Off With His Head

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Judith is a beautiful widow who has fascinated artists, writers, poets and composers through the centuries. The heroine of the Book of Judith, a text that was never accepted into the Jewish cannon, Judith serves the role of holy Jewish widow, of seductress and of soldier. Here is a quick rundown: Judith comes onto the… Read More

Stretching One Day’s Provisions To Eight

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A beautiful thing about many Jewish laws is that they are open to interpretation. Evolving analysis helps transform a seemingly obsolete idea into a concept that is relevant and applicable to contemporary issues. Bal tashchit is one of those laws. Its original form commands to “not destroy with wanton abandon” (particularly geared to war time),… Read More

Raising a Thanksgiving Toast this Chanukah

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This Chanukah will offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a Thanksgiving toast to the lights of the festive candles. With the table decked with rich and decadent fare, these wines will make the perfect accompaniment to the Thanksgiving turkey (and Chanukah latke). Gilgal Pinot Noir 2011 The elegant and complex flavors in a Pinot Noir… Read More

Thanksgivukkah

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It hasn’t happened since 1888, and it won’t happen again until 2070 and 2165. After that, it will be 70,000 years until it happens again. So grab your dreidels, latkes and gravy boats, because this year Thanksgiving and Chanukah collide. Yes, the first day of Chanukah falls on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. Time magazine calls… Read More

Pass The Cranberry Latkes

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If the Pilgrims are lighting menorahs and the Maccabees are chasing turkeys, it must be Thanksgivukkah, as some have come to call the confluence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah that will happen this year on Nov. 28. It’s a rare event, one that won’t occur again until 2070 and then in 2165. Beyond that, because the… Read More

Absurd And Unreal

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Whenever there is a profound social or financial crisis, covert anti-Semitism will make its way to the surface. That was the message Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, delivered regarding the recent vocal surge of anti-Semitic sentiments in Greece, mainly through the Golden Dawn Party, which now hold seats in the… Read More

Not Home For Chanukah

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For Julie August, coping with her son Josh’s decision to move halfway around the world and join the Israeli Defense Forces last year was not easy. “It would be hard enough to have him serving while I was there,” said August, who lived in Israel for a time before moving to the Baltimore area. “But… Read More

Chanukah: Gifted

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Traditional though it might be, this year’s Chanukah gift guide is all about, well … Chanukah. We’ve found some of the prettiest, most whimsical Chanukah menorahs, dreidels and Judaica from a variety of Jewish retail establishments about town. Yup! There’s no reason at all to set foot inside a mall. What a relief! Whether you’re… Read More

Chanukah Heros And Villains

Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi said, “Women are obligated to light the Hanukah menorah for they took part in the miracle.” (Shabbat 23a) Two heroines emerge from the Hanukah story that often get lost in the heroic tales of the Maccabees. Their names were Judith and Hannah and they also symbolizes the victory of the Jews… Read More

Colorful Candles

NOTE: This is a project for older children only (or adults, if they are mature enough and don’t whine a lot). You Will Need: Holidays one box of white Chanukah candles several boxes of different-colored Chanukah candles deep throwaway tins wax paper toothpicks (optional) a great deal of patience Begin by melting several different colors of… Read More