Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Elul 21, 5774
By:
Zara Myers, JE Feature
A parent of a student in the predecessor of what's now the K'tonton School for Young Children at Congregation B'nai Jacob in Phoenixville once told his teacher, Ruthe Actor: "My son won't eat until he's said the blessing before meals." For Actor, the actions of that small boy epitomize the bigger picture of Jewish identity and continuity that she taught...
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The chanukiah has room for nine candles, which are lit immediately after dark (except on Friday evening when they should be lit just before lighting the Shabbat candles). One candle, the tallest, is called the shamash or "servant." Each night of Chanukah, the shamash is lit and then used to light the other candles. On the fight night, light the...
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Our tradition offers up contradictory reasons regarding why Chanukah is celebrated for eight days. The Mishnah (the Oral Law - written down in the beginning of the third century C.E.) states that the holiday is celebrated because of the miracle of the oil. Yet the book of Maccabees - the account written by those who participated in the rebellion against...
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According to legend, Jewish freedom-fighters holding secret meetings while plotting against the Syrians, pretended they were merely gambling. Back then, people gambled with a top - called a dreidel in Yiddish - spinning it and letting it fall to see what letter appeared on top. That is why we play dreidel games at Chanukah; it's also why we hand out...
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King Solomon, the third king of Israel, lived in a splendid palace surrounded by lavish gardens filled with all sorts of colorful, sweet-smelling flowers. One day as he sat in his garden thinking important thoughts, he was startled by a pain on his royal nose. "Ouch!" cried King Solomon, touching his red, swollen nose. "I think I have been stung...
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