Visit Our Website www.BikurCholimPS.com December 2013/Kislev 5774 VOL. 17 NO. 2
Let My People Know
Published and mailed 5 times a year to 3,500 homes in Palm Springs
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Bikur Cholim of Palm Springs A Project of Chabad of Palm Springs P.O. Box 2934 Palm Springs, CA 92263 Rabbi Yankel A. Kreiman
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A Little Band of Hasmoneans
By Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, The Lubavitcher Rebbe The Chanukah Lights which Holy Temple has been invaded by a cruel enemy. The are kindled in the darkness of Torah and our faith are in grave danger. The enemy night recall to our minds memo- has trampled upon everything holy to us and is tryries of the past: the war that the ing to force us to accept his way of life which is that Hasmoneans waged against huge of idol worship, injustice, and similar traits altogether Syrian armies, their victory, the foreign to us. There is but one thing for us to do-to dedication of the Temple, the re- adhere all the more closely to our religion and its prekindling of theMenorah, the small cepts, and to fight against the enemy even if we have quantity of oil that lasted for many to die in this fight. days, and so on. And wonder of wonder! The huge Syrian armies are Let's picture ourselves members of the little band of beaten, the vast Syrian Empire is defeated, our vicHasmoneans in those days. We are under the domina- tory is complete. tion of a powerful Syrian king; many of our breth- This chapter of our history has repeated itself freren have left us and accepted the idolatry and way of quently. We, as Jews, have always been outnumlife of the enemy. But our leaders, the Hasmoneans, bered; many tyrants attempted to destroy us because do not commence action by comparingnumbers and of our faith. Sometimes they aimed their poisoned weapons, and weighing our chances of victory. The arrows at our bodies, sometimes at our souls, and,
sad to say, many of our brethren have for one reason or another turned away from G-d and His Torah and tried to make life easier by accepting the rule of the conqueror. In such times of distress we must always be like that faithful band of Hasmoneans, and remember that there is always a drop of ‘pure olive oil’ hidden deep in the heart of every Jew, which, if kindled, bursts into a big flame. This drop of ‘pure olive oil’ is the ‘Perpetual Light’ that must and will pierce the darkness of our present night, until everyone of us will behold the fulfillment of the prophet's promise for our ultimate redemption and triumph. And as in the days of the Hasmoneans ‘the wicked will once again be conquered by the righteous, and the arrogant by those who follow G-d's laws, and our peopleIsrael will have a great salvation.’
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‘A Message From the Rabbi’
Dear Friends, Did Chanukah happen years ago, or is it happening now? Looking at the events today, you start to wonder. The story of a little candle pushing away the monster of frightening darkness, of human sensibility overcoming terror and brute force, of life and growth overcoming destruction - the battle is very much alive within each of us, and in the world outside of us. With every breath of life, every cry of a newborn child, every blade of grass that breaks out from under the soil, every decision to do good in the face of evil, to be kind where there is cruelty, to build where others destroy, to move humanity forward when others pull us toward choas and that is Chanukah. Chanukah is an eight-day spiritual journey. Many people know the story of Chanukah- but only as a historical pretext to give gifts and eat latkes. We can call that the body of Chanukah. The soul of Chanukah is its meditation, joy warmth and light. Not only in our homes with our loved ones, but with the entire world. Our hope is that by igniting our souls, everybody will follow and light the world, one candle at a time. Please enjoy this special Chanukah edition of Let My People Know. Best wishes for a very happy, healthy & bright Chanukah to you & your family.
Happy Chanukah to You and Your Family!
Rabbi Yankel & Rochel Kreiman
Happy Chanukah Solomon & Mae Amram
Ruth & Herb Levitsky
Dr. Amy Austin
Judge Jacqueline Drucker
Art & Joan Markovits
Isaac & Selma Friedman
Celia & Sandy Norian
Joan & Harold Kramer
Joyce & Irwin Yarmo
LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774 n 3
A Marriage Blessed In Heaven By Sherri Mandell
It is said that ever since G d created the world, He has been kept busy making shidduchim, making marriages. And that making a good match is as hard as the splitting of the Red Sea. Forty days before a child is born a voice is heard: this person is destined for that one. Somehow our bashert, the person destined for us, waits for us. But that doesn't mean we find him. Gila and Ben found each other. And on the day of their wedding, each went to visit Yosef Goodman's grave in order to thank him. Ben left the wedding invitation at the grave. It was Yosef who was their matchmaker. But this time something went terribly wrong Yosef had been in Maglan, an elite combat unit of the paratroopers of the Israeli army. Yosef enjoyed the freedom and excitement of parachuting. Even on the day of his accident, his friends toldYosef's mother that as he was jumping, he was happy and shouting. He, together with four others who were the best guys in the unit, was doing special training jumps. But this time – his 36th jump – something went terribly wrong. His commander's leg became entangled in the rope of Yosef's parachute. They started to spin quickly in circles. Yosef tried to save them both by cutting himself free from his parachute while opening up his emergency parachute. The commander landed safely.
