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March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Chanukah’

Chanukah is for Scuba Diving

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

A father and son scuba dive in Eilat.

It turns out that Eilat is an incredibly popular destination for religious Israelis on Chanukah, and scuba diving is a very popular family activity.

Unlike how the situation was decades ago when you could barely find a kosher restaurant, there are now 3 or 4 Kosher L’Mehadrin restaurants along the Tayelet near the Marina, and another 3 Kosher L’Mehadrin restaurants in the ice skating shopping mall. It’s a completely different Eilat, and definitely religious-friendly (at least on Chanukah).

And if you’re looking to rent a sailboat, go to the Marina, and ask for Ziki.

Giant Chabad Menorah Lit Without Ceremony in Martin Place, Sydney

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

In Sydney, Australia, a public Hanukkah menorah still stands tall in the very same place it has stood in Martin Place for the last 30 years.

The 10 meter high menorah was not the center of festivities this year, however: instead, a message was prominently displayed for the public to read.

“The Jewish community of Australia expresses our deepest sympathy for the families of the Martin Place tragedy. May the Lights of the Festival of Chanukah bring comfort and warmth to our nation.”

The decision to cancel the annual Lighting Ceremony of the Hanukkah Menorah in Martin Place, scheduled for Thursday Dec. 18, the third night of the holiday, was made “after lengthy discussions and consultation with the authorities and communal leaders,” explained Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Elimelech Levy, Director of Chabad NSW and coordinator of the annual “Chanukah in the City” celebration.

“While the event was canceled, the presence of the Giant Menorah sends a powerful message that light will always overcome darkness,” Levy said.

“As we mourn the loss of life and the atrocity that has taken place, people of goodwill will continue to shine the light of freedom and communal harmony, which is what the Chanukah Menorah is all about,” he added.

According to Chabad officials at the movement’s World Lubavitch Headquarters at “770″ Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, the Martin Place Giant Menorah was indeed lit and cast its Light upon the area as it does each year. However, in deference to the memory of the victims, no public ceremony was held to mark the occasion.

The manager of the Lindt cafe and a local barrister were killed last Tuesday after being held hostage together with at least 15 others by a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis. The victims were shot as special agents stormed the cafe in an attempt to free the hostages. The self-styled Iranian cleric had forced his captives to hold up a flag bearing the Shahada — the Islamic creed, written in Arabic — in the window, for hours.

An earlier article about the Menorah contained an error about the lighting ceremony due to a misunderstanding which has since been clarified.

The Diapora’s Dilemma in Sydney

Friday, December 19th, 2014

The cancellation of the tradition public lighting of the Chabad menorah in Sydney this week epitomizes the excruciating neurosis of Jews in the Diaspora, torn between living freely as Jews and having to co-exist with the somewhat tolerant if not ignorant ruling powers.

I do not pre-judge the cancellation of the public lighting on the public area very near the scene of this week’s siege of the Lindt’s Café, in which another Islamic loony held hostages for 16 hours before police stormed the store. Two of the hostages were killed.

It would be too easy and wrong to write smugly from Israel that the Jewish community caved into pressure to cancel the public lighting. It may even have been the Jewish leaders’ own initiative to do so “out of respect” to the families of the victims.

If the victims had been Jewish, God forbid, they might have made the same decision that is politically correct but fundamentally wrong. Beneath the surface lies the eternal contradiction of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

The need to be socially and culturally acceptable among the non-Jewish hosts in a foreign country – foreign meaning outside the Jewish home of Israel – clashes with the individual need to live Judaism fully.

The non-Jews cannot be expected to understand Judaism’s inner meaning and spirituality, but it is a tragedy that Jews’ understanding is tainted by their living in the Diaspora.

Hanukkah is universally recognized by lighting the Menorah, the Dreidel, the sickening sufganiyot –those unhealthy fried donuts once filled with jelly and now stuffed with everything from peanut butter to bubble gum – and the Xmas-inspired gift-giving.

Of all of these symbols, the Menorah is the only one that touches on the real meaning of Hanukkah, two victory of truth over evil in the war against the Greek conquerors of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple and the miracle of pure olive oil that was found in the debris of the Temple and which burned for eight days even though it was thought to be enough to burn for only one day.

For the non-Jew, and unfortunately as well as for many Jews, lighting the menorah has about as much meaning as lighting a Xmas tree, which has nothing to do with the origins of the holiday.

Light is beautiful. It is uplifting. It is fun. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights.

The light of Hanukkah represents the belief in God, the belief in good over evil, and it symbolizes the victory of the Jews over those who want to destroy the light, such as the mad Muslim of Lindt’s.

The Xmas tree’s decorations are nice and pretty but have no meaning other than one’s individual thoughts of God, the beauty of light and nature, and the cost of electricity. They have nothing to do with the meaning of the holiday (AFAIK).

For the families of the siege of Lindt’s Café, the public lighting of the Menorah nearby the scene of the crime indeed would seem disrespectful because they do not understand nor cannot be expected to understand the deep meaning of Hanukkah.

For the Jew who understands the meaning behind the Menorah, lighting it in public would seem exactly the message needed to show that terror and murder cannot and must not conquer.

But Jews in the Diaspora must behave as they are expected to behave.

If God forbid the siege had taken place in downtown Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, I dare say that more Menorahs would be lit than ever before. The expression of the belief in God and not in the fear of terrorist and murders would be omnipresent in public.

Girls of the IDF Enjoy Their Sufganiyot

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Israeli soldiers holding (and eating) ‘sufganiyot’- doughnuts traditionally eaten on Hanukkah, as they pose for a pictures on the 2nd night of Hanukkah at a candle lighting ceremony held near the Gush Etzion junction.

This particular lighting ceremony was held at a memorial spot in commemoration of the three Jewish teenagers who were kidnapped and murdered by Arab terrorists earlier this summer.

Boy Arrested Trying to Recreate Chanukah on Temple Mount

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Police arrested a Jewish boy Wednesday morning who had planned to go up to the Temple Mount.

In the boy’s bag police found a Chanukiah, oil candles and matches, according to Tazpit News Agency.

Clearly the boy wasn’t familiar enough with the original story of Chanukah.

When the police began to approach him, he should have started to play with the dreidel.

The boy is being represented by Honeinu lawyers.

Dreidels

Monday, December 15th, 2014

I had a little dreidel,
I made it out of clay,
and when it’s dry and ready,
O dreidel I shall play.

iHanukah

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/video-picks/ihanukah/2014/12/02/

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