God's like, that's not the plan.

<00:17:11> Rebekah Saltzman: right. And there's nothing you can do. But when you have already gone through like possible scenarios, you are able to be like, okay, That wasn't the plan. I don't know what the plan is, but I know that I'm prepared for a lot of circumstances, so I feel comfortable and I can rely on Hasham in these situations and know that everything is gonna be okay.

<00:17:36> Rebekah Saltzman: Yeah.

<00:17:37> Kayla Levin: Yeah. I think this is a really important message cuz we have a lot of perfectionists in our, in our community. Right. And I'm saying How to Glow community, but you could also say maybe inside the frum community and it's so easy as a perfectionist to immediately turn it on yourself. Right. Something goes wrong.

<00:17:53> Kayla Levin: It's like, oh, what's wrong with me? I can, you know, I always mess up or whatever. Like I should have done it differently. And I think like part of remembering that you're not God, is that you, like, I like say to my kids all the time, I'm like, Hashem knows how to make malach him. If he wanted you to be perfect.

<00:18:07> Kayla Levin: It's not like he made a mistake. Like there was an issue like some secretary upstairs like sent you as a person, but you were really supposed to be a malach. Like you were meant to be a person, which means. Like, why are you so special that you get to be the one that isn't supposed to make mistakes? We're all supposed to make mistakes.

<00:18:20> Kayla Levin: Right. So I love, I think that this is just a great reminder for everybody going into it. That if, you know, things probably won't go exactly as you're planning. Right. And it's not about you and how good you are. It's just, that is the reality of being a human being.

<00:18:36> Rebekah Saltzman: And it doesn't it's, you're not bad if something goes wrong, right?

<00:18:39> Rebekah Saltzman: Yeah. That's also really important. You are not a bad person. You are fine. The key to these kinds of situations is learning from them. Mm-hmm . And when you can learn from them, what I have always found is I keep getting in situations. That I'm not learning, like the message from, if you see that you're in a situation where like the same thing keeps happening and it's so frustrating, whoa, dial it back for a minute because it's like, okay, what?

<00:19:07> Rebekah Saltzman: Then you can look at it objective, or you have to look at it objectively and say like, okay, this keeps happening. Where am I going wrong? What can I do to avoid this happening again? Because that is to me in my mind, something that is, you know, Amita we need to work on and correct and fix. But also just in general, like the point of these scenarios is for us to learn from them and not keep repeating them or to spread our wisdom and, you know, help other people with them.

<00:19:39> Rebekah Saltzman: And so whenever you're in a situation where it's negative, like when I sit in traffic, I'm like, oh, I'm sitting in traffic. And then I remind myself, I'm like, you know what? This is where I'm supposed to be. Right this minute. Mm-hmm whatever I'm. It it's setting me up for the next place I'm supposed to be, cuz I'm not supposed to be there until I arrive there.

<00:20:00> Rebekah Saltzman: Right. Mm-hmm , mm-hmm, when you can reframe that negative in your mind, first of all, the anxiety lessons, like significantly very quickly. And not only that, but it's a lot easier to cope with whatever situation you happen to be in at the moment. And I'm not saying that this doesn't take skill to, you know, do cuz it does.

<00:20:22> Rebekah Saltzman: It took me a long time and a lot of practice mm-hmm to be able to say that to myself and I still have to say it to myself, you know, like, okay, this is where I'm supposed to be like. Right. Whatever happened.

<00:20:35> Kayla Levin: But it's it's so I'm so glad you're saying that because. It's not just a personality type. It's not like some people are able to accept it.

<00:20:42> Kayla Levin: And some people aren't, it is a skill and you develop it and you work on it over time. One of the things that helped me the most, and this is like the work that I, we, you know, do inside of How to Glow and in the coaching that I do, which is always to watch the thought and see what it ends up like having you do.

<00:20:58> Kayla Levin: And so one thing that you mentioned, which is, you know, it's so important to learn, like the most important thing is to learn from it. So that next time you can do something differently. And what happens when we beat ourselves up is we're turned off from learning, like our ability to learn. It gets derailed because we're so busy feeling inadequate or right.

<00:21:17> Kayla Levin: Like, something's wrong with us that we actually then don't get the growth that we could have. For people who like, maybe it's not enough to say, oh, you shouldn't beat yourself up. You should be nice to yourself. It's like that doesn't land for everyone. It doesn't actually, it's not quite enough, but if they,

<00:21:33> Rebekah Saltzman: it's not a solution,

<00:21:34> Kayla Levin: it doesn't solve anything.

<00:21:35> Kayla Levin: It actually I'm gonna end up spinning in self hate instead of growing and learning kind of just,

<00:21:40> Rebekah Saltzman: what do I do instead?

<00:21:41> Kayla Levin: Let me just try something else. Like let's just try something else. Yes, exactly. Okay. So you're solving that. We we've talked about the menu, which is amazing. We've talked about packing and also like dealing with anxieties.

<00:21:52> Kayla Levin: I've got two more things that I think might be coming up for people that I wanna address. Number one. Okay. Trying to decide which one to go first. It doesn't really matter. People who feel women who feel like they're barely making it through the week as it is a regular week is already too much. So how in the world.

<00:22:10> Kayla Levin: I mean, again, you're not Mary Poppins for us. You're not gonna swoop in and take care of everything so we can go cook. But you know, what would you say to someone who feels like, how am I supposed to also get ready to go travel or also this, or also that, or maybe have more work because I'm gonna be taking days off or whatever, you know?

<00:22:27> Kayla Levin: There's definitely people who are feeling that way right now. So what would you say to them?

<00:22:31> Rebekah Saltzman: First of all, that's a great, great question. First of all, if you're making Yom Tov yourself, then you can cook on Yom Tov . You don't have to have everything this year, especially you don't have to have everything prepared beforehand.

