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4 Shevat 5778 -
? Friday, January 19, 2018


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The Story Of Chanukah: ‘I Think I Can’

Chanukah is just about upon us and Jews across the planet are looking forward to family gatherings, delicious food (you can’t feel too guilty eating oily latkes and high carb donuts on the chag – hey, it’s practically a mitzvah to do so); giving and receiving gifts and in general celebrating our survival – our spiritual continuance as God-fearing Jews. (Our physical survival is an event we acknowledge on Purim.)

It’s My Opinion: Trash

Recently, a porcelain bathtub appeared atop a jetty off Miami Beach. The gleaming white object was perched upon craggy rocks. Ocean waves lapped around it. The origin of the tub was a mystery.

The Maccabees’ Response To ‘World Opinion’

“Israel has bad public relations.” This is the perennial cry. “Israel must improve its image to convince the world of the justness of its cause.”

Easing The Trauma Of Divorce: A Reaction

Dear Dr. Yael: I am writing to you in regards to your article, “Easing The Trauma Of Divorce” (Dear Dr. Yael, 11-16). Now in my 30s, I am the product of a divorced home in which my parents made me, an only child, a pawn. Throughout my life the trauma and hatred I witnessed between my parents was unbearable. As a result, I am terrified to get married, despite the desire to do so in a normal and happy setting. I have gone for therapy, but this great fear is hard to overcome. I wonder if this feeling will ever leave me.

The Secret To Defeating Our Enemies

Events have been unfolding so rapidly. First it was Hurricane Sandy, which attacked with merciless fury and left multitudes homeless, their cars and belongings swept away. Power failed, not for a day, or for a week, but in some cases for several weeks.

Don’t Feel Bad! We Didn’t Lose the War!

Hamas's celebrations of victory are based on fantasy and lies, and their joy won’t last when we hit them ten times as hard the next time.

Letter to Our Son in Gaza

What do you say to your son as he waits on the outskirts of Gaza? This is the message that I sent him.

Who Is Sandy?!

“Sandy gives New York a real thrashing!” screamed the headlines. “Hmmm, who exactly is Sandy and why is she thrashing New York,” I wonder. How about this one: (an exact quote) “For all those left homeless, for all those left scared and frightened, there is an enormous lesson from this hurricane – mother nature will do what she wants, when she wants, and our modern world can only bow before it.” Now I am really confused – who is this mother and why is she acting so mean – aren’t mothers supposed to be nice? And more so – what exactly is this “enormous” lesson? Why should I bow to her?

The Age Of Disrespect

And Lavan and Betuel answered and said, “It is from Hashem that this has come forth. We can speak neither for nor against it.”...

The Rare Torah Oracle

Rebecca, hitherto infertile, became pregnant. Suffering acute pain, she went to inquire of the Lord – “vateilech lidrosh et Hashem” (Bereishit 25:22). The explanation she received was that she was carrying twins who were contending in her womb. They were destined to do so long into the future.

Dealing with Adult who Sexually Abuses Children

There are clear mental dysfunction and depravity that go along with being an adult who sexually abuses children.

An Ode To Sandy

Living in a house With more than 20 people Is no fun Especially when there is no gum

Yad Hashem – Shown With A Foot!

As the expression goes, “Hashem fir zich der velt” – Hashem orchestrates all the events that occur in the world. Most of what Hashem does is hidden from us. However, on occasion something happens in such an open way, one would have to be totally oblivious to the world around him to not see the powerful display of Yad of Hashem.

The Greatness Of The Avos

“And Sarah died in Kiryas Arbah, which is Chevron, in the land of Canaan, and Avraham came to mourn for Sarah and to cry for...

What Does It All Mean?

The continuation of my column on the power of prayer was ready to go – but then tragedy hit. Tragedy of a magnitude none of us could have envisioned.

The Prison Cell Of Laziness

Hashem appeared to Avraham and told him that the people of Sodom were wicked and would be destroyed. The only ones who would be saved were Lot and his family, because of the merit of Avraham. Hashem then sent two malachim, Gavriel and Michoel, to accomplish this task.

Politics And Torah — Friends Or Enemies?

Many trees upstate were damaged by the hurricane that swept through the East Coast at the end of last summer, and I was involved in finding the safest equipment to clean up the mess. I love trees and found the chore of cutting them down very difficult, especially knowing that the stately 60 year old trees would be impossible to replace. Even though we planted new trees, I don't know whether I will be there to enjoy these new saplings when they are 60 years old.

Gedolim Are Human

And Hashem said to Avram, “Go for yourself from your land, from your birth place, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” – Bereishis 12:1 With these words begins one of the ten great tests of Avraham. The Ramban explains that these were trials by fire, designed to bring Avraham’s greatness to the surface, taking it from the potential to the actual. They helped form him into the singular tzaddik he became.

The Highchair

Yael was tired of sticking the highchair together with glue or Sellotape. It had lasted through five children, a miracle in itself, but now it seemed to have given up all hope – and decided to self-destruct.

People Eat for Free and They Work for Free

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov once revealed what he called a great secret - people eat for free and they work for free. He explained this with the following parable.

A Nation Of Kreplach

Hoshana Rabbah is, according to tradition, the day the judgment of Yom Kippur is sealed and finalized. There are some changes in the morning prayers. We circle the bima seven times with our lulav and esrog and then we put them down and take five aravos and beat them on the synagogue floor as if to say, “These are being beaten instead of me.”

Noach: Hashem Hates Thievery

In this pasuk, Hashem appears to Noach, telling him the world has turned to evil and He will now destroy all of life. Noach, his family, and the animals that remained pure will be the core of a new world. The reason for this destruction is stealing – “since the land is filled with robbery.”

The Power Of Prayer

Once again I must postpone the continuation of my Oct. 5 column, “Technology, Yom Kippur, Ahmadinejad,” this time due to the heavy reader response to last week’s column.

Everybody Is a Winner

I recently read a disturbing news article about a social phenomenon that is tragic beyond words. The article stated that more people were losing their lives by committing suicide than by car crashes. This conclusion was based on a recent study by the American Journal of Public Health based on data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics from the years 2000-2009. Why are so many people killing themselves, or attempting to, since some try but fail? I can only imagine that they are looking for a way out of lives saturated with abject misery; they feel trapped in a cage of never-ending unhappiness.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/the-story-of-chanukah-i-think-i-can/2012/12/06/

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