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The top eight things to do in Israel on the eight days of Hanukkah

Israeli-News - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:00am
By Viva Sarah Press for Israel21c

 

Looking for your own great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.

 

 


ISRAEL21c brings you eight awesome ideas for celebrating the Festival of Lights in Israel, where it all happened back in the year 165.


Torch relay
The annual Hanukkah Torch Relay marks the beginning of the holiday in Israel. People line the road from the city of Modi’in to the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem’s Old City, passing a burning torch from hand to hand. The torch then lights the giant hanukkiyah (menorah) at the Western Wall.

Modi’in, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is believed to have been the home of Hanukkah’s heroes, the Maccabees, and the place where the Maccabean revolt began.

Eat 
Sufganiyot (doughnuts) are by far the most popular Hanukkah food in Israel. Every year, Israelis eat a whopping 24 million of these calorie-heavy-sugar-covered-fried treats made especially for the holiday.

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Tips for Interfaith Families Celebrating Hanukkah & Christmas

Interfaith - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:00am
Kveller Staff


Being part of an interfaith family can be difficult, especially around the holidays. When it comes to raising children, the question of how to fairly and fully raise your children religiously and culturally is hard because there is no right or wrong way. It’s simply about what is best for your family.

Of course, knowing that there is no wrong way doesn’t necessarily take the pressure off. Many of our readers are in interfaith marriages, many with a spouse who is Christian, or have extended family who are. Explaining to your kids why you have a Christmas tree and a menorah can be confusing, but we know it’s not impossible.

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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Hanukkah

Celebrating-Judaism - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:00am

This article is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 


BY MJL STAFF


Lesser-known facts about the Festival of Lights.


Hanukkah , which in 2017 starts at sundown on Tuesday, December 12, is one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays in the United States. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing new to learn about this eight-day festival. From the mysterious origins of gelt to an Apocryphal beheading to Marilyn Monroe, we’ve compiled an item for each candle (don’t forget the shammash!) on the Hanukkah menorah .

1. Gelt as we know it is a relatively new tradition — and no one knows who invented it.

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5 tips for a green and happy Hanukkah!

Going-Green-Jewishly - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:00am
by Inhabitat


Everybody loves Hanukkah; the festival of lights that comes but once a year! Every December, we look forward to this joy-filled excuse to stuff our faces with fried potatoes, sour cream, and apple sauce, but eight days of burning candles, giving gifts, and frying pancakes could lead to some seriously wasteful behavior. Not to worry, all you eco Hanukkah lovers—there are plenty of ways that you can green up this year’s holiday celebration, and here are five smart tips to get you started!

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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Learning To Take a ‘Soulfie’ at Hanukkah

Feature-Article - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:00am
By Naomi Levy for Hadassah Magazine

Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in Jvillage's Hanukkah Guide.
 


What would Hanukkah be without the burning candles reminding us of God’s miracles in the time of the Maccabees and in our own days? But the candles we kindle on the holiday—which begins the evening of December 12—can also teach us about the miracle shining within each of us. As Proverbs 20:27 reminds us: “God’s candle is the human soul.” We are carrying God’s light within us. It burns like a pilot light, always available to help us and guide us. It’s our responsibility to honor and tend that light, to keep sharing it and spreading it.

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Vayishlach

Weekly-Torah-Portion - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 8:21am

Genesis 32:4 - 36:43 


BY RABBI LAURA GELLER for myjewishlearning.com 


The Silence of Dinah and Other Rape Victims


The Bible focuses on Jacob's and his son's reactions, but not on those of the victim herself.

 

After 20 years, Jacob is coming home. Anticipating that the reunion with the brother he cheated all those years ago will be disastrous, he sends messengers laden with presents ahead to his brother.

But just to be on the safe side, he divides his camp in order to minimize the losses should he come under attack. The story continues: “That same night, he got up, took his two wives, his two maidservants, and his 11 children, and crossed at a ford of the Jabbok [river]. … Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him” (32:23-25). The nocturnal wrestler wounds and blesses him and gives him a new name–our name: Yisrael, one who wrestles with God. Jacob’s wrestling with God is a powerful image and legacy. We never know with whom Jacob is wrestling: is it himself, his conscience, his brother, God, or all of these parts of himself and of his life? Jacob names the place “Peniel,” meaning “Face of God,” for, as he states, “I have seen God face-to-face” (32:31). Somehow, alone, separated from his “two wives” and his “eleven children,” Jacob discovers the face of God in his adversary — and Jacob is blessed.