Yosef's emergency parachute was released but he was too close to the ground for it to fully open. Yosef Goodman died on February 2, 2006. He was 20.
Yosef Goodman a"h
The second of 9 children, Yosef was a generous, well-loved person, fun loving and full of life, not afraid of anything. He was a loving brother. When his older brother wanted to spend his time learning in yeshiva, Yosef's parents asked the other children if they would be willing to help support him in the future if they were working and their brother was still learning. Yosef was the first son to say yes, he would help support his brother if he needed assistance. In fact, he changed his army insurance policy a month before he died, naming that brother as the beneficiary instead of his parents. Now his older brother, studying in yeshiva and married, is using Yosef's gift to support his family. Yosef's parents, Ann and Mordechai Goodman, are immigrants from the States; Mordechai grew up in Texas, Ann in New York. Anne trained as a lawyer; Mordechai
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is the owner of Pizzeria Efrat, famous for its wonderful pizza and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. If you go to the pizza place, you often see the kids working there. Yosef put in many hours baking pies and delivering pizza. He was tall and lean, good-looking, and he loved to laugh. Gila Wolbromsky lives a few houses away from Yosef's family. Gila's younger brother was Yosef's good friend. They grew up together; all their childhood stories are shared ones. She didn't think that he was serious one Friday afternoon, when Yosef came home from the army for Shabbat, he went over to Gila's house and told her that he wanted to set her up with his former commander, Ben Berdichev. Though Ben had completed his army service, he and Yosef still spoke often on the phone and had a very close relationship. When Yosef told Gila about wanting to set her up, she didn't think that he was serious. She was already dating somebody and she didn't think much about the suggestion. Two and half weeks later Yosef died in the parachuting accident. Gila's last conversation with Yosef had been about Ben. The day he died, Yosef called Ben. "Did you call her yet?" he asked. Ben said: "We'll speak about it later." He wasn't planning on calling. He was going to Australia to work at a Jewish day school and he didn't think it made sense to try to begin a new relationship when he was leaving. But Yosef insisted, and Ben promised he would call. But Ben didn't call. After Yosef was killed, during the week of shiva, Ben spent a lot of time at the Goodman house. He wanted to be there, to grieve and to talk about Yosef. Gila saw him there, but she had no idea that he was the commander that Yosef had been talking about. But he heard her name there, and knew who she was. "The last day of the shiva, Ben came over to me and apologized to me. I didn't know why. But then I realized that he was Ben.
Yosef had been serious and he had given Ben my number and made him promise to call me," Gila said. "You have nothing to apologize about," she told him. "I promised Yosef I would call." That was the beginning of their relationship. They kept on meeting, even though they are very different and Ben was soon to leave for his trip to Australia. Gila grew up in an observant home, Ben's family was not religiously observant. Gila didn't know why Yosef had put them together. They started seeing each other and when Ben went to Australia, after six months, Gila went to visit him. Ben returned from Australia early, after ten months, because he wanted to be with Gila. Once they were dating, they told the Goodman family about their relationship. Ben and Gila worried because they felt that in some way they were an extension of Yosef. If they broke up, would it be a blow to the Goodman family? But Ann and Mordechai told them to feel free to do whatever they needed. Not to feel any pressure. Soon they were making plans to be married. "Our wedding was in October. The wedding was meant to be outdoors but during the reception there was a dramatic rainstorm with thunder and lightening, and the wedding was moved indoors at the last minute, with the guests' help. The night Yosef died had also been a rainy night with thunder and lightning. We felt that Yosef was dancing with us," says Gila. Mordecahi, Yosef's father, was honored with a blessing under the chupah. He said, "I am saying this blessing instead of your matchmaker, Yosef." Ann Goodman says, "When they got married it was almost two years after Yosef died, and it was a wonderful feeling: I felt that I was still getting nachat, pleasure, from Yosef." Both Ben and Gila feel privileged to have Yosef play such an important role in their lives. They know that their marriage is truly a match blessed in heaven.
