On Chanukah, one of the things that we celebrate is that a small amount of oil that should have just lasted one day lasted for eight days. This is the great miracle of the Festival of Lights. Given this, why is it that on the first day of Chanukah we celebrate the miracle of the oil? There was enough for one day! On the second day we should begin to celebrate the miracle. But, that is not what our tradition tells us to do. In this podcast, Rabbi Andrew Jacobs explores why the first day of Chanukah is still a day to celebrate miracles.
We are about to experience Thanksgivukkah! Get your Chanukah menorahs and
turkeys ready!!! It is time to celebrate.
I hope you will join us Wednesday evening at 7:00 as we light the first
candle on our outdoor Chanukiyah (Chanukah menorah), sing some Chanukah
songs, enjoy some donuts and other Chanukah goodies AND welcome Thanksgiving
in style. We ask that you bring some non-perishable foods to the event for
our Jewish Family Service food drive – this way we can ensure that those in
need will enjoy the holiday season with their families.
For those who want to learn or re-learn the Chanukah blessings, please visit
this You Tube video I made a few years ago:
Cheryl, Abigail and Jonah join me in wishing each of you a Chanukah and
Thanksgiving filled with light, family and friends.
In this podcast, I explore the key values of Shabbat and looks at ways in which these values can be embraced in new, non-traditional ways by those who are not observing traditional Shabbat rituals and practice.
75 years ago (November 9-10, 1938), the Jews of Nazi Germany experienced the terror of Kristallnacht – the Night of Shattered Glass. In this podcast, I take a close look at antisemitism in Europe today. Based upon what we know, remembering the nightmare of Kristallnacht and all of the horrors of the Holocaust is not enough. Antisemitism is on the rise in Europe and European Jews are deeply affected by the hatred. The global Jewish community, especially those of us who feel safe and secure, must act.
As I am sure you have heard, this has been a trying time for Israel as the United States, France, China, Russia, Germany and Britain attempted to negotiate with Iran. The negotiations centered around Iran’s nuclear program. As Israel watched the negotiations unfold, the Jewish State was alarmed that those at the negotiating table were not taking a stance that would protect Israel and the world from the nightmare of a nuclear armed Iran. At the last minute, France stepped up and expressed concern that the proposed agreement with Iran was not tough enough. In doing so, France temporarily brought the negotiations to a halt. The negotiations will resume next week.
Many in Israel and the United States are determined to ensure that the world does not give Iran what Prime Minister Netanyahu calls a “very bad deal”. Any deal that is reached must ensure a full freeze of the Iranian nuclear program. There can be no wiggle room and no rewarding Iran while she continues pursuing a nuclear weapon. And world leaders must be reminded that behind Iran’s charm offensive is a regime determined to destroy Israel, the United States and our friends and allies. We must speak up now to ensure that those sitting around the negotiating table with Iran next week hear us loudly and clearly.
As AIPAC (America’s Pro-Israel lobby) reports, the United States House and Senate members have spearheaded initiatives to strengthen economic sanctions on Iran in order to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
By a resounding vote of 99-0, the Senate on May 22 passed a resolution (S. Res. 65) declaring that: (1) prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon remains American policy; (2) it is essential to step up enforcement of sanctions against Iran; and (3) the United States will stand by Israel should the Jewish state feel compelled to take military action in its own defense against Iran. The resolution was co-authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Similarly, by a resounding vote of 400-20, the House on July 31 passed the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 (H.R. 850), which will strengthen enforcement of current U.S. sanctions on Iran, expand sanctions targeting Iran’s human rights violations, and, for the first time, specifically authorize the president to impose sanctions on any entity that maintains significant commercial ties to Iran. The bill, which received 379 cosponsors, was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY). A Senate version of the bill remains pending.
In addition to this legislation, back in August, 76 senators signed a letter by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that urges President Obama to toughen sanctions against Iran and bring a “renewed sense of urgency to the process” of stopping Tehran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability. You can see the letter HERE.
I ask each of you to take a moment to contact our leaders in Washington, asking them to continue standing strongly with Israel against the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran. You can contact our Senators and Representatives HERE.
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom!
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE
As get close to celebrating my 500th bar/bat mitzvah at Ramat Shalom Synagogue in Fort Lauderdale, FL, I was fortunate enough to welcome home my 180th bar mitzvah – Marine Corporal Zack Leeds. Corporal Leeds was serving in Afghanistan and returned to Ramat Shalom to celebrate his youngest sister’s bat mitzvah on November 2, 2013. In addition to welcoming home Corporal Leeds, in this podcast, I speak about how important it is for rabbis to have students to teach and to learn from. Each of my almost 500 bar/bat mitzvah students have had an impact upon me – but 180 was a particularly powerful kid who grew into an American hero.