Dec 19 2014
“MOMMY! MOMMY! THE CANDLES BURNT OUT!” My 6-year-old daughter’s voice came wailing up the stairs while I was getting dressed this morning. “That’s not how it’s supposed to go! The miracle is that they stayed lit for eight nights! What happened to our miracle?”
“Well, sweetie, that’s not our miracle. That was the miracle in the Temple so long ago, but today we have different miracles. The candles of Hanukkah remind us to notice the miracles that happen for us, now, in our lives.”
I’ve been trying to notice those miracles. I really have. But with everything that’s been happening in our nation and our world this past year, it can be hard to find them. Even during Hanukkah.
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Dec 18 2014
So this is interesting. According to the Washington Post, actress and lifestyle mogul Gwyneth Paltrow was spotted at the White House’s Hanukkah reception last night. However, she didn’t really want anyone to know about it, considering her assistant physically blocked people from taking photos (or at least tried to). Read the rest of this entry →
“I bet you’re looking forward to your first Christmas with the baby!”
Some variation of this has been said to me repeatedly since my wife and I welcomed our daughter in October. I could reply with a simple, “Yes, thanks,” but it seems more useful, more educational, to challenge people’s assumptions instead.
So I usually smile and say, “My family is Jewish and we don’t celebrate Christmas.”
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Dec 17 2014
We asked our Facebook followers to share photos of their first night of Hanukkah with us. What we got was incredible. From touching family moments to incredibly creative menorahs, we loved these photos and we think you will too.
Chag Hanukkah Sameach ! Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 16 2014
Tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah, and we wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday! To kick off our celebration, we’re sharing our favorite new Hanukkah videos–one for every night–that are sure to put a smile on your face. Most of them have a musical kick, so make sure you’re ready to shamelessly bop at your desk. Read the rest of this entry →
“We get twice the presents!”
Most interfaith kids will utter this classic, and rather obnoxious, boast at some point during childhood. And I have to admit, it makes me wince and grit my teeth a little. As an interfaith child myself, I understand all too well that bragging about Christmas and Hanukkah gifts can be a defense mechanism, designed to dazzle and deflect those who view interfaith families with skepticism and disapproval. Read the rest of this entry →
This year marks my first Hanukkah post-divorce and I’ve been thinking about how to spiritually acknowledge it. My ex-husband is a non-practicing Catholic and therefore I cannot get a get (Jewish bill of divorce) since we did not have a Jewish wedding. Our two children are Jewish, have become bar and bat mitzvah and are engaged in Jewish life and practice through our synagogue, Jewish camp, and a large circle of Jewish friends and family. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 15 2014
Awesome bubbe alert! One of Kveller’s readers, Joyce Kamen, has come up with a pretty sweet idea when it comes to Hanukkah gifting — and she wants to share it with everyone.
Kamen’s plan? To give her three grammar school-age grandchildren a check to be split equally among them, which they will then donate to charities or causes of their choice. Once they do that, they get a sweatshirt commemorating their good deed — and also a ton of bubbe love (which we all know is priceless.) Read the rest of this entry →
Around this time of year, I start seeing Christmas lights go up on neighbors’ houses; they’re beautiful, and I appreciate their sparkling beauty. I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t say that I also see things that make me see red, which we can file under the general heading of “Ways To Make Hanukkah More Like Christmas.” From pictures of “Hanukkah bushes” to gingerbread hanukkiyot to “Elf on a Shelf” knockoffs (ahem!), it seems like many people want Hanukkah to be more like Christmas.
Why are people trying to turn a Jewish holiday about religious freedom…into Christmas? Christmas is a beautiful holiday, but you know something? It is not my holiday, and that’s OK. Moreover, I don’t want Hanukkah to become some weird knockoff Christmas–nor should it. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 12 2014
By now, you’ve probably heard of the Mensch on a Bench, the toy that was started as a Jewish response to the recent Christmas craze, Elf on a Shelf (earlier this month we gave one away). But Mensch exposure is about to get even bigger–creator Neal Hoffman will be appearing with his product on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank” tonight as part of a special holiday episode.
For those not in the know, Shark Tank is AMAZING. Entrepreneurs present their company/products to a panel of “Sharks”–millionaire and billionaire business mogels including Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban and QVC maven Lori Greiner–and the sharks can decide whether they’d like to invest in the company by way of offering thousands of dollars in exchange for a stake in the company. Read the rest of this entry →