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LET MY PEOPLE KNOW â€˘ December 2013/Kislev 5774 n 5
The classic dreidel is a four sided spinning top made of wood, plastic, or the proverbial clay. On the four sides of the dreidel appear four letters from the Hebrew alphabet—nun ( ), gimmel ( ), hey( ), and shin ( ). These four letters are an acronym for "nes gadol hayah sham"—"a great miracle happened there."
The letters that appear on four sides of the Dreidel. In Israel, the actual setting of the Chanukah miracle, the last letter, shin, is substituted with a pey ( ), which stands for "po"—"here."
Best wishes for a Happy Chanukah! From: Desert Business Machines & Bob & Wendy Solomon In memory of: Miriam & Bernard Miliband
Happy Chanukah Dr. Ozer & Yaffa Platt & Family
Sheina Gilbert, Boaz McNabb, Peninah & Ber Baumgarten (including Menucha Rochel, Reuven Daniel, Yisroel Gavriel Noach & Shimon) Nissa Brocha & Avraham Shlomo HaKohen Yarmush (including Reuven Gavriel, Dovid Aryeh & Yisorel Isser Hacohanim) Chaya-Morasha, HershelElyahu & Noa-Miriam Gilbert-McNabb & and our dogs Zoe & Baby.
Come visit us @ Kosher Pizza Station
8965 West Pico Blvd, L.A. California 90035 Where you can have your ‘Pie in the Sky’(with hugs & Dvar Torahs as side dishes.)
Happy Chanukah May the coming year be filled with health and happiness for all our family and friends. Dr. David & Linda Morrow, Daniella, Yehoshuah Yosef Morrow, Shaya, Dina, Yakira Ettel, Elyon, Neriyah Zaddok & Shlomo Tzohar Guttenberg, and Ariella, Michael & Yisroel Hirsh Novack
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DESERT HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL The Desert Holocaust Memorial is located in the Palm Desert Civic Center Park at San Pablo Avenue & Fred Waring Drive. Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit this moving memorial, a place of remembrance and monument of hope.
8 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW â€˘ December 2013/Kislev 5774
In Loving Memory of:
Mimi Vaknin O.B.M. Remembered by her Family & friends.
Knowing What’s Important By Elana Mizrahi
Ten, eleven, twelve. I get to the top of the staircase, say a short prayer and brace myself for the greeting that I am about to receive as I open the door. Every morning it's the same as I arrive at the Eating Disorder clinic where I work. "Elana, either you conquer them, or they will conquer you." I call my work "kodesh" holy as I muster all the strength I have to greet my students with a smile and cheerful, "Good morning". Either you conquer them, or they will conquer you Why does it take so much energy? Well, one reason is because I know that when I walk in, I will meet blank faces, laptop screens, and cell phones that form barriers between me and my students. A lifeless crowd can be more than just a little bit discouraging. Second, it's hard work, to be a teacher, to teach women going through so many struggles and who live in a time of so much confusion. And yet, day after day I continue as I try to shift the distorted focus of these women from their bodies to their beautiful souls. Either I conquer them, or they conquer me. No matter what happened yesterday I remind myself, "today is a new day, walk in with a positive attitude and a smile." It's eight o'clock at night, my children are asleep. I am sitting down after a long day to work on the computer. I'm in the middle of an important e-mail. I hear the soft knock, the key in the door. I know it's my husband. I force myself to peel my fingers away from the keyboard and stand-up. I turn as he enters and find the smile, the cheerful voice, "Hi!" Ten years of marriage and I make an effort to greet my husband the same way as I did the first month we were married. Why? Because I call my marriage "kadosh" holy. That means that for five minutes I can put my work, or the phone call, etc. on hold. Those things
can wait, the opportunity for my husband to come home, can't. Either I conquer them, or they conquer me. There is a section in the Shulchan Aruch, the main codification of Jewish law compiled by the 16thcentury rabbi, Rav Joseph Caro, entitled Orach Chaim (The Direction of Life). The Orach Chaim deals with everyday matters of Jewish law. The very first halacha (law) tells us that one should arise in the morning like a mighty lion to serve one's Creator and that one should wake up the early dawn. I always thought that the wording of the end of this law was a little bit funny and then my husband elucidated it for me, "You wake up the morning, don't let the morning wake you up!" That's right, here we go again, either I conquer the morning, or it conquers me. Either I wake up like a mighty lion ready to serve my Creator and do holy acts; or the lion of despair, discouragement, routine, or lack of appreciation will be the one to wake me up. I can't begin to count how many times I put this idea into practice throughout my day. It always seems to throw everyone a bit off balance-in my favor. The checkout lady at the cashier who I smile to and greet before I start handing over my groceries, the repair man who comes to fix the faucet, for the 3rd time this month, and of course my children, as they walk through the door or as I pick them up from school. I am able to conquer all these people, bad moods, bills, tantrums, you name it before they conquer me with a smile, a cheerful voice, and with a vision that says that by doing this, what I am doing is kadosh, holy. Ten years of marriage and I make an effort to greet my husband the same way as I did the first month we were marriedThis is also why my favorite prayer of the day is the mincha prayer. There are three times in the day set for formalized prayermorning, afternoon, and evening (The beauty of prayer in general is that you don't need any intermediary between you and G d, no Skype, no chat, no cell phone, no leader; just you and
