Chanukah

Return Of The Chanukah Lady

I know Chanukah has caught many people by surprise this year, what with arriving LESS THAN A WEEK after Thanksgiving! However, my kids have been preparing for over a month, by playing with dreidels (we have a zillion lying around the house), counting down the days and of course perfecting their gift wish lists.

Witnessing their excitement and joy in the holiday has been really heartwarming. Nonetheless, I’m still struggling a bit to overcome my inner Grinch by tonight: I’ve been feeling a bit overburdened by Chanukah’s various demands, particularly with the holiday arriving at such a busy time of year. In addition to attending two Chanukah events this week at our temple, we’re hosting a family gathering on Saturday night, and I’m visiting both girls’ classes in my annual role as Jewish Ambassador/Chanukah Lady. (My mom used to do this when I was little, so it’s a family tradition.)

‘Joys And Angst Of The Holidays’

12/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Jews and Christians have very different rituals that mark the onset of winter, but they share the pleasures and stresses of the holiday season. In Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman’s revue, “That Time of the Year,” which opens this weekend at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, two dozen new songs illuminate various aspects of the winter festivals.

“That Time of the Year” runs through Dec. 19 at the White Plains Performing Arts Center

Playing It Safe: The Jewish Third Rail Strategy

11/30/2010

With Chanukah and holiday season weekends coming up, it is extended family time again. To help promote shalom bayit (“peaceful home”), JInsider offers our Jewish Third Rail Strategy for avoiding treacherous conversation topics during these intergenerational and interdenominational family get-togethers.

The Festival Of Lights, Israeli-style

11/30/2010

In Israel, where Chanukah in a Christmas-less society is a minor holiday, it’s still a major presence.
First, there’s the sufganiyot. That’s Hebrew for doughnuts.

Photo by Getty Images

On Chanukah, Spinning Into The Future

11/30/2010
Special to The Jewish Week

As we celebrate Chanukah 5771, we also begin to wind up the first decade of the 21st century, and what a decade it has been. America went to war and remains at war to this day. Israel and the Palestinians are still unable to make peace. The economy, both at home and in most of the developed world, is shaky, with most of us still wondering exactly how close we came to another Great Depression, and some still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Mixed Feelings About MixedBlessing

 Do people still send Christmas and Chanukah cards?

The last time I was organized enough to sit down with a stack of envelopes, stamps and list of addresses, was in 1998, when I was sending out wedding invitations. I’m sure that were my lapsed Catholic hubby and I to marry now, we’d probably notify the guests via Evite.

Midnight At Rachel's Tomb: Kind Of A Hush About Islamic Claim That Kever Rachel & Kotel Are Now Mosques

 

If you needed any more evidence that the Jewish left is really advocating surrender to the Palestinians instead of peace with the Palestinians, check out the reaction of the Jewish left to the Palestinian claim that Rachel's Tomb and the Kotel (Western Wall) are really mosques.

There's been almost no reaction at all.

Sparks Of Life: Chanukah 5771

Cool gifts, healthy olive oil, and more.

Staff Writer
11/23/2010

Cool gifts, healthy olive oil, and more.

Jhonson Augustin’s tree of life, combine art and spirituality.

'Forever Young' Forever And 'In The Mixis'

Have I unfairly smeared the song “Forever Young”?

Adam Kotok has directed my attention to a lovely Hebrew cover of the song (video embedded below) done by his wife Dafna Israel-Kotok, the musician who saved my daughter’s Israel-themed birthday party. In addition to performing at parties, Dafna runs some very cool all-in-Hebrew children’s music classes called Shir Fun.

I like her “Tamid Tzair,” although it would be great if the video featured a more racially/ethnically diverse selection of families.

Help! I've Assimilated And I Can't Get Up!

Perhaps at no time more than Halloween am I struck by the huge chasm between Orthodox/traditional Conservative Jews and the rest of us.

Among most of my Jewish family and friends, there has never been even a question of whether or not to join other Americans in dressing up in costume, carving a jack-o-lantern and trick-or-treating. Halloween is a fun holiday and of course we partake.

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