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Welcome to SmallMiraclesTV! Our production team has worked long and hard to deliver episodes based on the fantastic true stories from the acclaimed best-selling book series written by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal. Our next episode that we are presenting is called "A Soldier's Note", the remarkable story of Capt. Robert Ellicombe in 1862 during the American Civil War.

While producing this episode we were lucky enough to have two Civil War regiments working with us, 125th NYVI Co. D located in Troy, N.Y and 124th NYVI Co. A "Orange Blossoms" located in Orange County, N.Y. Both regiments have the goal to honor the soldiers who have fought and died in the Civil War. Their dedication to this cause brings them to recreate battle scenes for the public in states like Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia and for film productions like SMALL MIRACLES.

During production, they came equipped with full uniforms and guns that were authentic to the period. They even worked as Technical Advisors to us on the project and helped the Art Department by supplying tents and other authentic items that our budget wouldn't otherwise allow us to obtain.

It is also worth noting that our bugle player, John Charles Thomas, is a member of the Grammy Award-winning Chestnut Brass Company, which performs music on original instruments. One of the sets of instruments is a set of 19th Century (Civil War era) saxhorns. The Chestnut Brass Company have long played music from the Civil War era on them, in addition to music of earlier and later on their respective instruments as well.

The bugle that Mr. Thomas was playing on the shoot was obtained for the filming from the Miller Musical instrument Collection of New York. It is a 19th century "clairon d'ordonnance" which is the type of military bugle (made in France) that virtually all of the US and CSA armies were outfitted with. Some of the instruments were made of brass, and some were copper. The instrument that he used was made of copper.

p>Some time ago Mr. Thomas took the instrument to the West Point Museum in West Point NY, and compared it to the bugle that sounded "TAPS" at Appomattox Court House by a member of U.S. Grant's company at the surrender of Robert E. Lee (the Army of Northern Virginia). The instruments are identical in construction, length, pitch, etc., the only difference being that the West Point bugle is made of brass.

So often in filmmaking the credit for a great piece of work lands on the lead Actors, Director, or Writer…and most of the time the accolades are well deserved. This time I felt that it was important to give proper credit to the two Civil War regiments and master musician John Charles Thomas. Without them it would've been impossible to accomplish what we did with our time and financial constraints. Filmmaking is a collaborative medium. It truly takes many specifically skilled individuals working in harmony for a common goal. Everyone who worked on this project deserves credit for their contributions to this episode…but without our Civil War reenactment team…it simply would not have worked.

This episode is dedicated to the many Men and Women of the Armed Service who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defending this great nation of ours. And to the Soldiers currently in service defending the United States from points all over the world, we salute you!

To everyone else who has viewed this episode, Thank you!….and remember that November the 11th is Veteran's Day... and Small Miracles happen everyday.
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A BRIEF GLOSSARY OF JEWISH TERMS AND NAMES


Compiled by R. Moshe Mones
(special thank you to R. Avraham Yaakov Finkel for the template of this glossary)

 

Below, is a list of important words/concepts that we'll need to know and understand to the best of our ability to deconstruct the Kabbalah of Small Miracles. Knowledge of Hashem (G-d... the Name we can use) and His Ways are of course beyond our limited human scope. (We'll get into the 'gender issue' as we continue). But Kabbalah and true Jewish 'Mysticism' can help us lift the veil a tiny bit in order to get closer to Hashem and perhaps why we're all here. This is by no means a definitive work. It is missing many many great Rabbis and concepts that we will fill out as we proceed.

For now though, here are some basic terms and names we can use as 'tools' to at least attempt to lift the curtain and aid in our 'deveikus' (attachment to G-d).

(The following list is presented in 'Ashkenazic' spelling and pronounciation. I have noted where Sephardic and most Israeli Jews end these words with a 't')

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Posted by on in Kabbalah
KABBALAH AND THE NEW SERIES SMALL MIRACLES
Introduction
By
Rabbi Moshe Mones

A new Series is about to be launched into our World: SMALL MIRACLES, based upon the New York Times bestselling books “Small Miracles” by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal. The seven books (and our Series) are about timeless, extraordinary true stories that manifest in peoples lives. Miracles. Judd Hirsch and Katheryn Kates star along with a truly stellar cast of phenomenal actors.

So what does this have to do with Kabbalah? What does anything have to do with Kabbalah? In fact, what is Kabbalah? Well, as we know, if one walks into a book-store today, they will be confronted with a whole row of ‘Kabbalah’ books. Many of them purport to be the authentic Source of the ancient Wisdom. There’s ‘Madonna’s Kabbalah’, the ‘Kabbalah of Sex’, ‘Kabbalah and Pastrami’, you name it, someone wrote it. Websites abound. Whole city blocks are dedicated to Kabbalah. It’s beautiful. Amazing. But with all this, how does one truly find their ‘Way’ to authentic, “kosher”, Kabbalah?

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"SMALL MIRACLES" Costume Designer Julie Saltman talks about her process of designing wardrobe for the characters of Mort (Judd Hirsch) and Esty (Kathryn Kates) and the difficult task of being authentic to each time period.Some of Julie's challenges were to dress Principal Actors and Background Actors for Nazi-occupied Poland in 1939, 1970's America, India, and Jerusalem, and the American Civil War of 1862.