Him. A Jew can speak and pour his heart out to G d at any time of the day or night in an informal manner.) The prayer that is considered the most significant is that afternoon prayer, mincha. Mincha is also the shortest of the three; it's in the middle of the day when you are being asked to drop what you are doing to take a few minutes of your time to reconnect and remember what is most important, most holy. I'll never forget as I was sitting in the barber shop waiting as Asher, the barber, cut my son's hair. The hour was 3:05 pm. A customer walked in the door. Asher told him, I can't help you now. After I finish with the boy I'm going to mincha. If you want, you can come back at 3:45 pm. The man was furious and walked out the door. Asher just shrugged his shoulders and looked at his reflection in the mirror. "What does he think? I'm going to miss mincha?" At that moment I knew without a doubt that my son's barber was a holy man cutting hair with a holy purpose. Either you conquer them, or they conquer you….
LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774 n 9
Chaya'le, Mushka, Mussie... The Impact of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka By Sara Esther Crispe
Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, of righteous memory (1901-1988) The year was 1994. I had recently moved to Crown Heights, Brooklyn after graduating from college in San Diego, California. It was quite a change for me, the geographical shift from the beaches of La Jolla to the noise and cold of New York being the least of it. More so, I had left my politically correct, and extremely liberal college environment to immerse myself in intensive Judaic studies and try to get a glimpse of understanding into the life long question, "Who am I?" Although spiritual knowledge was something I was seeking, eating was also one of my needs, so I immediately started to look for a job. I soon heard that a woman was in need of a gymnastic teacher. Having done gymnastics for years and coached during college, I was thrilled to discover that there was a small gym program being held in this woman's basement for little five year old Chassidic girls. I was ecstatic. Granted, it was not a gym like I was used to, but I knew I could improvise, and just wanted an opportunity to work with children and teach them the very things I loved so much. Little did I know who would be teaching whom. My first day teaching I was a bit nervous. I had never lived in an "Orthodox" community before and was quite new to such a lifestyle. But having just spent a year in Israel and learning in yeshiva there, I felt like I had a pretty good idea as to what I was in for, until I started roll call. There were twelve girls registered in my class. I began to read the names: Mushka, Chaya Mushka, Mushkie, Moussia, Chaya Moussia, Mussie…I kid you not, all twelve girls had different versions of the same name. At first I thought that perhaps there was some law or rule I hadn't yet learned about. I couldn't possibly fathom how every single girl had the same name. (And, needless to say, we immediately decided to
call the girls by their last names…) When I asked them what their name meant, why they had been given those names, they all excitedly explained that they were named after the RebbetzinChaya Mushka, the Rebbe's wife. Even though they were only five, they were filled with beautiful stories of who this woman was and why they were so proud to carry her name. As I watched these little kindergartners speak, there was a pride and power that they had when talking about her, and it was immediately clear that this was a very special woman. These girls were of the first of thousands of girls to be named after her. Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka had passed away the twenty second of the month of the Hebrew month of Shevat, in 1988. My little group of Chaya Mushka's would be the beginning of my learning process I was awe struck. I had heard little of the "Rebbetzin," as she was called, but clearly she was a woman whose influence and spirit permeated all who knew her or knew of her. While I hadn't been fortunate enough to meet her in her life, I knew that my little group of Chaya Mushka's would be the beginning of my learning process of discovering who she was and what she embodied. The first thing I was shown was her picture. Unquestionably, she was a very beautiful woman. She was stunning. And yet, there was something about her that was so graceful, so royal, so holy. It spoke to me through the photograph as I stared at her face and looked into her eyes. She embodied the concept that is often attributed to her, Kol Kevuda Bat Melech Penima, "All the honor of the daughter of the King is within." This is not to say that externally she was not also beautiful, but that true beauty shines from within and illuminates all that is outside of itself. Furthermore, those who don't deserve honor often seek it. Those who are truly honorable in the recesses of their souls, need
