“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein
During the "festival of lights" and beyond, Hannukah's messages provide insights into life that transcend this joyous holiday. In Hebrew, the word "hannukah" means "dedication" which we can look upon not only as the dramatic story of the ancient rededication of the Temple after the Maccabean war against Antiochus IV, but also an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to some key Jewish values such as Tikkun Olam and Tzedekah here and now, in our own lives.
The Hannukah Lights remind us in a most obvious way that illumination begins at home, within oneself and one’s family. Illumination begins with the dedication of self, the giving of self. Our sages said, “A little light expels a lot of darkness.” WIZO chaverot worldwide are dedicated to doing good, their actions dispelling the darkness that envelops those less fortunate in Israeli society. They work towards those miracles that give children, youth and women the gift of light, hope, freedom and opportunity.
May love and light fill your home this Hanukkah! Chag Hannukah Sameach.
With warm regards,
Chairperson, Organization and Tourism Division.
WIZO celebrates Hannukah in the "City of Light"
The opulent hall of the Hôtelde Ville (Municipality) in Paris will provide the perfect backdrop for the WIZO France Solidarity Dinner on Thursday,18th December. Honored inviteeswho will grace the occasion with their presence are Anne Hidalgo Mayor of Paris, Zvi Tal Ministry plenipotentiary at the Israeli Embassy in France, Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, Chairperson World WIZO Executive, Joelle Lezmi, President WIZO France and local dignitaries.
Amidst the rise of anti-Jewish sentiment in France this event will be held under the banner of tolerance and co-existence. The evening's program includes the kindling of the third Hannukah candle and a performance of the deligthful and talented WIZO Nachlat Yehuda dance and singing troupes. A night to remember!
Mensch on a bench:add more Funukkah to Hanukkah
During a visit to a store last holiday season, Jewish father Neal Hoffman felt bad telling his son Jake that he couldn't have an Elf on the Shelf. The widely popular Christmas toy is intended to watch children's behavior for Santa. Hoffman kept thinking, maybe there could be something similar, but rooted in Jewish tradition. Hoffman, a former Hasbro employee, decided Mensch on a Bench was the answer. "A mensch means a really good person. It's a person that you strive to be," he says. Read more...
A Hannukah prayer
In the Wall Street Journal Lord Rabbi Sacks writes that his prayer on Hannukah is for people of all faiths to work together for the freedom of all faiths. As always Rabbi Sacks commentaries are illuminating. Read more...
History of the jelly doughnut aka sufganiyah
Many Jewish holidays revolve around eating specific traditional food. Accordingly, Hanukkah celebrations revolve around the miracle of oil, and the menu features fried foods. Crispy fried potato pancakes take center stage at the beginning of a Hanukkah dinner, and in Israel and elsewhere, jelly donuts, called sufganiyot, are the most popular Hanukkah food. The history of the jelly doughnut goes back to the 15th century.In the book "The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food," Gil Marks says the earliest record of jelly donuts were in "one of the first cookbooks to be run off Johannes Gutenberg's revolutionary printing press. Read more...
In Israel, contrary to other places in the world, there is not a big commercial hullabaloo over Hanukkah. One of the only major telltale signs is the wafting smells of sufganiyot (the traditional doughnuts) and families lighting their menorahs in commemoration of the legendary miracle of the temple menorah, which burned continuously for eight full days and nights. In the spirit of the holiday, Time Out magazine suggests an alternative way to celebrate: by enjoying one of the eight modern and local “miracles” that Israel bestows upon us daily. Read more...
Where does the "Jewish nose" come from?
The image of a vicious Jew with a large, hooked nose has long been a mainstay of anti-Semitic caricature, and remains so today. Before the year 1000, however, Jews in European artwork had no distinctive physical features, although there was no shortage of works depicting them as conniving, wicked, or dangerous. According to Sara Lipton, this all changed in the 13th century, not because someone noticed Jews with large noses, but because the hooked nose symbolized Jewish depravity.Read more...