<00:22:47> Rebekah Saltzman: Okay. You just need to have everything purchased. And even if you forget something, I bet your neighbor has some extra mm-hmm so don't worry about that. But like, you don't have to worry about. Getting it all done before. Mm-hmm, the things that need to be done before are the things you can't do on Yom Tov. So if there's something you wanna use the food processor for, let's say, or if you don't wanna leave a burner on, on your stove top, let's say, but you're willing to leave the oven on, you know, you can work within those, those realms, figure out what needs the food process or what needs the stove top, make those things.

<00:23:28> Rebekah Saltzman: And, uh, you know, just cook everything in oven. Additionally, you can prep and freeze. So I always tell people, I'm like, if you're making a roast for Shabbos just make two and put one in the freezer and then it's ready for Yuntif or if you're making Challah for Shabbos this week, then double the recipe at over the next few weeks, every week, and then for Yuntif all of your challahs will be already baked.

<00:23:54> Rebekah Saltzman: You see? So like when you can double up, and when you can say I'm okay with making some salads or whatever on yom tov, that's gonna be easier. Now I will just say, I understand the desire to wanna have everything done before Yom to so that you're not standing in the kitchen, but if that's not possible, that's not possible.

<00:24:15> Rebekah Saltzman: And you do the best you can. And that's why it's allowed to cook on Yom Tov. Right? So that's, that's the first thing if you're going away. I think it's important to remember that while traveling is very, very stressful, it's a lot less planning then cooking and shopping and meal planning and guests and cleaning up.

<00:24:40> Rebekah Saltzman: So take that in for a minute. Once you get to your destination, you know, you're there and that's it, right? So like obviously you wanna be a good guest and you wanna be helpful and pitch in and you know, that kind of thing, but. That's you know, one thing, but whatever you can do leading up to Yom Tov to lighten your load, do it.

<00:25:02> Rebekah Saltzman: There's no shame in outsourcing for pay. There's no shame in making your kids. If they're old enough chip in, there's no shame in not going shopping and ordering everything online. There's no shame in, in any of it.

<00:25:21> Kayla Levin: Buying premade food,

<00:25:22> Rebekah Saltzman: every yeah. Buying premade food. That's a great one. It doesn't matter.

<00:25:27> Rebekah Saltzman: It's okay. The point is not how beautifully, you know, I made every single Roset on the plate. Like I don't need to do that. The food is gonna be delicious. Our family is gonna be together. We're gonna be able to talk to God. That's all we need to do. Like mm-hmm you don't have to make it bigger than it is.

<00:25:48> Rebekah Saltzman: Like. Sometimes, sometimes simple is really, you know, less is more simple is, is the easy way to go. But it also doesn't take away from the experience just because it's simple, there is beauty and simplicity, and so you don't need to kill yourself to, or be on the verge of wanting to kill yourself. to, to have a beautiful young Yom Tov and fulfill the mitzvah beautifully.

<00:26:20> Rebekah Saltzman: Like I understand everybody's like, okay, he mitzvah, you know, we wanna beautify the mitzvah, but again, beauty is on in the eye of the beholder. If you think it's beautiful, if you were doing more than what you could do, it doesn't matter if it's not the same as somebody else. One of the things that really, really bugs me is the keeping up with the Cohens.

<00:26:42> Rebekah Saltzman: Like mm-hmm, . We don't need to worry about what our neighbors are doing. They do what works for them. We do what works for us. And everybody's happy when you keep your eyes on your own paper, you know, like

<00:26:56> Kayla Levin: Mah Tovu

<00:26:56> Rebekah Saltzman: Yeshar right. Like yeah. You don't have to worry about what somebody else is doing. Yes.

<00:27:02> Rebekah Saltzman: That's not you, that's not your family. Those are not your values. Focus on what is important to you. Figure out how you can simplify that. And that is why, you know, like repeating menus are worthwhile. Listen, even for Shabbos I think making a four week menu is totally worthwhile. because it's enough variety and you don't have to personally, we make basically the same thing every week for Shabbos.

<00:27:26> Rebekah Saltzman: Yeah. You know, we have like a couple varieties, but you know, I don't have time to plan, elaborate meals every single week. Is it special? Yes. My kids look forward to the Shabbos food all week. Mm. Like they're looking forward to the chicken soup and the Challah and the roast. Like, it doesn't matter that we make the same thing every week.

<00:27:42> Rebekah Saltzman: If you wanna do something special and that's not okay for your family and that's not what you do, or if you love being in the kitchen, or if you have time to be in the kitchen, do it. I'm not saying don't do it. I'm just saying, make your expectations reasonable and attainable. Because if you don't, if you're not able to achieve your goals, you're not gonna achieve them.

<00:28:01> Rebekah Saltzman: And you're gonna feel bad about yourself in the meantime, which doesn't help you. It doesn't help your family. It doesn't help your marriage. It doesn't help your relationship with anybody, your friend, your family, yourself. Like it. There's no benefit.

<00:28:13> Kayla Levin: Right. I love just thinking about like, oh, that's for when I'm a safta.

<00:28:17> Kayla Levin: Like when I see something I'm like, oh, I'm gonna have so much fun cooking that when I'm a safta and there's nobody. Yeah. That's a great way to look at it, you know? And I'm just like, that's, I'll put it on my mental to-do list of like that that's the type of thing I'll have. There'll always be warm muffins.

<00:28:28> Kayla Levin: Like I would love to have all those things, but that's not my life right now. And I've like, when we choose our prior our priorities intentionally, then it makes it so much easier. And I think that sometimes we're, we're stressed and overwhelmed about time. And it's really just, again, following the thought so much of the time when we're stressed and overwhelmed, what do we do is we go do something that completely wastes time.

<00:28:48> Kayla Levin: We have even less time on our hands, but if we just sit down and say like, what, what, what is actually on my schedule? What is actually possible for me? Okay. Like I have three hours to prepare for all of Rosh Hashana let's say, so what am I gonna do? What's gonna take me three hours. That's it. And we're just, we're deciding ahead of time.