10 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774
nothing external to validate that. The Rebbetzin did not have an easy life and yet she was not known to complain about it. Being married to the Rebbe, the spiritual leader of hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout the world, meant that her husband did not belong to her alone. Sharing the man you love is never easy, and yet it was something she chose to do and encouraged. She recognized his potential, his role, his ability and the way his Chassidim needed him, and made that her focus. For many, when they spoke with her or met her, they were completely unaware of who she was. She wanted it that way. She was also extremely intelligent, cultured and well read. She studied literature in university after she married, at the same time when the Rebbe was studying. And she was an avid reader. To her many friends she was Chaya Mushka. To the rest of the world, she was the Rebbetzin, the Lubavitcher Rebbe's wife. And yet, she was careful not to abuse the power that title gave her. It was not flaunted. She did not seek special privileges or treatment. Rather, she was a very private and unassuming woman, never desiring to draw attention to herself. When she would identify who she was, it was always as "Mrs. Schneersohn from President Street." She would avoid shopping or going to public places. It is understandable given the reputation and status that she had. Yet what is most fascinating, most powerful, was her reason for not going. Unlike the common situation where one would not want to deal with the attention and people pestering, for Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka the reason was quite the opposite. She didn't want to make other people uncomfortable. She knew that people would want to please her and give her special attention, and not only didn't she want or need that, she didn't want anyone else to feel the need to attend to her. Though she didn't want respect and acknowledgement, she most certainly received it. For all who knew her and knew of her, knew how much she deserved the utmost
treatment. She allowed the Rebbe to be Rebbe--someone who influenced and changed world Jewry on a scale that we cannot possibly measure. The Rebbe was able to be who he was because of who the Rebbetzin truly was. And while she endured the test of biological childlessness, she most certainly had and has countless children who consider her their mother in so many ways. Not only those named in her memory and honor, but the numerous educational institutions around the world that proudly bear her name. It was known that when she would be asked if she had any children, she would respond, "The Chassidim are my children." Not only was this true then, but in some ways it is even more true now. Almost thirteen years have passed since I taught that gymnastics class. And I am still seeking to understand on a deeper level, "Who am I?" I hope to spend my life trying to know the answer. And those twelve little Chaya Mushkas are not little girls anymore. They are now nineteen year old young women who are entering their adult lives as powerful women who can make a difference in this world. Young women who carry the responsibility of a name and the legacy of a woman who has helped me understand how I want to answer my question. For the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka taught me, taught us all, that true beauty stems from within, and that those most worthy of respect, honor, acknowledgement and awe, are those that do not seek it nor want it.
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LET MY PEOPLE KNOW â€˘ December 2013/Kislev 5774 n 11
Bikur Cholim At Work A HAPPY and HEALTHY CHANUKAH to everyone from BIKUR CHOLIM of PALM SPRINGS!
We would like to thank the Jewish Federation of the Desert for their generous help and support toward our ongoing activities.
We invite you to be a partner in Bikur Cholim's programs.
Please use the enclosed envelope to send in your CHANUKAH donation. You can also visit our Website: BikurCholimPS.com Once again, may G-d bless you and your family.
12 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW â€˘ December 2013/Kislev 5774
B i k u r
C h o l im
LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774 n 13
GUIDE 2013 • 5774 Chabad-Lubavitch), so that the two mitzvot of mezuzah and Chanukah surround the person. Others place it on a windowsill facing a public thoroughfare. (If placed on the windowsill, it should be no higher than 20 cubits—about 29 feet— above street level.) The Chanukah lights are lit in the evenings preceding each of the eight days of Chanukah, beginning with Wednesday night, November 27, 2013, after nightfall. Please see the section “Special Shabbat Requirements” for special instructions regarding lighting the candles before Shabbat. Both men and women are obligated to light the Chanukah menorah, or to participate in the household menorah lighting. Children should be encouraged to light their own menorahs. Students and singles who live in dormitories or their own apartments should kindle menorahs in their own rooms.
