Chanukah

How The Zionist Revolution Changed Chanukah

12/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

‘A miracle did not happen for us. We did not find a cruse of oil.”

These are the words sung publicly in Israel for many years on the eve of Independence Day, and privately by some on Chanukah. But what do they mean? No miracle? No oil? Isn’t the entire Chanukah saga based on those two factors? Haven’t we stuffed ourselves with latkes for a week because of the little cruse of oil that miraculously lasted for eight days?

Ham It Up On Hanukkah (Again!)

Just like the return of the clothing fashion styles of yesteryear, many things on the Web tend to make a comeback too. It seems like every few years the same hoaxes, urban legends, videos, jokes and funny photos get recycled around Cyberspace.

I noticed that this is the case with a photo of ham -- yes, ham! Through Facebook, hundreds of users are recirculating the photo of the boneless spiral ham on sale at a store with the sign "Delicious for Chanukah."

Hey, isn't this the same Hanukkah ham I saw back in '07?

Mike Huckabee At Bet El Dinner

12/06/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee got a standing ovation when Dr. Joseph Frager introduced him at the 28th annual dinner of American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center on Dec. 5.

“I’ve never had that kind of reception from Baptists, so I am very glad to be here,” the former Baptist minister, Arkansas governor and presidential aspirant said.

“I think Joe announced my candidacy for president. Thank you Joe, but I’m not yet ready to do so.”

Rabbi Dr. Richard Weiss, wife Sandy and daughter Eliana with Mike Huckabee and Eugen Gluck at a Bet El dinner. Photo by Tim Boxe

Chanukah in West Hempstead; Music by Blackout

 Chabad of West Hempstead held its annual menorah lighting and concert at Hall's Pond on Dec. 2, 2010, featuring the local band Blackout, playing Chanukah favorite pop tunes.

‘Where There Is Wealth’

Ragtag Maccabees or conquerors with booty?

12/03/2010

Emma Lazarus, of Statue of Liberty fame, was an ardent Zionist. The second stanza of her “The Feast of Lights,” written for Chanukah, reads:

Remember how from wintry dawn till night,
Such songs were sung in Zion, when again
On the high altar flamed the sacred light,
And, purified from every Syrian stain,
The foam-white walls with golden shields were hung,
With crowns and silken spoils…

Antique Jewish coins, Bronze Prutah of the Procurator of Judea Antonius Felix, circa 52 to 60. Courtesy of Barakat Gallery.

Chanukah at the White House - with 1/3 of the Supreme Court

Chanukah at the White House is always a kick for participants – this year, about 500 from Jewish communities across the country – but for some, there was special meaning in Thursday night's gathering.

Three Supreme Court Justices were in attendance – all of them Jewish: Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As President Barack Obama noted in his remarks, that's fully one-third of the high court.

Chanukah at the White House: Timely Reminder of Why America is Special

12/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In addition to serving as the rabbi of The Forest Hills Jewish Center- a position I have held for thirty years- I also currently serve as Vice-President of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international organization of Conservative rabbis. With some sixteen hundred members world-wide, the RA, as it is known, is a respected and important player on the American Jewish scene and around the world.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes

A South Asian twist on the classic Chanukah treat.

12/03/2010
Editorial Assistant

I love the classic potato latke. It might be one of my favorite foods of all time. And as the old saying goes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So I prefer to think of this as a completely different dish, a way to try out new flavors and combinations – after you’ve already had your fill of the traditional potato pancake.

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes. Photo by Amy Spiro

Perlman Conducts Navy Band at Menorah Lighting on Washington's Mall

12/02/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Yitzhak Perlman conducted the U.S. Navy Band at the lighting of the menorah on the National Mall.

Several thousand people packed the seats on the Ellipse in front of the White House in near-freezing temperatures Wednesday evening for the event run by American Friends of Lubavitch, a tradition of three decades.

Perlman, a pre-eminent violin virtuosi, performed two traditional Chanukah melodies with a pianist and then conducted the Navy band in "Oseh Shalom" and "God Bless America."

Finding The Light In Each Of Us

12/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

It was the night before Chanukah, and I was visiting a loved one at a therapeutic farm in Vermont. Tonight was the Yule ceremony, the traditional ceremony that the farm held each winter near the time of the solstice.

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