BY MELISSA HENRIQUEZ for Kveller
Salad fix-ins? Check.
Menorah, candles, and dreidels? Check, check, check.
My husband, kids, and I were headed to family dinner at our dear friends’ house. Though she and her husband aren’t Jewish, my friend is a history teacher who loves learning about and sharing multicultural traditions.
by Breaking Matzo
This project is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
1. Hanukkah is a holiday of re-dedication, a festival celebrating the re-establishment of the holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees.
Is there something in your life that you want to improve or to which you want to rededicate yourself this season?
2. Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of a small jug of oil lasting for 8 days.
As you light your Menorah, ask this question: What “miraculous” events, large or small, do you wish to celebrate this year?
From Sustainable Baby Steps
Have you started preparing your eco-friendly Hanukkah traditions yet? No doubt you are thinking about polishing your menorah, dusting the dreidels and starting the search for the perfect presents.
However, how will you polish that menorah? Did you keep the dreidels from last year and what types of presents will you buy? These are all things which need to be taken into consideration if you want this holiday season to be a sustainable one.
My household Hanukkah traditions usually consists of a nightly Menorah lighting and present giving, so that each family member receives eight presents in total. We might also go to a public Menorah lighting and attend or hold our own Hanukkah party during the 8 day festival. We don't put up much in the way of decorations or exchange cards, but every family is different with their own Hanukkah traditions over decorations, food, present giving and so on.
Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
From pronunciation to scheduling, questions and answers about the Festival of Lights.
How do you pronounce Hanukkah?
Is there a correct way to spell Hanukkah?
Why does Hanukkah last eight days?
What is Hanukkah about?
Is it OK to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas?
Why does Hanukkah fall on a different date each year?
Is the candelabra lit on Hanukkah called a menorah or a hanukkiah?
Why do Jews play dreidel on Hanukkah?
Do Jews traditionally exchange gifts on all eight nights of Hanukkah?
By Josefin Dolsten for JTA
Last week, the story of a Jewish woman competing in the Miss Germany competition went viral, appearing in JTA along with media outlets around the world. Tamar Morali, 21, said organizers told her she was the first Jewish woman to get this far in the beauty pageant.
It turns out the story — and the world of beauty pageants in general — isn’t as straightforward as it seems.
In 2011, a Jewish woman, Valeria Bystritskaia, was crowned Miss Germany. But out of fear of anti-Semitism Bystritskaia, a Russia native who moved to Germany at the age of 7, kept her Jewish heritage a secret.
From Pride Comes Loneliness
Joseph's experience in prison teaches him, and us, that we succeed and flourish when we support those around us.
By Rabbi Bradley Artson, provided by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, for MyJewishLearning.com
In the development of Joseph’s character and the events of his life, the Torah portrays a bittersweet lesson about the loneliness of pride. On the surface, there is no reason for Joseph to be lonely. He is, after all, the favorite child of his father, surrounded by 11 brothers, in the midst of a bustling and energetic family.
Joseph has the potential to fill his life with friendship, family and love. Yet his need to be preeminent, his need to belittle the gifts and experiences of this family in order to glorify his own talents, isolate him from his own kin. We get a clue about the extent of Joseph’s pride from the very start.
by: Noah Phillips for Fresh Ink for Teens
As Richard Spencer takes to college campuses, I reflect on The Unite the Right rally.
When a car fatally plowed through a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, the world took notice. Rallies and marches orchestrated by white nationalists, like alt-right leader Richard Spencer, and neo-Nazis plagued the city, awakening the country to the persistence and prevalence of hateful ideologies. Perhaps most troubling is that the multi-day rally in Charlottesville was far from an isolated incident; on that same weekend, nine other white nationalist rallies were scheduled across the country and chants of “Jews will never replace us!” echoed through the United States.
BY LEAH FALK for Jewniverse
If you want to smash the gender binary (by, for example, giving transpeople a comfortable place to pee), Judaism can feel like an odd fit. The obligation to observe commandments is traditionally divided along male/female lines: men pray three times daily, while women don’t have to; men put on tefillin, while women do not. Some women’s recent efforts to observe the religious privileges they’re exempt from have made ripples in the Jewish world, and even the news.
BY ABIGAIL SHRIER for The Jewish Week
A couple of weeks ago, leaders of Conservative Judaism caused a stir by reaffirming a ban on interfaith marriage while reiterating the movement’s commitment to welcoming intermarried couples to its congregations. If this bit of legerdemain seems awkward, its stated goal will be familiar: strengthening Jewish identity.
“We believe — and the data confirm,” read a June statement from the Jewish Theological Seminary, “that by far the most effective path toward building a Jewish future is to strengthen Jewish identity, beginning with the Jewish family.”
This recipe is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
By Joan Nathan for Tablet Magazine
Made with lamb and leeks, savory ‘kiftes’ bring a taste of Macedonia to your holiday table
In Macedonia—both the Balkan state and the northern section of Greece—leeks grow as plentifully as onions, so there are many leek dishes from this region. In particular, Jews from Macedonia wax nostalgic about leek kofta, as these patties are known locally, made with lamb, beef, or potatoes and cheese.
As I was researching recipes for my forthcoming book King Solomon’s Table, Tablet’s editor in chief, Alana Newhouse, gave me permission to tamper with the traditional recipe for “kiftes” or “kiftes de prasa” made by her maternal grandmother, who came from Monastir (now Bitola), Macedonia. I didn’t have to change much. Roasting the leeks at a high heat instead of boiling them, as Alana’s grandmother would have done, and adding a bit of spice made all the difference in bringing out the flavor.
This project is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more articles, crafts, and recipes in the Hanukkah Guide.
From the Blog: Bringing Chesed Home
I am very excited to be guest posting on Bringing Chesed Home. I think that home is a perfect place for chesed. There are so many ways to accomplish this, especially when you have kids (Sarah's post Night Night is a perfect example of this). I think this blog is a great idea and I am really looking forward to watching Bringing Home Chesed grow!
These Recycled Dreidel Paper Dolls are great for kids of any age. Any child that is old enough to hold a crayon can participate. You can make them ahead of Hanukkah for decorations or I think it would be a fun activity after you light the Menorah. We hung ours around our foyer which is now covered in dreidels!
Jewish Book Council
Congratulations to the awardees of the 2017 Natan Book Award at the Jewish Book Council! We're excited for the conversations their books will spark around issues of Jewish life, Jewish community, and Jewish identity.
By Viva Sarah Press for Israel21c
Looking for your own great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
ISRAEL21c brings you eight awesome ideas for celebrating the Festival of Lights in Israel, where it all happened back in the year 165.
The annual Hanukkah Torch Relay marks the beginning of the holiday in Israel. People line the road from the city of Modi’in to the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem’s Old City, passing a burning torch from hand to hand. The torch then lights the giant hanukkiyah (menorah) at the Western Wall.
Modi’in, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is believed to have been the home of Hanukkah’s heroes, the Maccabees, and the place where the Maccabean revolt began.
Sufganiyot (doughnuts) are by far the most popular Hanukkah food in Israel. Every year, Israelis eat a whopping 24 million of these calorie-heavy-sugar-covered-fried treats made especially for the holiday.
Being part of an interfaith family can be difficult, especially around the holidays. When it comes to raising children, the question of how to fairly and fully raise your children religiously and culturally is hard because there is no right or wrong way. It’s simply about what is best for your family.
Of course, knowing that there is no wrong way doesn’t necessarily take the pressure off. Many of our readers are in interfaith marriages, many with a spouse who is Christian, or have extended family who are. Explaining to your kids why you have a Christmas tree and a menorah can be confusing, but we know it’s not impossible.
BY MJL STAFF
Lesser-known facts about the Festival of Lights.
Hanukkah , which in 2017 starts at sundown on Tuesday, December 12, is one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays in the United States. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing new to learn about this eight-day festival. From the mysterious origins of gelt to an Apocryphal beheading to Marilyn Monroe, we’ve compiled an item for each candle (don’t forget the shammash!) on the Hanukkah menorah .
1. Gelt as we know it is a relatively new tradition — and no one knows who invented it.
Everybody loves Hanukkah; the festival of lights that comes but once a year! Every December, we look forward to this joy-filled excuse to stuff our faces with fried potatoes, sour cream, and apple sauce, but eight days of burning candles, giving gifts, and frying pancakes could lead to some seriously wasteful behavior. Not to worry, all you eco Hanukkah lovers—there are plenty of ways that you can green up this year’s holiday celebration, and here are five smart tips to get you started!
Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
By Naomi Levy for Hadassah Magazine
Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in Jvillage's Hanukkah Guide.
What would Hanukkah be without the burning candles reminding us of God’s miracles in the time of the Maccabees and in our own days? But the candles we kindle on the holiday—which begins the evening of December 12—can also teach us about the miracle shining within each of us. As Proverbs 20:27 reminds us: “God’s candle is the human soul.” We are carrying God’s light within us. It burns like a pilot light, always available to help us and guide us. It’s our responsibility to honor and tend that light, to keep sharing it and spreading it.
Genesis 32:4 - 36:43
Rabbi Justin Goldstein for myjewishlearning.com
A Tale of Two Jacobs
This biblical patriarch’s life is marked by an unresolved conflict with his dark side.
One reason the figures in Torah are so compelling is that they are not paragons of perfection; quite to the contrary they are complex individuals who struggle with the human condition. And no figure in Torah embodies this dichotomy more than Jacob. He is, truly, a broken man, his struggle for self-discovery marred by what might be described as a split personality. Perhaps one indication of this split is the fact that he receives a second name, Israel — Hebrew for “God Struggler.”
Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, filed a request for a retrial.
The request was submitted to Israel’s Supreme Court Sunday after Amir met with his attorney, Gabi Shachar, in prison. During the meeting, Amir signed the documents necessary to request the retrial, the Hebrew-language Hadashot news reported.