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December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Hanukkah’

Steven Sotloff’s Parents to Light Public Menorah in His Memory

Monday, December 15th, 2014

The parents of Steven Sotloff, the Jewish journalist who was beheaded by a member of ISIS, will light a public menorah in Miami in his memory.

Arthur and Shirley Sotloff will light the first candle of Hanukkah Tuesday night at the Chabad center in Miami.

“Steve was a proud Jew who always enjoyed the holidays,” his father, Arthur Sotloff, told Chabad.org. “It was one of his defining characteristics.”

“Chanukah is a time we commemorate the vanquishing of our enemies who tried to deprive us of our right to live with Torah,” Arthur Sotloff said. “The Maccabees fought for Judaism, and Steve fought for the values they endowed us with.”

The directors of the Chabad center in Miami, Rabbi Yossi and Nechama Harlig, got to know the Sotloffs during the Shiva period for their son. They decided Hanukkah would be the appropriate time to honor the slain journalist “who sought to bring a little more light and truth to the world,” according to Chabad.org

Sotloff, who grew up in Miami, was abducted on Aug. 4, 2013, after crossing the Syrian border from Turkey. On Sept. 2, ISIS released a nearly three-minute video online titled “A Second Message to America” showing the beheading of Sotloff.

Sotloff published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in various publications, including Time.com, the World Affairs Journal and Foreign Policy. He also freelanced for The Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report magazine.

It was revealed after his death that Sotloff, 31, held Israeli citizenship. His connections to Israel and the Jewish community reportedly had been sanitized from the Internet and social media in order to keep the information from his radical Islamic captors.

Sotloff, a grandson of Holocaust survivors, made aliyah in 2005.

His parents have established The 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation to provide scholarships for journalism students.

Hanukkah-Decorated Florida Home Vandalized with Swastika

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

A Jewish man found a swastika drawn on the gate to his home where he had put up decorations for Hanukkah.

David Cohen, 72 and a resident of North Fort Myers, Fla., told police that he found the swastika drawn onto his gate on Monday afternoon.

“I can’t even say how mad it makes me feel,” Cohen told news-press.com. “If it was a kid, I’d say they were very stupid. If it was an adult, they are very ignorant.”

The swastika was about four inches in length.

“I first saw it Monday when I came back from the North Fort Myers Community Center,” Cohen said.

Cohen reported the incident to the sheriff’s office and kept the fence open in order to avoid seeing the swastika and then painted over it.

He also placed a Menorah, dreidel and a Star of David near and around his lawn, which so far has been not vandalized.

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Biden to Light ‘National Menorah’

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden will assist in the lighting this year of the Hanukkah menorah on the ellipse in front of the White House.

Biden’s participation on Dec. 16, the first night of the holiday, marks the 35th anniversary of the first lighting of the “National Menorah,” an event sponsored by American Friends of Lubavitch, the Washington office of the Chabad movement.

It has become a tradition for Cabinet-level officials to assist in the lighting.

Only in Israel: Subaru Sprocket Menorah

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Winter in Israel is coming and rain is predicted for tomorrow – Yay! And the first rain always reminds me to… tune up my Subaru in preparation for the weather.

So this morning I headed out to Talpiot, Jerusalem, where the Subaru garage has always served me well. I like the service, I like the personnel, and, well, I like Subaru. My late father A”H had a Subaru when we lived in Israel, when I was a boy, and then as today, Subaru has remained a dependable car.

There is yet another reason to respect Subaru. From 1969 till the late 80′s, Subaru was the only Japanese car company that sold to Israel. (I even read that Subaru brand was actually created for the Israeli market). The other, bigger companies were kowtowing to the Arab boycott till they got wise. So if you’re wondering why there are so many Subarus in Israel, you got your answer.

Anyway, as I was saying, I drove into the garage to do the routine winter tuneup, but this year it was Chanukah. Now, I have a personal proclivity – I want to see some Chanukah paraphernalia when I come into an establishment. Maybe it’s my time in the U.S. and seeing how the gentiles do Christmas, but I want Chanukah to be big.

But as I looked around, I saw no secretaries eating Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and no mechanics spinning draidel. I pulled over Gabi, the head mechanic. “Gabi, where is Chanukah here?”  But Gabi is a proud Jew. He dragged me over to the waiting room and showed me this:

Wow! It turns out that Avi, a mechanic in the shop, has a penchant for making the coolest Chanukiahs (menorahs) ever, from old Subaru parts, and every evening, at the prescribed time, the whole garage lights the Subaru Sprocket Chanukiah.

Avi took out his phone and showed me the other Chanukiyot that he has made. He explained how he used a mechanical press and silicone glue to ensure that the various Chanukiah car parts are oil tight so that a wick can be placed directly and lit.

When I started taking pictures, all the mechanics were so happy to show their garage’s unique Chanukah contribution. I promised them that I would put up the photo in the Jewish Press as my contribution to the pirsumei nisa aspect, the publicizing of the miracle of Chanukah. But, really, the miracle of Chanukah is the miracle of Israel and the  love of good Jerusalem mechanics for the traditions of the Jewish people.

