Monthly Archives: September 2014



Yesterday I posted some common mistakes innocently made at the Mah Jongg table. Here’s a question from what we have to assume is an innocent mistake from a very new player (I can’t imagine an experienced player passing a Joker during the Charleston). This is from the current Mah Jongg Madness newsletter by Gladys Grad, the Grand Master of American-Style Mah Jongg.

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I’ve noticed a couple of game play mistakes lately that are made simply because the players don’t know the official rules of the game. I thought I would post the official rules concerning these issues (courtesy of Gladys Grad‘s Official Rules for Mah Jongg). I have a feeling that there are lots of other innocent mistakes that have been made at your Mah Jongg table – I would love for you to send them to me and I will post them. Continue reading


…and this is a perfect expression of how I am feeling today…




Several people have requested the recipes for the holiday cookies. Although not the prettiest cookies I have ever seen, I think these would be perfect not only for Rosh Hashanah but also for breaking the fast on Yom Kippur as they are not terribly sweet. And they also would be good for any Mah Jongg table!

According to The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews by Edda Servi Machlin, “There was a time when the law that prevailed was the ‘law of the stick.’ When landlords could not collect from poor tenants, they would evict them with the persuasive aid of a stick. The same treatment was applied to the Jews when they were no longer wanted in a community.”

“The Jewish fascination with depressing desserts in general, can be interpreted either as an attempt to dust a little sugar over bad memories–or to immortalize the centuries of oppression and scorn as if to say, ‘Even in the good times, we must remember the bad.’ Consuming a dessert that represents a negative experience inherently implies that the Jewish people have not only survived through the era of hardships, but thrived enough to have a little dessert. In other words, sfratti–like hamantaschen or haroset–are a tasty embodiment of the celebratory phrase: ‘They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!'”

Recipes follow… Continue reading


Well, I couldn’t be more excited – Eve Kahn, the antiques columnist for The New York Times, has written about our book, Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game – this article is in today’s issue of the newspaper – (scroll down to the section that starts with “The Game of Collecting”).




L’shana tovah to everyone!

Enjoy these wonderful Mah Jongg tiles created by Christoph Neimann. This Mah Jongg iconography is based on symbols of Jewish life.