Many have the custom to place the menorah in a doorway opposite the mezuzah (such is the custom of
The Chanukah lights should consist of lamps or candles—i.e., a flammable fuel that feeds a visible flame via a wick. The most ideal way to fulfill the mitzvah is with cotton wicks in olive oil, or beeswax candles; paraffin candles or other types of candles or lamps are also acceptable, but not gas lights or electric lights. (If circumstances do not allow the use of an open flame, a proper rabbinical authority should be consulted.) The lamps or candles must contain enough fuel, at the time of the lighting, to burn until half an hour after nightfall. (“Nightfall" is the point at which it grows dark enough for three average-sized stars to be visible—about 20–30 minutes after sunset, depending
14 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774
on the location.) The lamps or candles should be arranged in a straight row, and should be of equal height. The shamash—the “servant” candle that kindles the other lights— should be placed apart from the rest (higher, outside the row, etc.). On the first night of Chanukah, one light is kindled on the right side of the menorah. On the following night add a second light to the left of the first, and kindle the new light first, proceeding from left to right, and so on each night.
The Chanukah lights are kindled in the evening preceding each of the eight days of Chanukah. The custom of many communities (and such is the Chabad-Lubavitch custom) is to light the menorah shortly after sunset; other communities light it at nightfall. In either case, the menorah must contain enough fuel at the time of the lighting to burn until 30 minutes after nightfall. Note: The standard Chanukah candles last only approximately 30 minutes. If using those candles, then light after nightfall every night (aside from Friday—see below).
If one did not kindle the Chanukah lights early in the evening, they can be kindled later, as long as there are people in the streets (or others awake in the house).
IMPORTANT: It is forbidden to light a fire on Shabbat, which extends from sunset on Friday evening until nightfall on Saturday night. Therefore, on Friday evening, November 29, the Chanukah lights should be kindled early, before the Shabbat lights, which are lit 18 minutes before sundown. Additional oil or larger candles should be used for the Chanukah lights, to make sure they will last a full half hour after nightfall—the standard 30-minute Chanukah candles cannot be used on Friday. From the time the Shabbat candles are lit (Friday evening) until Shabbat ends (after nightfall Saturday night) and until the havdalah prayer (separating Shabbat from the weekday) is recited, the Chanukah menorah should not be relit, moved or prepared.
Chanukah lights for Saturday night are kindled only after Shabbat ends after nightfall.
On the first night of Chanukah (Wednesday, November 27) , recite all three blessings. On all subsequent nights, recite blessings number 1 and 2. 1. Blessed are You, L rd our G d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light. 1. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai Eh-lohei-noo Meh-lech Ha-olam A-sher Ki-deh-sha-noo Beh-mitz-vo-tav Veh-tzi-va-noo Leh-had-lik Ner Cha-noo-kah. 2. Blessed are You, L rd our G d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
3. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai Eh-lohei-noo Me-lech Ha-olam Shehheh-cheh-ya-noo Veh-kee-yeh-manoo Veh-hee-gee-a-noo Liz-man Ha-zeh. After kindling the lights, the Haneirot Halalu prayer is recited.
One is not to benefit from the light of the candles, only from the shamash and other sources of light. For the first half hour when the candles are burning, it is customary to sit by the candles and tell stories relating to the holiday. Work should not be done in the proximity of the burning candles. Women have a custom to refrain from household work during the half hour that the lights are burning, to honor the brave Jewish women who played a significant role in the Chanukah story.
2. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai Eh-lohei-nu Meh-lech Ha-olam Sheh-asa Nee-sim La-avo-tei-noo Ba-yamim Ha-hem Bee-z’man Ha-zeh. 3. Blessed are You, L rd our G d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.
During the eight days of Chanukah, we add the Al HaNissim liturgy to
the amidah (daily silent prayer) and the Grace After Meals. The complete Hallel prayer (see your prayerbook) is also said in the morning service. A portion of the Torah is read daily in the synagogue during morning prayers.
It is customary to increase one’s daily giving to charity. On Fridays we give double the amount, to account for Shabbat.
after lighting the menorah. The children should be encouraged to give charity from a portion of their money.
Because of the great significance of oil in the story of the Chanukah miracle, it is traditional to serve foods cooked in oil. Among the most popular Chanukah dishes are potato latkes(pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts). It is also customary to eat cheesy foods on Chanukah, in commemoration of the bravery of Yehudit.