<00:29:05> Kayla Levin: We're not in this sort of fantasy land of resisting and hoping things will change. We're just making the decision. And then from that place, we're able to move forward where if we're just in this place, I'm like, oh, I'm just always so overwhelmed. I'm always so stressed. Again, I like the way that you're thinking and like, I almost feel like everyone could just download your, your voice into their head of like, okay, well, what can you do?

<00:29:23> Kayla Levin: Do we just need to make it simpler? Do we just wanna cook on Yuntif like, let's just get really scientific about it so we can dial down the emotions and just make some decisions and then we're able to move forward.

<00:29:34> Rebekah Saltzman: Right? It's it has nothing. There's nothing emotional about this. There's no, there's no score.

<00:29:42> Rebekah Saltzman: You know, like I think part of the problem, listen, I always call myself a recovering perfectionist. Like mm-hmm, like, I love it when things go perfectly, who doesn't everybody does, but it's it's about what is perfect. Right? I think a lot of the time is we think what's perfect is what our neighbor is doing rather than what is perfect for us.

<00:30:06> Rebekah Saltzman: So when you can sit down and say like, this is what I'm expecting to happen, like when you can clearly figure out. X, Y, and Z. What this day is gonna look like what this day is gonna look like, what this day is gonna look like. It's so much easier to, to just be present and to get those things done, because it's clear to you what needs to happen.

<00:30:32> Rebekah Saltzman: Mm-hmm and for a lot of people say this, there's a lot of people in, in my tribe who are ADHD mm-hmm and they're falling down the rabbit hole of going from one thing to the next that's really, really hard. And that's why for, for, for people who have ADHD or other, neuro divergent, yeah, yeah. I think it's really, really important to be clear about what needs to get done.

<00:31:06> Rebekah Saltzman: What are, this is the key. Here's the key. If so, and this is for everybody, it's not only what needs to get done, but what are the steps to do it? Mm-hmm so, and this is where I think most organizers get things wrong because it's not just the list of what needs to get done. It's breaking down the task. So when you're making, I don't know, peanut butter and jelly, what are the tasks that need to get done to make the peanut butter and jelly?

<00:31:39> Rebekah Saltzman: You need to take the bread outta the refrigerator. You need to take the jelly out of the fridge. You need to take the peanut butter out of the cabinet. You need to get out a knife. You need to get outta plate for people who are. Procrastinators for people who are neuro divergent. Right. That's the correct, I think.

<00:31:55> Rebekah Saltzman: Yeah. Yeah. For people who, who have issues in that realm, and the truth is, is even for regular people who have big tasks, that they don't know how to accomplish, mm-hmm, writing down all the steps helps you. So if you make your to-do list into a recipe, think about like the good recipes that are like turn on your oven first, right?

<00:32:16> Rebekah Saltzman: Yes. And preheat the oven and you need all of these tools to make this recipe. And like, that's a good recipe. So that's the key is your to-do list should be like a recipe, so you can have the main task and then you have the subtask bullet pointed underneath it. And that really helps you figure out. All the steps.

<00:32:38> Rebekah Saltzman: And what I found is is that there's a couple of kinds of procrastination, but the main kinds are, I don't know how to do it. I don't have the tools to do it, or I don't, you know, wanna do it. It's too emotionally heavy. And I find that the people who have the it's too emotionally heavy are mainly in the, I don't have the tools and I don't know all the things I need to do to get it done.

<00:33:03> Rebekah Saltzman: So that's why have what you're saying? They sort of right. They sort of overlap because you don't have the tools or you, you aren't sure exactly what to do. Mm. Because when you break it down and making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, right, it's only gonna take you a couple of minutes to do everything, even include the cleanup, but because you don't understand the scope of the task, and obviously this is a simplified task, but I'm talking about for bigger tasks.

<00:33:27> Rebekah Saltzman: I once heard this example, which is a really good example. Somebody wanted bookshelves in their house and, They've been putting it off and putting it off and putting it off. Well, why were they putting it off? Well, because they didn't know what size to order. Right? Well, that's a really easy fix.

<00:33:41> Rebekah Saltzman: Right? You just get out the measuring tape and you measure them and you go online to Ikea or, you know, wherever and you order them. Right. And then you hire handyman or you do it yourself, whatever. But, but this, the blockage wasn't that she didn't really desperately want the shelves. It was that she didn't take the time to sit down and measure it because she didn't realize that she could or whatever.

<00:34:02> Rebekah Saltzman: Right. So, so interesting. So if you can list out the things that need to go with the task, then you can see if this is something you can actually do yourself. Or if this is something you do need to outsource, because if a lot of the tasks on your lists are house cleaning, let's say, well, when you understand what's involved, you're gonna know if you need a professional or if it's a DIY job.

<00:34:25> Rebekah Saltzman: So like, if you wanna have your carpets cleaned, frankly, that's not something I would ever do myself. Even if I could rent a shampoo, right. It's not worth the time that it's gonna take me to go to Home Depot, rent a shampoo, figure out how to use it, then do it and return it. Right. But it is worth it for me to figure out who's good at their job and hire someone to do it so that I don't have to do it.

<00:34:46> Rebekah Saltzman: Mm-hmm . And just either when they're there. You see? So like when you can figure out the next level, drill down a little bit more in your to-do list, it makes it easier.

<00:35:01> Kayla Levin: That's a great point.

<00:35:01> Rebekah Saltzman: And any, and anything that you need to do. And this is what most people miss when they're trying to get organized.

<00:35:08> Rebekah Saltzman: And so if you take away nothing else from today, take a take, take away this, like the drill down on your to-do list is gonna be key to actually getting things done.

<00:35:19> Kayla Levin: I love it. When we do our execution list for making Shabbos, I tell them when to put in like, okay, not step number 10 or something, find a place where you put in, go get a glass of water.

