Better To Give

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A meshulach (Jewish charity collector) visited our home late one summer night. A window was open so he knocked at the screen. Heschel, our dog, sprang to his feet, jumped through the screen and chased the visitor all the way down the block. We reveled in this victory, and Heschel earned himself extra treats that… Read More

Let Them Eat Cheerios

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This Year marks my son’s third Thanksgiving and third Chanukah. It is also the first time the holidays have coincided since 1861. The fact that both festivals are celebrations of appreciation, for our country and the miracle of lights respectively, makes it almost impossible not to reflect on the importance of giving and of instilling… Read More

On Bookshelves

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How Dalia Put A Big Yellow Comforter Inside A Tiny Blue Box And Other Wonders Of Tzedakah by Linda Heller Hard cover, 32 pages Tricycle Press “Tsadee daled Kof hay” means justice, fairness, compassion and joy. In this children’s book, perfect for children ages 3 to 7, main character Dalia teaches her inquisitive younger brother,… Read More

B’More Healthy: The Value of Giving

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We know volunteering is a mitzvah, but what some people don’t know is that it’s also good for your health. According to CarePages.com, volunteering increases one’s sense of well-being and productivity and also positively impacts cardiovascular health, immune system and cognitive functioning, and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. Ilene Cohen, a former travel agent,… Read More

Making Cents Together

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Tzedakah, the mitzvah of giving, is a celebrated tradition in Jewish culture. As Dr. Sherry Blumberg, 2012 Jewish Educator of the Year recommends, when teaching your children about tzedakah, let them get involved as much as possible. “Children learn best by doing and exploring through their senses,” she writes. Make giving a meaningful and enjoyable… Read More

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