Well, Subaru, you have done it again. You stood up to tyranny in the past, and with this new Chanukiah you once again shine. Maybe one day I will be able to afford a new Forester…

Long live Subaru! Long live Chanukah!

Seventh Hanukkah Candle to Be Lit in Seven Nations Simultaneously

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Immigrants to Israel from seven countries will light Hanukkah candles Tuesday night simultaneously with Jews in seven other countries in a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

The candle lighting in Israel will take place at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, where 300 young olim  from France, Ethiopia, the United States, Yemen, Latvia, Latin America, and the Bnei Menashe community of India will be joined by Jews lighting at the same time in Paris, London, Moscow, Kiev, Tashkent and Budapest.

The event will be broadcast live  here at 3:30 p.m. Israel time (8:30 a.m. EST).

Netanyahu Lights Hanukkah Candles in Rome’s Main Synagogue

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Rome’s main synagogue Sunday night and lit Hanukkah candles with his Italian counterpart Enrico Letta before he arrived at the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis.

Speaking to the Jewish community and the media at Sunday’s ceremony, Netanyahu reiterated his warnings that the recent agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was a “historic error.”

Letta, saying he “knew Israel’s positions, doubts and fears,” turned to relations with Jews in Italy and stated that the current economic and social crisis fed “extremism, hate and intolerance,” and he pledged to resist the “racism, intolerance and xenophobia” that were growing in Italy “in a worrying manner.”

The two prime ministers held bilateral talks on Monday.

Chanukah Lighting on the Mount of Olives

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Living on the Mount of Olives has its perks. Sure, we have crazy traffic every Monday and Thursday mornings because of Kotel Bar Mitzvas, and no, we don’t have any nearby grocery stores so we have to stock up on big weekly shopping trips.

But there is nothing like lighting the Chanukia right across from the Temple Mount.

When I prepare my oil candles, I look over to the place that the first and second Temples stood, and I remember the fight which the Maccabees fought against the Syrian Greeks, and the Hebrew military/cultural victory which was broadcast when the Menorah was lit in purity once again. I also remember how almost three-hundred years later the Romans would sack the Temple overcoming the Great Revolt. And I remember how Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva fomented yet another revolution against mighty Rome only 60 years later, and took back Jerusalem for three more years before the final destruction of the Second Commonwealth.

From my window, the jewel Temple Mount is adorned by a golden crown. To the west, I see the Beit Knesset HaChurva, twice destroyed by Arabs – the second time being blown up with dynamite by the Jordanians in 1948. Now, once again, the great dome of the Churva stands tall and glorious atop the Old City. Even more to the west, I see the walls of ancient Jerusalem as rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent about 500 years ago. I even see the Leonardo Plaza hotel reminding me that there is a modern western Jerusalem as well.

To the east of the Temple Mount I see the continuation of my mountain – the Mount of Olives – the mountain of Jewish History. The voices of the massive cemetery answer ‘Amen’ as I light the Chanukia. Voices like the Prophet Zecharia who foresaw the rebuilding of the Third Temple, voices like Israel’s youngest fallen soldier: ten year old, private Nissim Gini, who is buried in a mass grave along with 47 other defenders of the Old City as it fell to the Jordanian legion in 1948. Voices like Rav Kook, Rav Goren, and even Eliezer Ben Yehuda who dedicated their lives to the birth of the Third Jewish commonwealth in the Land of Israel. They all answer ‘Amen’ as I light the Chanukia with my wife and children in the construction site know as Jerusalem.

Yet there are other voices, loud voices, that I hear, or am forced to hear, as I light the oil candles. These are the voices of the Fatah club right underneath my balcony. “Allah HuAkbar” is not a friendly invitation to serve God in the Holy City. No, the meaning behind that call is that in the name of God, Jewish sovereignty is to be snuffed out, and if I and my children are in the way, then we are to be snuffed out as well. The chant is meant to energize the adherents and strike fear into victims. But as I look unto the Fatah club through the light of Chankiah, I am filled with the determination of the Maccabees that we shall prevail over these forces of darkness.

And then there is the Temple Mount itself. In the misty night, the well placed lights illuminate the Golden Dome. On the one hand I am happy that at least the Temple Mount is respected with a memorable edifice. On the other hand, that very structure appears in every anti-Israel Jihadist propaganda. Indeed, as my friend Alex pointed out to me, our holiest place is the seed of greatest hate against us. Ironic.

Tears come down as I ponder the history of the self-sacrifice that this place engenders in our people. But I am heartened that we are part of a long chain of history, and that long chain will eventually lead, as promised, to victory. That victory will not mean subjugation of people, or the abrogation of freedom. It will mean the subjugation of evil men, and the abrogation of tyranny. Isn’t that what Chanukah is all about?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/chanukah-lighting-on-the-mount-of-olives/2013/12/01/

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