<00:35:30> Kayla Levin: And I said like, and also you need like, when you're gonna eat, like if you're gonna have, you know, a marathon cooking session or something like put in the breaks as well, because sometimes we even just. We'll we'll fly all the way through.

<00:35:41> Rebekah Saltzman: Oh, I always tell my clients to build in buffers because, so if you think that a task will take you 30 minutes, I always tell people to buffer an extra 15, because even if, and like, don't start your next task on your calendar for 15 more minutes.

<00:35:56> Rebekah Saltzman: Because even if it only takes you 25, you're not in a rush, then you could go to the bathroom or get a drink of water or have something to eat or answer an email or something like that. And then you can start the next task mm-hmm and you'll still be on schedule, or you could start the next task early and just keep going.

<00:36:11> Rebekah Saltzman: But like, right. But that's really the key. So like, one of the other things is when you are cooking, and we sort of touched on this a little bit, but I think it's, it's worth going into a little more detail is when you're cooking. It's worth it to sit down for a minute and figure out what is the order of operations and cooking.

<00:36:31> Rebekah Saltzman: So what makes sense to make first, second, third, because what do I like? What's the longest cooking time. So I always use my example of perm when I make a Turkey. Okay. So getting the Turkey in the oven is premium because it takes, uh, a long time to cook, right? So I gotta get that in the oven. And then once that's in the oven, I can start prepping all the other, the next things that need to go in the oven.

<00:36:56> Rebekah Saltzman: And then when those last things are going into the oven, then I can do the salads because

<00:37:02> Rebekah Saltzman: things are cooking the oven. So now I have time to start the clean up, get the salads done and, and, you know, work in that way. But when you take a few minutes just to plan it out, it's so much less stressful because you always know the next step. And when a phone call happens or someone breaks something, it's a lot easier to get back on track.

<00:37:24> Rebekah Saltzman: When, you know what the next step is gonna be like, oh, that's where I left off. Yeah. Yeah. And that's really what it means to be flexible is the planning gives us the ability to handle all the dips that come. And it also allows us to be able to prioritize. So let's say it's erev Yom Tov and you didn't cook everything that you wanted to cook or you to get into the oven.

<00:37:54> Rebekah Saltzman: And then you cut yourself, chas veshalom and you can't stop the bleeding. Right? Well, all the proteins are made. The only thing you didn't make was a salad. So you can focus on your finger and you can make the salad.

<00:38:06> Rebekah Saltzman: and it's gonna be okay if you make 'em, you know, while everybody's at sch or a little bit later, like that's

<00:38:12> Kayla Levin: okay. You know what to move, like, you know what

<00:38:14> Rebekah Saltzman: exactly need don't you know, where you can, right. If there's anything that you wanna prep beforehand, like if you wanna juice all your lemons in advance, let's say, or like the messy stuff.

<00:38:24> Rebekah Saltzman: A lot of times I tell people like prep the messy stuff early. So that like, when you're just chopping vegetables, that's easy, but the dressing, you don't wanna squeeze the lemons all over into whatever, like, right. So that's key. The other thing that's really key in the planning that way is, or is that helpful when you're planning that way is you can see the duplicate tasks.

<00:38:46> Rebekah Saltzman: And what I mean by that is you'll be able call for duplicate items and deal with them one time. So if three of your recipes call for chop parsley, you just chop it once at the beginning. Yep. Put half put, you know, the two thirds of it to the side for the other recipes or however much you need for the other recipes.

<00:39:09> Rebekah Saltzman: And that part of the recipe is done. Yep. The same is true. If you need to juice a lemon for every single salad, you're making juice five lemons all at once, right? Like why would you start and stop? It's easier to just get it all done at one time than it's done. And part of your preparation is, you know, moving forward and when you get to that step, you're gonna be like, well, that was much easier than I thought it was gonna be.

<00:39:35> Rebekah Saltzman: And that's a, that's the part of organization that most people miss out. It's those little, little cheats hacks. Mm-hmm that make things easier.

<00:39:46> Kayla Levin: Okay. I love it. That's amazing. You got kind of into this territory already with the last question, but the last thing I wanted to ask was what about PE?

<00:39:55> Kayla Levin: Like if you were to say to me, it's funny, cuz O I've had other people describe me as organized. I think that's cuz I used to be an elementary school teacher. So in some ways, like I, I need everything visual. I need lists, I need checklists. I need everything, you know? And so people come into my house and they can see like, oh wow, that's you make the same, you know, you have these systems in place.

<00:40:14> Kayla Levin: But if you were to ask me if I'm organized, I wouldn't consider myself organized because there's okay. A messy garage and there's a mess on my desk and things like that. And so sometimes it's like, almost like you, could you lose someone even before we get started, if the person has the belief about themselves, but I'm just not an organized person.

<00:40:29> Kayla Levin: Like what would you say to someone who just was like, look.

<00:40:32> Rebekah Saltzman: So I believe that organization is a learned skill. I definitely didn't start out the way I was today. And through trial and error, I've learned lots of tips and tricks. And I definitely talk about that in my book. Like I. I didn't know what, no one, no one is born knowing everything.

<00:40:50> Rebekah Saltzman: Do you know, like we learn and like we learn from other people, but we also learn from ourselves and we see, and, and this helps us move forward. Let me ask you a question when you are ready to get your desk tidied up. Can you do it? Is there a place to put stuff?

<00:41:09> Kayla Levin: Yeah.

<00:41:11> Rebekah Saltzman: Okay. For the most part. So then, so then probably your problem is not really that you're not an organized person.

<00:41:17> Rebekah Saltzman: It's probably just that you have too much stuff. Mm-hmm and I think that that is a differentiation that most people don't distinguish. It's not that you're disorganized because we all have a natural tendency for organization. Some of some people have a more, well, you know, rounded, more purposeful, you know, sense of it, but like, Everybody has it, but it's a more developed.