It is traditional to give all children Chanukah gelt (money). Of course, this beautiful custom adds to the children’s happiness and festive spirit. In addition, it gives adults an opportunity to give the children positive reinforcement for exemplary behavior, such as diligence in their studies and acts of charity. Chanukah gelt is given to children
LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774 n 15
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Please Join us for our 8th annual Desert Hot Springs Chanukah Dinner Extravaganza Glatt Kosher Chicken Dinner with all the trimmings Potato Latkes, Chanukah gelt & Dreidels galore. Entertainment Sunday, December 1, 2013 At Desert Crest Country Club 69-402 South Country Club Dr. Desert Edge, Ca. 92241
4:00 P.M. â€˘ FREE for Everyone
A Special Thanks To Judie & Mitchell Atlas & To Nikki Engel Who Helped A Great Deal To Make This Event Take Place
Sponsored by: Jewish Federation of the Desert and Bikur Cholim of Palm Springs
Please call to R.S.V.P.: Bikur Cholim 760-325-8076 or Nikki Engel @ 949-751-8383
18 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW â€˘ December 2013/Kislev 5774
�hank �ou! �hank �ou! We would like to thank the following for enhancing and sponsoring all of our Chanukah Events: The Jewish Federation of the Desert Dr. Paul & Stephanie Ross Doughnuts Photography byRichard Harp Photography Richard Bacal- In Memory Of Josef, Maria & Teddy Bacal Dreidels & Prizes Libby Aaronson- In Loving Memory Of Alfred Irving Aaronson Chanukah Gelt
LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774 n 19
The Menorah The basic elements of a kosher menorah are eight holders for oil or candles and an additional holder, set apart from the rest, for the shamash ("attendant") candle. The Chanukah lights can either be candle flames or oil-fueled. Since the miracle of Chanukah happened with olive oil – the little cruse of oil that lasted for eight days – an oil menorah is preferable to a candle one, and olive oil is the ideal fuel. Cotton wicks are preferred because of the smooth flame they produce. Whenever purchasing a mitzvah article, we try to buy the most beautiful one that is within our means. So, if at all possible, go for the silver menorah. Beautifying a mitzvah is our way of expressing our appreciation to G d, and showing how dearly we hold His commandments. The eight candles of the menorah must be arranged in a straight, even line, not in a
20 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774
zigzag or with some lights higher than others. If it is an oil menorah, the oil cups must hold enough oil to burn for the required time – at least 30 minutes on weeknights, and up to one-and-a-half hours on Friday evening (see Special Shabbat Rules). If it is a candle menorah, the candles should be large enough to burn for the required time. Electric menorahs are great for display purposes, and are a wonderful medium for publicizing the Chanukah miracle. But the Chanukah lights used to fulfill the mitzvah should be real flames fueled by wax or oil – like the flames in the Holy Temple.
Lighting the Darkness Some 2100 years ago the Land of Israel came under the rule of the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus, who issued a series of decrees designed to force his Hellenistic ideology and rituals upon the Jewish people. He outlawed the study of Torah and the observance of its commands, and defiled the Holy Temple in Jerusalem with Greek idols. A small, vastly outnumbered band of Jews waged battle against the mighty Greek armies, and drove them out of the land. When they reclaimed the Holy Temple, on the 25th of Kislev, they wished to light the Temple’s menorah (candelabrum), only
Alan J. Goldstein
to discover that the Greeks had contaminated virtually all the oil. All that remained was one cruse of pure oil, enough to last one night—and it would take eight days to procure new, pure oil. Miraculously, the one-day supply of oil lasted eight days and nights, and the holiday of Chanukah was established. To commemorate and publicize these miracles, we light the Chanukah menorah (also known as a chanukiah) on each of the eight nights of Chanukah. This year, we start lighting the menorah on Wednesday night, November 27, 2013.
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Applesauce with Cranberries
Makes about 8 cups. 3/4 pound (1 bag) fresh cranberries 3/4 cup granulated sugar, or to taste 4 pounds apples, unpeeled and quartered In a large saucepan, combine cranberries, 1-1/2 cups water, sugar and apples. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Let cool slightly and then put through a food mill. Adjust sugar to taste.