In order to execute these tasks with a limited budget and a short staff, Julie needed to be creative in utilizing her resources. She pulled some of her wardrobe from the stage plays "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" and also utilized real Civil War reenactors for Episode 1 to stay true to the authenticity of Union and Confederate soldiers.

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The Costume Design of Small Miracles

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"SMALL MIRACLES" Production Designer Jesika Farkas shares the details of designing the sets for 4 episodes at Saugerties Performing Arts Factory.Jesika talks of her initial conversation with EP/Director Moshe Mones and how they had to make bold choices while still giving an original take on classic 1950's television.

Moshe and Jesika have worked together before (on the 2013 feature film "Dovid Meyer") so he entrusted her to fulfill a shared vision while managing the details of creating sets for Nazi-occupied Poland in 1939, an Ashram in India, 1970's Jerusalem, and the American Civil War of 1862 among others. All in all, Jesika and her team created 22 sets from scratch over the course of a demanding 15 day shooting schedule. Being a local to the Hudson Valley area of New York, Jesika was able to use many of her local resources in order to capture a big vision on a limited budget. She talks of the challenges of managing her crew through the process of building and striking sets in the confines of a 2,200 square foot studio. She also talks about her impressionist design ideas and what inspired some details of her work.

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The Set Design of Small Miracles

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"SMALL MIRACLES" Cinematographer Adrian Correia speaks about his process of filming the series using the innovative and unique BriteShot LED lights.Founded in 2009 by Peter Ticktin, Roy McDonald and Irene Conrad, BriteShot(r) began the 3 year research and development process to bring its first product, The Luminator(r), to market. Ever since, BriteShot(r) has been hard at work with a customer-minded focus; developing products and patented technologies that provide you unlimited creative possibilities while saving you and your production money.

These lights came in handy during the difficult task of filming 4 episodes during a 15 day shooting schedule. The BriteShot lights were very affective in creating special effects lighting like strobe, lightning strikes, fire effects, and color shifts. They were also versatile enough to be used as Key Lights for Actors without changing out heads which enabled Adrian's team to save time during the process of lighting each scene.

To learn more about BriteShot visit their website www.briteshot.com

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The Lighting Design of Small Miracles

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This Behind the Scenes video will give you (the audience) additional insight into the "Small Miracles" production process. This video features Executive Producer/Writer/Director Moshe Mones explaining the process of bringing the books to the screen. Executive Producer Darren Schwartz talks of the plan for "Small Miracles - The Series" and the state of television today. Cinematographer Adrian Correia talks about his creative process in shooting both black-and-white and color on the RED Epic camera. Production Designer Jesika Farkas gives us insight on her difficult task of creating these worlds by scratch on our stage, the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory (SPAF) in Saugerties, New York.

The Small Miracles web series is also Executive Produced by David Catalano with special thanks to the Hudson Valley Film Commission, Brette Goldstein Casting, Company 1 Productions, Brite Shot, and the people and businesses of Saugerties, Kingston, Woodstock, New Paltz, and the entire Hudson Valley of Upstate New York.

 

 

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10 Minute Behind the Scenes

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Thoughts after ‘wrapping’ principle photography on our new television series, SMALL MIRACLES.

“And….Action!” Words I never thought would come from my mouth again after I turned my back on Hollywood more than 10 years ago. I’d spent twenty years in that ‘Business’ and I was cooked. Fried. More roadkill on the Media Highway. I’d had much success and ample heartbreak. I ate and schmoozed my way from Bob’s Big Boy to the ‘A’ tables at the Beverly Hills Grill. I went from ‘Renegade’ New York City filmmaker to smoking big fat Cuban cigars with Arnold Schwartzenegger and entourage at the ‘Havana Room’. I saw my scripts and movies turned to unrecognizable mush by the Machine, but kept collecting the pay days. I was away from my family constantly, seeking that illusionary ‘Holy Grail’ that says Power and Money will set you free. And with all this, I had a hole inside me, growing larger and larger. A Black Hole that is inconsolable, seemingly impossible to fill, infinite, dark, and lonely. A Hole that sucked me into it’s horribly bleak confines and took me into a deep deep place, just steps away from Oblivion.

This is all true. But the details of this time, and the Miracles that had to occur so I not only survived this Journey, but somehow flourished and let G-d and my Spiritual Path fill that hole, are meant to tell at another time. So we will ‘CUT TO’ ten years later. Years spent working with young people, learning Torah, being granted the right to be called ‘Rabbi Moshe Mones’, opening a beautiful, small, synagogue, getting a serious physical illness (piece of cake compared to the ‘Black Hole’), and the year became 2012. The year I met my phenomenal partner and human being, Darren Schwartz, and the year that our feature film DOVID MEYER was birthed, as well as the seeds to our new show SMALL MIRACLES. And for sure, all that I’ll be telling you is indeed, miraculous.

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Welcome to SmallMiraclesTV!
Welcome to SmallMiraclesTV! Our production team has worked long and hard to deliver episodes based on the fantastic true stories from the acclaimed be...
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The Costume Design of Small Miracles
"SMALL MIRACLES" Costume Designer Julie Saltman talks about her process of designing wardrobe for the characters of Mort (Judd Hirsch) and Esty (Kathr...
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The Set Design of Small Miracles
"SMALL MIRACLES" Production Designer Jesika Farkas shares the details of designing the sets for 4 episodes at Saugerties Performing Arts Factory.Jesik...
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