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Yitzhak Rabin assassin Yigal Amir files request for retrial

News-in-the-Jewish-World - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 8:10am
From JTA


Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, filed a request for a retrial.

The request was submitted to Israel’s Supreme Court Sunday after Amir met with his attorney, Gabi Shachar, in prison. During the meeting, Amir signed the documents necessary to request the retrial, the Hebrew-language Hadashot news reported.

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Eight Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah with Teens

Young-Adults - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
BY: RABBI ELIZABETH ZELLER for ReformJudaism.org


With eight nights to celebrate, Hanukkah is a wonderful holiday for families to enjoy together – especially if there are teens in the house or in your extended family. Teens are old enough to understand the lessons of the Hanukkah story, so it is an opportunity to talk about the value of driving out darkness with light, of standing up for your beliefs, even when others might not agree with you, and of coming together and celebrating our religious freedom through compassion, thankfulness, and community. It’s also a great time to have some fun. Here are eight ways to involve the teens in your life in the celebration of Hanukkah.

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A Comprehensive and Updated LGBTQ Hanukkah Gift Guide!

LGBTQ - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
BY SHIRA BURNS for myjewishlearning.com, reprinted from Keshet Blog. Note, this article appeared in 2016.


This year Hanukkah happens to begin on Christmas and end on New Years. With all that’s happening on your calendar, it can be hard to find a time to go shopping for those you love– so we’ve done it for you! Below you’ll find clothing, decorations, books, and more for the queer Jews and allies in your life! (Click on each gift to find out where to purchase it)

Let’s start with the card and the candles:

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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Remembering the Great Czech Jewish Harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková

Jewish-Arts-and-Media - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
Mark Glanville for Mosaic


Růžičková, who died in September, survived both Hitler and Stalin to become a brilliant interpreter of J.S. Bach—and the only person to commit his entire keyboard oeuvre to disc.


I was loaded on a wagon. My mother was left behind. A gust of wind came and took this piece of paper from my hand. And my mother, who knew how much it meant to me, started to run after this piece of paper and the other girls took her hand and pulled her up into the wagon where I was.

The words are those of the great Czech Jewish harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková, who died on September 27 at the age of ninety. The episode recounted here is one among many riveting moments in a recently released documentary film, Zuzana: Music is Life. Hers was an adolescence and young adulthood that encompassed the full horror of the Holocaust, followed in turn by the brutal oppression of Soviet Communism, followed in the inspiring fullness of time by personal and musical vindication hard won and thrillingly deserved.

And the “piece of paper” that was so precious to her? It was a fragment of the Sarabande in E Flat Minor from the English Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach. The teenage piano student had kept it close during her internment at Theresienstadt, where her father had died of typhus. The wagon onto which her mother was hauled and thereby reunited with her daughter was carrying its transport in the direction of Auschwitz.

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Tunisian Spiced Squash Soup

Jewish-Food - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
By Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com 


Butternut squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, pumpkin…after awhile, all that squash and pumpkin kind of looks and tastes the same. Which is why I came up with this slight variation on a classic butternut squash soup: same roasted butternut squash, but with a Middle Eastern twist.

And I must give credit where it is due. While I am pretty picky about my cookbooks, especially kosher cookbooks, I do love Saffron Shores which inspired this soup recipe.

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Hanukkah Reads

Children-and-Familes - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
From Jewish Book Council. Find more great Hanukkah ideas, articles, crafts, and recipes check out our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Eight Nights of Stories ProsenPeople series


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8 Books to Preorder Over the 8 Nights of Hanukkah

Jewish-Books - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
By Nat Bernstein, Jewish Book Council


Back when we first started the Eight Nights of Stories series here on The ProsenPeople, I mentioned a childhood friend’s family tradition of gathering to hear stories read aloud by the light of the shamash after lighting the other candles each night of Chanukah. (You should read it, really, it is a lovely post. There’s a Harry Potter reference in there for the true fans and everything.)


That same childhood friend is about to be a published author. His debut novel, Anna and the Swallow Man, comes out January 2016 from A. A. Knopf, and friends, it is a very, very good book. I’m not the only one who thinks so, either: Jewish Book Council’s entire staff has been coveting our shared advance copies since they arrived from the editor, and laudatory reviews are beginning to roll in across the publishing playground.


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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Sleep deprivation causes neurons to nap, Israeli study finds

Israeli-News - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
By SHOSHANNA SOLOMON for The Times of Israel


Researchers say that the longer we stay awake, the slower our brain gets, damaging visual perception and memory associations


You may be staying up way too late every night scrolling through Facebook, but your brain cells aren’t necessarily along for the ride.


Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) together with University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, say that when we are sleep-deprived, the activity of our brain is affected because individual neurons slow down, damaging the brain’s visual perception and memory associations.


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Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families

Interfaith - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 


What is Hanukkah?

View a PDF of our Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families 

Hanukkah is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish recapture and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. It's celebrated for eight days and usually falls in December. The traditional observances of Hanukkah are lighting a menorah, or ceremonial candelabra, spinning a top called a dreidel and eating fried foods. Though it is religiously minor, Hanukkah is a popular holiday. It's a happy festival in the winter, so it provides what seems to be a universally needed break from the dark and cold. It's a holiday about Jews winning a war, which is not the usual subject for a Jewish holiday. The third reason is obvious: for Jews in Christian culture, Hanukkah is the closest Jewish holiday to Christmas.

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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Origins of Hanukkah

Celebrating-Judaism - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
From History.com. This video is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more great videos, articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 


Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of Jewish people over religious persecution.


The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.

Watch video. 

8 Ways to Make Your Hanukkah More Eco-Friendly

Going-Green-Jewishly - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
myjewishlearning.com


Green tips for the Festival of Lights.

 

Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights, thanks to the one-day supply of oil lasting a miraculous eight days. In the spirit of this resource-preserving miracle, here are eight suggestions from the Jewish environmental organization Hazon for making your Hanukkah celebration more environmentally sustainable.

Use locally grown potatoes and onions, and fry them in organic oil.
Potatoes and other root vegetables are in abundance during the winter, and buying food locally cuts down on the greenhouse gasses from transporting food. Stop by your local farmers market and stock up prior to making your Hanukkah latkes.

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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Who Saved Israel in 1947?

Feature-Article - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am

Martin Kramer for Mosaic


The usual answer is Truman—but it could just as easily be Stalin. In fact, thanks to Zionist diplomacy, it was both; and therein lies a lesson for the Jewish state today.


November 29 marks the 70th anniversary of UN General Assembly resolution 181, recommending the partition of Mandate Palestine into two separate Jewish and Arab states. On that day in 1947, millions of listeners sat glued to their radio sets to follow the voting. The outcome set off spontaneous celebrations among Zionists everywhere, for it constituted the first formal international endorsement of a Jewish state.

To celebrate the anniversary, Israel’s embassy to the United Nations is restoring the hall in Flushing Meadows, New York—today the main gallery of the Queens Museum, then the meeting place of the General Assembly—to its appearance in 1947. The announced plan is to reenact the vote, with the current ambassadors of member states that voted “yes” recasting their ballots.

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Orthodox Modesty Culture Under Fire As ‘Sex-Positive’ Spaces Emerge

News-in-the-Jewish-World - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
BY HANNAH DREYFUS for jewishweek.timesofisrael


Orthodox Vagina Monologues expands, days schools re-examining modesty education as Weinstein effect lingers.


Ayala Tiefenbrunn, a 21-year-old design student at FIT and an Orthodox young-married, took the mic in front of 75 people a few months ago. She took a deep breath and launched into a personal essay about her tortured relationship with birth control.

While acute communal and social pressure dictated that she and her husband start “trying,” her young age and professional aspirations kept her dutifully on the pill. But, she said, the choice isn’t easy. “Every time I don’t see a friend for a few months and she’s pregnant, it hurts a little — I so want to be there.”

Married at 19, Tiefenbrunn addressed an audience of young, predominantly Orthodox women; she wore a silver and blue head wrap, horn-rimmed glasses, and a layered top. Later, she confessed, “I constantly feel guilty because I’m on birth control.”

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Vayeitzei

Weekly-Torah-Portion - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am

Genesis 28:10−32:3

D'var Torah By Rabbi Edwin C. Goldberg for ReformJudaism.org

Wherever You Go, There God Will Surely Be

 

We live in a self-indulgent time. One of the best examples of our era's trend toward self-indulgence is the "Travel List Challenge's 100 Places to Visit Before You Die."1 On this Web page, users are asked to check off which of the 100 author-recommended places in the world they have visited. The places range from North American sites like the Smithsonian Museum, the Washington Monument, and the Empire State Building to exotic, faraway destinations like the Taj Mahal in India, Machu Pichu in Peru, and the Great Wall of China. It's an interesting exercise, allowing us to recall some great memories of places we've seen.

But like much of what we find on social media, it's also a way show that our life is OK—maybe even better than OK—in comparison to that of our friends.

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