<00:41:44> Rebekah Saltzman: That's the word I was looking for. Uhhuh. Some people have more developed or better developed executive function than other people or organizational skills than other people, but everybody can develop them. And it's important. And especially with children that we teach them how to develop them, the difference between having. Good organizational skills. And I don't even really wanna call them good. Organizational skills will say executive functioning mm-hmm and being, or considering yourself organized is not actually about the skill level.

<00:42:13> Rebekah Saltzman: It's about the amount of stuff you have. So just like you have a certain amount of decisions you're able to make every day, there's a limit to how much stuff you can have before it becomes too much stuff. And, you know, Pirkei Avos says more possessions, more worry. Right. So I, I, I believe that that's true. We think today, like the more we have the better, right?

<00:42:36> Rebekah Saltzman: We're we're in this more is more society, but actually more doesn't really make us better. We look at. Having less is like, oh, she's poor. Right? mm-hmm but no, , that's not it. And when you can reframe that in your mind and say like, okay, it's okay. If I have less stuff, it's gonna help me on my day to day level, that's gonna be a game changer for you, for you.

<00:42:58> Rebekah Saltzman: My bet is that it's the sheer amount of stuff. It's not your level of capability.

<00:43:05> Kayla Levin: Yeah. And you're totally right. Because when we made aliyah three years ago, we didn't make a lift. We only brought what would go in suitcases and we had, and didn't feel great. Oh my gosh. And my house was like, never messy.

<00:43:18> Kayla Levin: Each of my kids got a little carry on and we said, whatever, you wanna bring that you can fit into this carryon. And they like, we're fine with it. Like not saying was their absolute favorite activity, but. They really liked the carryon. So that's probably why it was good. Um, and, and that's what we took and, and cleanup was easy, you know, but we've been here for three years now and we don't get rid of as much you accumulate in and you accumulate, but

What are Power Hours?

<00:43:43> Kayla Levin: this is a very good segue into what are power hours

<00:43:50> Rebekah Saltzman: Okay. Cause I'm I'm

<00:43:51> Kayla Levin: 99% sold already. So if anyone wants to join, you'll see me there.

<00:43:57> Rebekah Saltzman: okay. So everybody said to me, powers hours dumb. How are they gonna work? It's so stupid. How can you help if you're not standing there? Mm-hmm because the thing is, is that most people again have the innate understanding of how to be organized.

<00:44:19> Rebekah Saltzman: They know it in their core, but they're standing in their disgusting, messy room saying. Oh, my God, where do start?

<00:44:27> Kayla Levin: That's it. anyone who's listening. If you go to YouTube, if you'll see the face,

<00:44:34> Rebekah Saltzman: it's like, oh my God, where, where can I start? Right? Yeah. Like I don't even know where to begin. Okay. So that's what I can do when we are working together online.

<00:44:45> Rebekah Saltzman: When you join a power hour, I'm, I've already seen your space. So I know exactly what to tell you to start with. And then you joined this one

<00:44:53> Kayla Levin: on power hour is one on one, or you're projecting with a group

<00:44:56> Rebekah Saltzman: of it's a group session. Yeah. And the beauty of the group is that everybody is in the same situation as you are.

<00:45:02> Rebekah Saltzman: And so their strength, knowing that you are not alone yeah. That there are all these people all over the world working on improving their lives, with you. And that energy, you can feel it. It's like it's palpable. You can really, really feel it. It's amazing. And

<00:45:22> Kayla Levin: I just wanna get that. Like I finally realized that I, I started decluttering when my cleaning lady comes.

<00:45:27> Kayla Levin: She comes once a week and I'm like, just having, knowing that there's someone in my house who's like upstairs doing something there makes it like, I feel like there's it's it's I don't know. There's like an energy list. It's easier to work when you're with somebody else. A hundred percent, a hundred percent.

<00:45:42> Rebekah Saltzman: The key also is when you do the power hours, you'll spend less on your cleaning lady. I know that sounds crazy. But when you, I would say the biggest complaint I hear about cleaners is not that they're not good it's that they don't get the list finished and that's because they're putting away all your junk.

<00:46:00> Rebekah Saltzman: Yep. And they're not putting it in the right place because they don't know where it goes because you haven't set an actual place for it. So what you're gonna do is you're gonna make your cleaner's job so much easier, but you're also gonna make your life better because they're gonna be more productive and efficient as well.

<00:46:16> Rebekah Saltzman: So the key to power hours is that I am there holding you accountable. Now I have people who don't declutter on the power hours. They come with their work and they just want me to check in on them every 15 minutes. They send me a list of all the tasks they're gonna do. I recommend which task I think they should do first based on the timing.

<00:46:34> Rebekah Saltzman: And they get their task list.

<00:46:37> Kayla Levin: Wow. And this is also amazing for people with, I see why you work with a lot of people at, because it's totally amazing for you. It's proven things for people with ADHD is just having, you know, a, a buddy who's next to you doing the same thing, right.

<00:46:48> Kayla Levin: Would you like, what can kids go on power?

<00:46:51> Kayla Levin: Like what if a kid,

<00:46:51> Rebekah Saltzman: oh, kids come on all the time. Really? The thing about kids though, is that it depends on their age. Yeah. So, so all, I would say 50% of my members have smaller kids. Mm-hmm and almost all of them have been on with them at some point or another mm-hmm kids have a limit though. Most kids, especially the under 10 crowd, can't do more than 30 minutes.

<00:47:19> Rebekah Saltzman: So if you do wanna come on with a kid, you, yeah. And if you're ever doing an organizational task with your child, which you should, you should always help your child organize. I mean, I have three teenagers. They're gonna be 14 at the end of this month. And I have an almost 16 year old and I still help them declutter because at the end, at the end of every season, we go through their clothes and we figure out what they need.

<00:47:40> Rebekah Saltzman: They still need me for that. But now they're at the point where they can do their regular cleanup by themselves because now they know how to do it because we've created systems. But at the beginning, you're gonna have to keep doing it with them, even older kids, because. They're not trained. They need training, just like we need you, but certainly exactly, exactly.

