One Rabbi’s View Same Sex Marriage

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As they walked together toward the bridal canopy, the chuppah in Hebrew, their steps were slow and measured. But it was not only the solemnity of the moment that created the pace. There was something more. Ray’s arm steadied Giorgio while Giorgio’s cane offered them additional stability. But no infirmity could dim their smiles. Ray,… Read more »

Happy Secular New Year

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“The Jewish Greeting for the Secular New Year” Throughout Israel, especially in Tel Aviv, the last day of the year is “party night.” On December 31st Israelis will celebrate along with the rest of the world but instead of shouting “Happy New Year,” Israelis do something different.  As the year turns from one year to… Read more »

Jews and Jingle Bells A Rabbi’s Thoughts on Christmas

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jews and jingle bells

Note:  This article first appeared in the Bradenton Herald, Bradenton, Florida.  I encourage you to share these thoughts with your Christian friends   “It’s the time of year when the world falls in love…”  Beautiful words for a beautiful time.  Christmas time.  Not my time of the year but I like it just the same…. Read more »

Getting Divorce Kids Through The Holiday Season

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Getting Divorce Kids Through The Holiday Season

Very soon, Chanukah and Christmas will begin. But for many children whose parents are divorced, the holiday season can be at best difficult and at worst traumatic. Getting divorce kids through the holiday season may require a little extra attention. Before I became a rabbi, I served on the board of a counseling service for… Read more »

Chanukah lights

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Chanukah lights

Our Chanukah lights are now a sweet memory but thanks to Rabbi Chaim (Brothers for Life- Achim L’Chaim), sends a historic Chanukah photo and shares its special message.  Rabbi Chaim writes: At first glance the photograph below looks almost quaint, an old black and white of a Menorah somewhere in Europe, sometime in the 1930’s…. Read more »

Cleaning Your Chanukah Menorah

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Cleaning Your Chanukah Menorah

We “wax eloquently” on bringing back the shine Although Chanukah is a minor Jewish holiday, it is “major” in the eyes of many Jewish families, especially where there are children who enjoy festivities that continue for eight nights. Chanukah itself derives from the Hebrew word,  “dedication,” and it is during this festival that Jews all over… Read more »

Chanukah Candle Lighting Blessings

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Chanukah Candle Lighting Blessings

The Chanukah Candle Lighting Blessings begins by understanding that we will be adding one candle to the menorah each night. The first night, you light only the shammus (the one at a different height) and one Chanukah candle. Add another candle each night: second night light two candles, third night light three candles, so that… Read more »

Christ is still the Christmas Headline

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Christ is still the Christmas Headline

A Christmas Conundrum – An American Rabbi in Catholic Italy: Even here in Italy it’s headline news that public Christmas celebrations in the US are under siege. But the cream in the cannoli (Italy’s version of “the icing on the cake”), is that a US military base has been forced to dismantle the entire nativity… Read more »

Chanukah Dreidel Hides

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Chanukah Dreidel Hides

In Sardinia a Chanukah Dreidel Hides in Plain Sight On the Italian island of Sardinia it wouldn’t be Natale (Christmas) without spinning the “barrallicu,” (“bar-a-LEE-koo”), a wooden cube made to spin like… well exactly like the dreidel used by Jews throughout the world as a favorite Chanukah game!  The similarities are stunning. Just like the… Read more »

Thanksgiving’s Jewish Connection

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Thanksgiving’s Jewish Connection

Thanksgiving’s Jewish Connection Legend has it that the first Thanksgiving was a sort of neighborhood block party when settlers invited local Indians to a festive celebration with tables piled high with all sorts of yummy delights. But that’s not how it happened.  The real story is that the English settlers observed that first Thanksgiving after… Read more »