1 large eggplant 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 3 eggs 2 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1-1/2 or 2 cups water Salt, for taste Pepper, for taste Vegetable oil, for frying Peel eggplant and slice into 1/4-inch thin rounds. Then slice the rounds in half and slice into thin, julienne strips. Put in colander, salt, and let drain while preparing batter. In large bowl, beat eggs. Add flour, baking powder, and water. Mix well. Stir in eggplant. If batter is very thick, add more water. Batter should be thick enough to spoon. Heat about 1/4-inch oil in large frying pan. Add batter by spoonfuls, spreading out to a flat circle. Cook over medium heat until browned on one side then flip over and continue cooking. You may need to add more oil at some time during frying. Tips: Latkes may be prepared a day in advance. Cool completely, cover well, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature, put on baking sheet and heat in 425° F oven.
Colorful Vegetable Latkes
4 large baking potatoes (or equivalent amount of Yukon Gold potatoes) 2 large carrots 2 small zucchini 1 medium onion 1 egg 1/4 cup matzah meal olive oil or vegetable oil for frying salt and pepper Grate the potatoes and onions using the grating disk of the food processor. Do not process with the standard blade or in a blender. Place a colander large enough to hold the grated potato-onion mixture over a pot or bowl. Remove the grated potato-onion mixture from the food processor bowl and put in the colander. Let stand for five minutes. Press down on the mixture to quicken the draining process. Repeat this two or three more times at five minute intervals. The ingredients will be ready when the mixture no longer squishes when pressed (approximately 15 minutes). Repeat the grating procedure with the zucchini. Place zucchini shreds in their own colander over a bowl to catch the liquid. Let stand five minutes. Sprinkle liberally with salt and toss well. After five minutes, press down on the mixture to hasten the draining process. Repeat this pressing step until the mixture no longer squishes. For added insurance, place the zucchini shreds on a stack of paper towels and blot up any residual moisture.
22 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774
Grate the carrots. Combine the shredded and drained potatoes, onion, zucchini with the grated carrots. Add the egg and mix well. Add the matzah meal a little bit at a time until the mixture just starts to dry out. Carefully, pour the liquid out of the bowl/pot which was placed under the colander for the potatoes and onions. At the bottom of the bowl, you will find a thick, starchy paste (potato starch). Scrape this paste out of the bowl and add to the potato-carrot-onion-egg mixture, blending well. Drop by the spoonful into hot oil and fry until golden and crisp on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
If you want to enjoy the taste of traditional doughnuts without standing over a pan of hot oil to cook them, this is a great recipe for you. 2 packages dry yeast (about 35 grams of fresh, or 2 scant Tablespoons 1/4 cup warm water 1-1/2 cups milk, scalded and cooled 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) 2 eggs 1/3 cup shortening 4-1/2 cups flour In a large mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, sugar, salt, spice, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Blend 1/2 minute at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour until smooth, scraping sides of bowl. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double (50 to 60 minutes). Turn dough onto well-floured cloth-covered board; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Dough will be soft to handle. With floured, stockinet-covered rolling pin, gently roll dough about ½ inch thick. Cut with floured 2-1/2 inch doughnut cutter. Lift doughnuts carefully with spatula and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Brush doughnuts with melted butter. Cover; let rise until double (about 20 minutes). Heat oven to 420° F. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Immediately brush with melted margarine or butter and shake in Cinnamon Sugar or spread with Creamy Glaze (recipes below). Makes 1-1/2 to 2 dozen doughnuts. Toppings (best if made while doughnuts are baking): Cinnamon Sugar 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Creamy Glaze Melt 1/3 cup butter. Blend in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in 4 to 6 Tablespoons water, one at a time, until melted glaze is of proper consistency. Note: It's true; the dough does not have to be kneaded. This gives an extremely light and loose dough. I did not use a cloth or stockinet; a floured surface and floured rolling pin were sufficient. With the dough so light, a feather touch rolls it out. Nonetheless, the doughnuts rolled out from the "scraps" of dough did come out thicker and nicer. I did not brush them with butter either before or after baking, with no apparent harm (since I was using glaze instead of cinnamon sugar). As far as the glaze is concerned, I went for a thinner version and simply dunked each doughnut in it. Final verdict: They may look a bit like bagels, but they taste as doughnuts should.
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Happy Chanukah May the coming year be filled with health and hapiness for all our family and friends
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LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • December 2013/Kislev 5774 n 23
Chanukah Party at Monday, December 2nd, 2013 at 5:00 pm EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
Fresh Doughnuts Dreidels for Everyone Chocolate Chanukah Gelt FREE Game Tokens
while supplies last
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Chabad of Palm Springs ‘Photography courtesy of Richard Harp Photography’