<00:47:59> Rebekah Saltzman: Certainly a child who is over 12, you know, the 12 to 17 sort of crowd could definitely come on for an hour by themselves, you know, with, you know, simultaneously. So I have a mom working in one room and a kid working in another room and that's fine. And, but like so many moms tell me, they're like my kids know when I'm doing power hours and they're so happy.

<00:48:22> Rebekah Saltzman: And the shift in the house is, is really enormous. But what a lot of my members tell me is they like the model because they're learning how to do it themselves. Mm-hmm. Like I'm there and I'm guiding you and I'm walking you through this difficult time period for you and I'm keeping you on track. But what they tell me is like, it's so much easier for them now that they've been with me for a couple of months, because they're like, now they understand the order of operations a hundred percent

<00:48:53> Kayla Levin: and it also becomes the way you think.

<00:48:54> Kayla Levin: Right? Exactly. Exactly. I'm the same way with coaching. Like, I don't wanna just come on and ask you great questions. And then now you have a, an aha moment, but the next time you have a problem, you need to come back to me and a, and I'll ask you questions. I wanna teach you, how do you operate your brain? So the next time you have a challenge, you're like, Hey, maybe I can actually use that tool that I learned.

<00:49:11> Kayla Levin: So it's a hundred percent. It's the internal clutter and the external clutter. We make a great team. You and me yes,

<00:49:18> Rebekah Saltzman: I think so. We should definitely team up. Um, but I think that also what people don't realize is that a lot of people are like, well, I should know how to do this myself, but if you never learned, why would you know that.

<00:49:34> Rebekah Saltzman: And I think people are very, very hard on themselves. So like, if you needed help at the gym, like, just because you're 40, does that mean that you know how to use every piece of gym equipment? No. You get a trainer mm-hmm and they show you how to maximize right. For your body, all the equipment. Right? The same thing with nutrition.

<00:49:54> Rebekah Saltzman: Okay. Yes. We should know how to eat when you're 35 or 40 or 50 even, but maybe you don't, maybe you didn't have a good teacher. Sometimes our parents are doing the best they can. It's not, they're doing the best they can. And we're forgiving them for that. Right. But like, it, it didn't get us where we, but they're strong to go.

<00:50:13> Rebekah Saltzman: Yeah. Right. So, so we need to take matters into our own hands and we need to get the help that we need from wherever we need it, whatever the problem is for. So just because, you know, you need help, you shouldn't feel bad. Don't feel bad. Also, the way that we live today is not the same way that people lived a hundred years ago.

<00:50:32> Rebekah Saltzman: We have. Probably a hundred times more stuff than people had. Even 25 years ago, we have more stuff and we keep stuff for longer.

<00:50:48> Rebekah Saltzman: There's a limit to how much you can have. And once you pass that limit, you don't know how to deal with it anymore. So you have to, you have to get help and you can't feel bad about getting the help that you need for whatever situation it is that you need

<00:51:04> Kayla Levin: help with. Yeah. And I think it's, it's a tremendous act of like self love to support yourself that way.

<00:51:10> Kayla Levin: Right. To just say like,

<00:51:11> Rebekah Saltzman: and to admit that you need the help. Yeah.

<00:51:14> Kayla Levin: Yeah. Let's get it. I'm like, no problem. Like we would do it for our kids in a heartbeat. Those of us who have kids. Right. You wouldn't be like, well, just get your sensory stuff under control. Like, no, right. Like, oh, they need a little support in this area.

<00:51:25> Kayla Levin: That's not a problem with them. I'm not blaming them. Right. Let's just get the support so they can like. Live their best life. That's what we want here. Yeah.

<00:51:33> Rebekah Saltzman: yeah. Amazing. And, and the thing is, is when you can get all the excess out of your life, if you can make the commitment right now to decluttering and organizing yourself in the long run, you will have more time, more energy.

<00:51:50> Rebekah Saltzman: And I wanna, I dunno how to say this in a way that makes sense, but like more love you're you'll care for yourself. More, your family will care for you for you more you're everybody will take care of the space a lot better because you'll show that you respect it because you showed like you took the time to respect it.

<00:52:11> Rebekah Saltzman: And like the level of Bayit Beis Hamikdash increases in the house significantly. And it's a huge shift emotionally and spiritually for a family. When you start to take control of the clutter and make a change.

<00:52:29> Kayla Levin: Very powerful work. It's very powerful work. You're doing. Thank you. Yeah.

The Book: Organized Jewish Life

<00:52:35> Kayla Levin: What about the book? Can you just take for a minute?

<00:52:38> Kayla Levin: Okay. Very cool thing. This book that you, this is my book it's called organized Jewish life.

<00:52:45> Rebekah Saltzman: Yeah. And, it, it actually has a companion planner, to get ready for Shabbos and Yom Tov. I wrote this book because when my mom died, we all knew she was gonna die. And I prepared myself. I read, you know, how to be a mourner in Judaism because obviously it's something I've seen in a big way, but not in a closeup way.

<00:53:07> Rebekah Saltzman: Right. So I, I read about how to do it. And then when my sister called me, it was in the middle of Corona and I was in Israel and they were in the us and I, I didn't, I didn't know how to translate what I had learned into. Practical application. And I said to myself, after I was done sitting, shiva I can't be the only one who, who can't figure out how to apply the Halacha in a practical way.

<00:53:33> Rebekah Saltzman: Hmm. And it happened to me in a sense where I was sitting shiva, but it could happen in any Jewish life cycle event. And it could happen before any hog. And it could happen in a lot of just day to day, things that need to get done in Jewish life. Right. So I'm like, I don't ever want anybody to feel. That way.

