Friday, November 30, 2007

Channuka Presence

Dedicated to Yeudel ben Fruma – may he have a speedy and complete recovery!

(to dedicate a future Table Talk, send an email)

What is the greatest threat to Judaism today? Is it Iranian nukes?

I would argue that we are facing a far more dangerous threat. So perilous, in fact, that we need an entire holiday to remind us how to avoid it.....

This Hannuka thought was just published as an article in the World Jewish Digest; for copyright reasons I need to ask you to go there to read or download the text

For the full audio version, try these links online or for download:
Part1 – intro (10 min)
Part2 - (51 min)
Part3 – the deeper stuff (30 min)

Since Hannuka begins next Tuesday night, here’s one idea to enhance your celebration. On the one hand, if you do presents, keep them separate from the candles and dreidels and so on. Do them during the day, maybe in the morning, or before sunset, or an hour or two after candles. Let the candles and story-telling become associated with presence and not presents. On the other hand, if you want to give out a little gelt, this is an ancient custom (evolved or devolved into chocolate coins) for children that, if done sparingly, can increase their simcha without becoming a materialistic distraction. How about 1 coin (amount varies with age) the first night, 2 the second night, etc?

For next week’s Table Talk I have cued-up an amazing Hannuka story, so stay tuned.... In the meantime, here’s a Hannuka themed comic book.

I was also told that in the Marvel Holiday Special from January 1993, superhero Doc Samson visits a Hebrew school to talk to the kids about Hanukkah. When they find the story too dull, he spices it up by inserting contemporary references and super-powered characters (e.g. Hulk, Wolverine, Elvis).

Finally today’s question for your table: If you were stuck on a desert island and had only 8 candles for the entire festival of Hannuka, how many would you light each night?

Shabbat Shalom and a freilichen Hannuka,

Alexander Seinfeld

PS – send me YOUR favorite Hannuka story to share in next week’s Table Talk.

Yiddish of the week:

freilichen – happy

Israel fact-of-the-week:
Israeli male lifespan among highest in developed countries. Men in only five countries have longer lifespans than Israeli males, who live an average of 78 years: Iceland (79.2), Japan (78.6), Switzerland (78.6), Sweden (78.4), and Australia (78.1). The average lifespan is one measure for defining quality of life and differentiating between developed and undeveloped countries.

No comments: