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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Hanukkah’

US Jews Help IDF Soldiers Celebrate Hanukkah at Army Bases

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

Jonathan Benedek wrote this article for TPS.

The Tri-State Region branch of the U.S. non-profit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) arranged  for hundreds of Israeli soldiers in the Givati Brigade to celebrate Chanukah a Hanukkah on their bases.

“During Hanukkah, sometimes they don’t get to go home and are instead in the field and on base,” Anat Chavkin, Director of the FIDF Connecticut/Westchester chapter, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “In order to bring Hanukkah to them, we try to arrange these activities to lift their morale.”

Chavkin added:

Usually, we sponsor a whole Hanukkah party for the brigade where there will be dancing. During the party, their commander will comment not only on the holiday but will share some words about the soldiers themselves to help motivate them.

We are also giving the soldiers in the brigade a lot of Sufganiyot doughnuts.

The Tri-State branch has taken the Givati Brigade under its wing through an FIDF program known as “Adopt-A-Brigade.”

 

“What really means a lot to them is that people from all around the world and in particular the United States think about them, share the same values with them and will always stand by them,” Chavkin added.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Colel Chabad’s Hanukkah Retreat Brings Joy for 100 Widows, 300 Orphans

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) For more than 300 children from around Israel, the idea of a happy Hanukkah following the loss of a parent might have seemed like an impossibility. But through the generosity of Colel Chabad, Israel’s longest running social services organization, that is just what is occurring this holiday in Jerusalem. One hundred widows and three hundred children were invited to a three-day fully subsidized getaway at a Jerusalem hotel, including an extensive entertainment and travel program to help them get their minds off their personal losses and enjoy Hanukkah like any other family.

Among the children were many who had lost fathers in the line of duty or in terror attacks and sadly the number of participants in this annual program is on the rise. Now in its 12th year, the Chessed Menachem Mendel program is one of many run by Colel Chabad, which was founded in 1788 by the first Rebbe of the Lubavitcher Chassidic movement, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, with the goal of supporting the welfare needs of the community in the Holy Land. Colel Chabad runs a year round assistance for widows and orphans whereby the provide food, clothing and social services for close to 300 widows and more than 750 orphans annually. Tutors and social workers help monitor the child’s education and development and career counseling, training and loans provide needed assistance for the parents.

The group gathered at Jerusalem’s Ramada Hotel spanned the entire range of the religious and non-religious spectrum. The one uniting factor was the sense of family and comfort knowing these children and mothers are among people who truly understand what they are going through.

“Our vision as an organization is to look beyond the instant solutions and come to assist people in those moments where the rest of the world might be busy celebrating on their own,” said Rabbi Amram Blau, Educational Director of Chessed Menachem Mendel. “We know that when these children, widows and widowers are given the attention they deserve, it allows them to celebrate the holidays with a sense of respect.”

The highlight of the three-day getaway was a nighttime celebration filled with candle lighting a six-foot Lego chanukiya built by the children, dancing and doughnuts. One donor who recently moved to Israel from the United States heard about the program the day before it began and decided on the spot to donate gifts for each and everyone of the children. Rabbi Menachem Traxler, Director of Volunteering for Colel Chabad mobilized his network and immediately set out to buy the gifts, wrap them and prepare them to be presented to the 300 children.

One mother, who had lost her husband in battle in last year’s Operation Protective Edge looked on with tears in her eyes and her children danced and opened their gifts. “This program reminds us of the good that there is in the world and allows my children to know that even while their father can’t be here there are others in the world who also care for them.”

JNi.Media

How Albert Einstein defeated the Greek Empire – Hanukkah Special [audio]

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Tune in to this Hanukkah special to find out how Albert Einstein’s paradigm shattering discovery of E=MC2 dealt a final blow in the age old battle between the Hellenists and the Hebrew prophets.

As Israel stands alone, surrounded by 23 Arab and 57 Muslim countries, the truth of Chanukah must be internalized now more than ever.

But what was the war between the Maccabees and the Greeks really about?

Was it merely oil lasting longer than expected or is there a far greater lesson which we must learn in facing the existential challenges that the free world faces today?

Ari Abramowitz & Jeremy Gimpel

President Rivlin to Visit Obama on Hanukkah

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

President Barack Obama is about to see and hear first-hand the radical difference between Shimon “Peace” Peres and his predecessor President ReuvenRivlin.

President Rivlin flew out of Ben Gurion Airport early Tuesday. Besides participating in a Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony at the White House and speaking with senior administration officials, he will deliver an address at the Brookings Institute and participate in another candle lighting ceremony with Ambassadors to the United Nations.

Rivlin already is changing the image of Israel as seen by foreign dignitaries. He has visited Hebron, expressed the close links between the Jewish People and Judea and Samaria and has veered 180 degrees from Peres’ sermonizing on the “peace process” at every opportunity.

The president said before boarding the plane this morning:

The friendship between Israel and the United States is an expression of a deep bond. It is the bond between two countries, and between two peoples, and I intend to express to the President, in the name of all the people, Israel’s appreciation for the uncompromising support of the United States, in each moment, and in every situation.

These are days of great regional instability, and a far from simple security situation in Israel. It is my intention to discuss these challenges with President Obama, alongside the ongoing discussion about the common values which we share – values of freedom and democracy – and I am in no doubt that the array of meetings planned during this visit will serve to further strengthen and deepen the relations between our peoples.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

White House: Hanukkah Lights Flicker for Saving Syrian Refuges

Monday, December 7th, 2015

The Obama administration has followed up on exploiting Passover for its political agenda by coming out with a new interpretation of Hanukkah, whose lights supposedly are to enlighten Jews to back the President’s program to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said at the annual lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah:

So this is a joyous occasion, and yet as we heard earlier we are mindful that even as we gather here tonight, that while the light of freedom burns brightly for us and for our generation, it flickers for others.

Refugees fleeing religious intolerance and oppression. People targeted for their faith, people whose faith is perverted by others.

He suddenly dropped the Jewish angle and switched to speaking for all Americans, saying:

We are Americans, and as Americans we do not turn our backs on those who seek sanctuary. Nor do we stay quiet in the face of bigotry or intolerance. We stand up for those persecuted around the world.

McDonough then switched back to express his ignorance of Judaism and continued:

We remember this season that we too were once strangers, that our inheritance gives an obligation to remain true to our values, that as Jewish tradition teaches, by saving one life, we save the world.

He seems to be getting Passover, when Jews recall being “strangers in a strange land,” with Hanukkah, the celebration of twin miracles of the victory of a small number of Jews over Greek invaders of Jerusalem and of a one-day’s supply of pure olive oil burning for eight days after the holy Menorah was relit.

It is no wonder he got confused because Passover also has been used by President Barack Obama to promote his political agenda. This past year, as in previous years, the President acted as a would-be Torah sage to declare that Jews must drive into their minds that Arabs deserve their freedom just like Jews won their freedom with the help of God.

He meant freedom for Arabs in Judea and Samaria, where their main lack of freedom is to kill Jews at will, and not in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and other Muslim countries where freedom is a strange word in a strange land.

Chabad Rabbi Levi Shemtov expressed a different political interpretation on whose lack of freedom should be remembered.

After declaring his sorrow for the victims of the terror attack in San Bernardino, he said:

They, their families, their loved ones that are mourning are with us in our prayers and in our celebration today. So are the families of all those innocent souls in Paris. … We must remember them as we celebrate our freedom.
Because even though we and France are two free countries, freedom is not free, and when it is disrupted, we must pause and remember those who give their lives in that cause.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Sufganiot Galore

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Sufganiot (doughnuts) for sale at the Marzipan bakery in the Machane Yehuda shuk in Jerusalem, before the holiday of Chanukah.

Sufganiot

Sufganiot

Sufganiot

Sufganiot

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‘Bad Timing’ of Christmas Hurts Chanukah Sales

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

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.

It reported:

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bad-timing-of-christmas-hurts-chanukah-sales/2015/11/28/

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