<00:53:54> Rebekah Saltzman: And the truth is that if I would've just handed my husband a list, he would've gladly done whatever I needed, but he had even less experience with death than I did. And he didn't really know what to do. And we were both, we both sort of felt like we were in the dark. So when I sat down, I, I wanted a way to honor my mom and I, I thought like, okay, I can go to school every day and say Kaddish.

<00:54:19> Rebekah Saltzman: And I started doing that and I'm like, this is not for me. , there's a reason why this is my brother's job and not mine. Right. And then I said to myself, like, okay, well I can learn something every day. But the truth is, is I already had a couple of learning projects, that I was doing daily. And I'm like, I don't think I have a bandwidth.

<00:54:40> Rebekah Saltzman: To learn anything else right now mm-hmm and you know, you're consumed by the grief, right. So I'm like, okay, how can I honor my mom? So first I'm like, okay, well I will write a checklist on how to, you know, get ready for a morning. I'm like, well, who's gonna want that. So then I increase the scope a little bit and I'm like, okay, well I will, write it about how to get ready for all the Jewish lifecycle events, because people ask me that all the time.

<00:55:03> Rebekah Saltzman: Right. And then I'm like, well, can't do Jewish lifecycle events without also doing Jewish holidays. Mm-hmm . And then as I was writing, I was like, well, so many people are like, well, how do I set up my I'm a Kallah, how do I set up my home? Um, or how do I decide if this is a good, you know, place to rent? Or a lot of people are just like, what are the things that I need when I'm moving?

<00:55:23> Rebekah Saltzman: Right. Mm-hmm so the third section in the book is called adulting and it's just love it, how to manage in day to day life in an organized way. And some of it is related to Judaism and some of it is not, but, For the most part,

<00:55:37> Kayla Levin: we're kind of just getting access to your brain and all the stuff that you've figured out.

<00:55:40> Rebekah Saltzman: Yes.

<00:55:40> Kayla Levin: It's like having a, like really helpful older sister.

<00:55:43> Rebekah Saltzman: Yes, exactly.

<00:55:44> Kayla Levin: Like here's how we're gonna get you ready for your move. I love that.

<00:55:46> Rebekah Saltzman: Yes. Yes, exactly what it's like, amazing.

<00:55:51> Kayla Levin: Any other parts of the book that you wanna,

<00:55:53> Rebekah Saltzman: You know, I wanna just say that another reason in, in the scope of the book. I, okay.

<00:56:00> Rebekah Saltzman: So when I was in high school, I took this class called the Jewish life cycle. And that was sort of the inspiration for this book. And part of the thing that I realized was. I was very fortunate and I had this great class in high school and I had a great teacher Mrs. Jacobi. But a lot of people don't have this class.

<00:56:16> Rebekah Saltzman: And even like at, at a BA, I mean, I went to a Bais Yaakov type school and it wasn't actually Bais Yaakov, but similar. And even at Bais Yaakov this is a very, very rare kind of class. And what I realized was that not a lot of people have this. And so they don't really understand, the joy that goes into a lot of these things, but Ms. Jacobi read an early draft and she's like, wow, I see some blockages behind the Mikvah . Oh, interesting. And so I'm like, okay. So I really she's like, it would be great if you could approach this section with a little more joy, so, wow. I'm like, okay, I'm gonna figure out a way to make this mitzvah better for me.

<00:56:58> Rebekah Saltzman: And. Hasham has his own way of working right. The next day I see an ad on Facebook join the, Mikvah attendance course from the Edin center. wow. And so so, so in order to learn more about the Mikvah, I became a balanit we call balanit in Israel Mikvah Attendant and I love the class so much that I also became a Kallah teacher wow.

<00:57:25> Rebekah Saltzman: From the Edin center. And what it did was it reshaped my perspective on mitzvah relating to marriage, Taharat Hamishpacha, right. Marriage. So there is a section about the Mikva and how to prepare yourself for the Mikva, um, in the book. But I also talk about.

<00:57:42> Rebekah Saltzman: The emotional aspects of how you can prepare yourself within an engagement and early stages or even late stages of your marriage. And there are sections in there about how to prepare yourself for pregnancy. And there are sections in there on how to prepare yourself if Chas Vshalom your pregnancy doesn't go full term.

<00:58:00> Rebekah Saltzman: Because what I found is that there is a very big lacking about talking about these kinds of things within the Jewish community. And we do a disservice to ourselves and our daughters, and our sisters and our nieces and cousins and everybody who we love, uh, when we don't create a space where women can talk about these things.

<00:58:23> Rebekah Saltzman: And so I hope that within, the book I've given you a space to. Understand that it's okay to reach out and talk about when things don't go exactly as, as they, as you planned, regardless of what the scenario is. But specifically how to prepare for those things, because we're not talking about them as a culture.

<00:58:46> Rebekah Saltzman: Right? What do you do if you Chas Vshalom are having a miscarriage or you have a stillborn? Yeah. What do you do in those situations? How can you emotionally prepare yourself? Obviously, no one ever wants that to happen. No one wants to get divorced. Right? Well, maybe some people want to, but like, you know, even if you want to get divorced, How can you do that?

<00:59:06> Rebekah Saltzman: So you can still walk away with your dignity intact mm-hmm and those, getting those things done is like, you need, you need, you don't have to follow the list to the T, but if I can just, you know, stimulate like one thing in your mind, like, oh, I should do that. I should, you know, get as much money as I can saved up before I walk out.

<00:59:25> Rebekah Saltzman: Right. Like, whatever. There's a lot of things in here. Take what you want and leave what you don't want. But even if it helps you do one thing a little bit better, then it was worth it. Yeah. And it's all Lilui Nishmat for my, for my mother and like, wow. It's to her it's to her great benefit that I, that I did this, I took, I mean, my mother was an excellent, excellent hostess.

<00:59:48> Rebekah Saltzman: And I took everything that I learned from her, the good and the bad. And I gave you everything that I, I know myself mm-hmm and I put it all in one place.

