After two long years Pharaoh's cupbearer speaks up Tells about Joseph
"When we were in jail A Hebrew youth was with us Interpreted dreams"
When he interpreted the cupbearer's dream in last week's portion, Joseph said,"Think of me when all is well with you again, and do me the kindness of mentioning me to Pharaoh, so as to free me from this place" (Gen. 40:14). But as the portion ended, we learned that after the cupbearer was freed, he "did not think of Joseph; he forgot him." (Gen. 40:23).
This week's portion begins "after two years' time" (Gen....Read More
One day after a Girl Scout Brownie meeting, my wife received a call from an irate mom accusing our third-grader of ruining her daughter’s childhood: “Mimi announced in front of all the girls that there is no Santa Claus!” My wife apologized, but in Mimi’s defense, pointed out that sooner or later they would realize that Mimi was right. The woman didn’t want to hear about truth. In her view, a cherished Christmas custom had been spoiled.
Mimi is now 30 and married to Wes, a Jew-by-choice. As they are expecting their first child in February, I thought this would be a good time to ask...Read More
Today we light the fourth candle of Hanukkah. We kindle lights – each Shabbat and, as we’re doing this week, during the darkest period of the year. We also kindle lights during the darkest moments in history, and in countless ways: in the values we espouse, in the kindnesses we extend, and in the visions we hold of a world redeemed and whole.
Despite the way it’s celebrated, though, Hanukkah really isn’t a holiday for children. Sure, we tell our...Read More
In 1974 in Philadelphia, a small menorah was lit in front of Independence Hall, home to the iconic Liberty Bell. The menorah was crude and made of wood. Five people attended what is now considered to be the first Chabad-Lubavitch public-menorah lighting. Regardless of the constitutional implications of this action, the idea of religious freedom embodied by the Hanukkah holiday deeply resonates with the core principles of American democracy. The attention currently...Read More
Christmas tree or Hanukkah menorah? December portends heated Christmas/Hanukkah-dilemma conversations for the increasing number of interfaith families. In my many years as a congregational rabbi, I convened numerous meetings about Hanukkah pride and counseled many interfaith families on settling their differences. The glinty, chocolaty geld for St. Nick's and the similar gelt (foil-wrapped chocolate coins) for Hanukkah may help dissolve some...Read More
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