Posts Tagged ‘Chanukah’
Observant Jews cringe every year that Chanukah and Christmas overlap, leading to sacrilegious combinations of customs, but the kosher industry is losing out when the two holidays are totally separate, such as this year
Chanukah beings next Sunday night, December 6, and ends eight days later, almost two weeks before the Christians holiday.
Industry experts say that Chanukah is the third most important holiday on the Jewish calendar, following Passover and the High Holy Days, according to Kosher Today.
Some industry officials believe that the calendar is not in their favor and prefer a Chanukah date that is close to Christmas. Next year, for example the first day of Chanukah falls on Christmas eve, the reason many non-traditional kosher customers buy kosher as gifts for Jewish friends and co-workers.
A New Jersey businesswoman has launched a new initiative to encourage her fellow entrepreneurs and their customers to donate funds to help Israeli victims of terror.
Ora Assayag says she decided to launch the “Give18” campaign after watching the latest flare up of violence in Israel on TV screens and reading daily reports about the latest attacks.
Customers can automatically donate 18 percent of the price of their purchases to Operation Embrace through the Give18 campaign. Assaya, who is the founder and CEO of Ora’s Amazing Herbal, has already started the campaign in her own business.
Operation Embrace is a non-organization that supports programs and projects that help victims of terror in Israel and the United States.
“We realize that little we do or say here in America can have a direct effect on ending terrorism and bringing safety and security to the citizens of Israel, but that does not mean that we can’t lend a helping hand to those who need it most,” said Assayag. “In Hebrew, the number 18 represents life.
“We hope this effort will be noticed and implemented by other local businesses so that we as a community can help even more,” she added.
With the holidays coming up, it’s the perfect way to make a difference and do our part in helping to right the terrible wrongs taking place in Israel.”Jewish Press News Briefs
Some Chanukah holiday music videos provide dynamic melodies, interesting lyrics and if you’re lucky, a few good visuals thrown in for good measure.
But how many can you honestly admit actually include a decent latke recipe?
The Maccabeats a capella all-male singing group has done it again, bringing together all the best elements of great Jewish holiday entertainment in one tidy little music video for Chanukah.
Chomp on!Hana Levi Julian
Several hundred Palestinian Authority Arabs Thursday night set fire to parts of the Joseph’s Tomb compound in the site of biblical Shechem, using firebombs. Palestinian police removed the rioters and put out the fire.
The IDF is planning to renovate the compound to facilitate the entry of Jewish worshipers again.
A military spokesperson said the IDF strongly condemns any violation of holy sites, views the incident as extremely serious and is determined to locate and arrest the perpetrators. Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said in a statement:
As a Jew, I must express deep shock at this terrible act. I believe that everyone in the free world will condemn this barbaric and criminal act, igniting one of the holiest places for the Jewish people, which is a historical relic for the entire world.
This is the barbarism of the Palestinian Authority and its leader, yet another act that proves we can’t trust this ‘partner.’ I call on the prime minister to immediately return the IDF forces to Joseph’s Tomb, since it’s obvious that otherwise there is no one to take care of this important relic for us. It is Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas’s responsibility, and he should be held accountable.
Joseph’s tomb has been venerated throughout the ages by Jews, Christians, and Samaritans. After Judea and Samaria were restored to Israel in 1967, the shrine was gradually turned into a Jewish prayer room. Friction and conflict from competing Jewish and Muslim claims over the tomb became frequent, and, eventually, the site fell under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority according to the Oslo Accords that specifically stated that Jews would have free access to the holy site.
In 2000, just after being handed over to the PA, Joseph’s Tomb was looted and razed by an Arab mob. Starting in 2002, Jewish groups returned to the site intermittently. Between 2009 and 2010 the structure was refurbished, including a new cupola, and regular visits by Jews have resumed.
On April 24, 2011, PA police opened fire on three cars of Israeli worshipers after they finished praying at Joseph’s Tomb, killing as Israeli citizen and wounding three others.
An IDF investigation concluded that the Palestinian Authority police officers had acted “maliciously” and with the intent to harm the Jewish worshipers. Then-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz declared that the Arab policemen fired “without justification and with no immediate threat to their lives.”
On July 7, 2014, Arabs tried to burn down Joseph’s Tomb during a riot, but Palestinian Authority security forces were able to stop the rioters before they could level it.
On December 22, 2014, Jews who were visiting the tomb to light Chanukah candles discovered that the site had been vandalized. Lights were broken and electrical wiring had been cut.JNi.Media
When Mark Halawa lights his family’s menorah during Chanukah, it is not without recalling his unique journey as a Kuwaiti Muslim to Orthodox Judaism. The 38-year-old businessman, who lives today in Jerusalem with his wife and family, keeping Shabbat and kosher dietary laws, began his journey 12 years ago in Canada.
“I was born to a secular Muslim family in Kuwait,” Halawa told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview. “We didn’t strictly follow Muslim traditions, but I would accompany my grandfather, who was religious, to the local mosque.”
Halawa spent a lot of time with his grandparents and knew early on that his maternal grandmother came from a Jewish family. “We knew that our grandmother’s family was Jewish but it never meant anything more,” said Halawa.
“I saw a siddur once in my grandma’s home and sometimes I would see her tearfully read from it when she was alone,” he recalls. “I once even found her birth certificate, which contained the last name, Mizrahi, and Hebrew, Arabic and English on the document’s header.”
At age 13, Halawa’s family left Kuwait following Sadaam Hussein’s takeover of the tiny Persian Gulf nation which had left his father’s business in ruins. The family immigrated to Canada but eventually returned to the Middle East. Mark, however, stayed behind to pursue studies at the University of Western Ontario.
It was during his time in Canada when the hateful stereotypes that Halawa grew up with against Jewish people and Israel began to fall apart. “In Kuwait, when I would go with my grandfather to the mosque, the imam always preached horrible things against Jews. The media, scouts, everything around me was against Israel and the Jewish nation.”
“It was always confusing to me because my grandmother, who is a very nice lady, came from a Jewish background.”
But the moment that marked Halawa’s official shift took place during a chance meeting with a Jewish rabbi at his university’s library in Ontario. “I was studying in the library one day and I saw a man dressed in Jewish Chassidic garb. “I went up to him, and asked him, are you Jewish?”
Halawa found himself telling the man, Dr. Yitzchok Block, a Harvard professor of philosophy and Chabad rabbi who taught at the University of Western Ontario, all about his family’s background.
Halawa’s Jewish grandmother was born in Jerusalem during the years of the British Mandate in the 1930s. She had married a Jordanian soldier, Muhammad al-Masri from Nablus, and converted to Islam. The couple moved to Zarqa, Jordan, where her husband was eventually stationed. When King Hussein expelled his army of Palestinians following the 1970 Black September uprising, the family moved to Kuwait, where Halawa’s mother met and married his father. “The rabbi told me that according to Jewish law, I am considered Jewish. And according to Muslim law, I am Muslim.”
“I was shocked to discover that I was Jewish,” Halawa told Tazpit. “But that was the point when my journey to Judaism began.”
Halawa joined a Jewish congregation in Toronto and in 2011, visited Israel for the first time and went to study at Jerusalem’s Aish HaTorah Yeshiva. “My family went through various levels of shock. At first, they were very skeptical and then angry. Today, I avoid talking about religion with my mom.”
“I’m just a human being like everyone else, striving for good and truth. I grew up hating Jews but today I find it an honor to belong to the Jewish nation – an honor worth all the family turmoil my journey has caused,” said Halawa, a married father, who lives today in Jerusalem.Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
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.Photo of the Day