<01:00:01> Kayla Levin: And it's so great to just have that on, like you said, no one wants to get into these crisis situations, but just having it somewhere in your house, because once we're in that crisis, we are not ready to sit down and make our best list in that moment.

<01:00:14> Kayla Levin: Right. Like, exactly. We're dealing, we're busy dealing with the emotions in the crisis. And so having,

<01:00:18> Rebekah Saltzman: but you don't know how to research it.

<01:00:20> Kayla Levin: Yeah. And you don't know, and especially something like miscarriages, you know, you don't even know who to, you know, do you wanna just start asking around to find out who's had it a miscarriage and at what term, and you it's, you know, it, it, so I, yeah, it's great.

<01:00:33> Kayla Levin: Amazing, amazing. And it's again, like, it really just feels like it's like having that really wise older sister, just like, here's what we need to do. Here's what's gonna happen. And also as a Baalis Tshuva I can imagine that this would be extremely valuable, although it's interesting that you're saying very much so for FFBs too, you know, like you got here.

<01:00:52> Rebekah Saltzman: You know, I was talking to my best friend. Who's also an FFB and she, I, we were talking about Eruv Tavshilin. She, and I was like, I think in my whole life, I only saw my mom do it once. And when she was doing it, I was like, what? Because it's not something you do every Yom Tov, or like, I remember standing at the shop at the Yom Tov candles with my mother and be like, okay, Shehechiyanu tonight.

<01:01:13> Rebekah Saltzman: Yes. No. Maybe like, so there's charts in the book. Like when you say Shehechiyanu when you need hear I candle, when you make the a Eruv |Tavshilin there's, the Brachot in trans literation. So for those people who are just starting out, because my aunt who didn't grow up, religious said to me, she's like, listen, I can read the Brachot now.

<01:01:31> Rebekah Saltzman: But when I started out and I joined your family 60 years ago, I couldn't read Hebrew. And the thing was, was, I didn't know where to look to find those Brachos so if you're just starting out, this book is great. If you've, if you're an FFB, it's also great. Like there's something in there for everybody. And, it, it really, really helps you.

<01:01:49> Rebekah Saltzman: The, the thing is, is the reason why it's so good is because we don't know what we don't know. And even though I can't go through every single scenario of something that might happen. It can make you ask better questions when you're dealing with the professional. At that time, the doctor, the rabbi, the lawyer, whoever you have to deal with, when you sort of know a little bit more about the situation, it's easier to get the answers from those professionals that you need.

<01:02:19> Rebekah Saltzman: Um, because it gives you a little bit of background. Yes,

<01:02:25> Kayla Levin: yes. Amazing. Okay. I could go all day, but I know you're all day, then let's talk about the giveaway. Okay. So at, and that'll be linked in the show notes in case you're not sure how to spell that, but it's very phonetic.

<01:02:43> Kayla Levin: Um, then we will have a place where you can just put in your name and email. You will, first of all, get added to both of our lists so that you can find out what we're up to opportunities to work with us, but super fun. We have a giveaway. So, each of us are pitching something in Rebecca. Why don't you share what you, are including in the giveaway?

<01:03:00> Rebekah Saltzman: Okay. So for the giveaway, we'll be including one copy of organized Jewish life, one copy of the organized Jewish life planner, and one month membership to, the silver level membership. But anybody who subscribes to the, or enters the giveaway will also get a coupon, uh, in case they don't win .

<01:03:20> Kayla Levin: Oh, very nice.

<01:03:21> Kayla Levin: Or the membership. I do a coupon too. Let's do it. Okay, great. I'll you're making me up the antsy here. all right. And are these different, are the, those are three different prizes. Not like one person gets super spoiled or yes.

<01:03:35> Rebekah Saltzman: However you wanna do it.

<01:03:36> Kayla Levin: How should we do it? I think we should let three different people win.

<01:03:39> Kayla Levin: Okay, you can, they get to hear the process here while they're listening to the podcast. Okay.

<01:03:44> Rebekah Saltzman: I cool that it's a little behind, you can do it, however you like. All right. And should we

<01:03:49> Kayla Levin: vote? I will be including two, uh, three month memberships inside of the how Tolo community. Okay, awesome. And now that Rebecca just stop the anty.

<01:03:58> Kayla Levin: We will also include a coupon for, um, the first month of the, how to go membership. So, okay. So we're joining. I don't normally do these, but you're like, Kayla, we gotta do it. You're right. That's just way more fun. Why not give up well away? You get a, you get a

<01:04:16> Rebekah Saltzman: totally

<01:04:17> Kayla Levin: perfect, totally. All right. So I will also make sure to be linking your website, any of your, are you, like, are there special, like best places to find you that you want people to hear about?

<01:04:28> Kayla Levin: And

<01:04:29> Rebekah Saltzman: then I'll so I'm on Instagram, but I really would love it if you found me on TikTok, cuz I love, love TikTok. I have a Facebook's called

<01:04:36> Kayla Levin: work. What's is it a handle? What's TikTok. You gotta, I mean, I know what it is, but like

<01:04:39> Rebekah Saltzman: it's a handles Rebecca Saltzman. Yes. It's handle at Rebecca Saltzman. So it's R E B E K a H S a L T Z M a.

<01:04:46> Rebekah Saltzman: And we are also, oh right. We have a Facebook group it's called organizing in Israel. You don't have to live in Israel to join. It doesn't even necessarily help if you live in Israel. I mean, some of the questions are centered around Israel, but there are mostly, you know, towards, you know, being Jewish and religious, in general.

<01:05:06> Rebekah Saltzman: So it's a great, it's a really great, outgoing group and you will totally get lots of support there.

<01:05:12> Kayla Levin: Amazing. Okay. Thank you so much for coming on. I feel like I would love to have having another time and okay. Let's do it, but let's tackle the next holiday.

<01:05:21> Rebekah Saltzman: all right. Be well. All right. Thank you for having me.

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