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Chanukah is finally here!

What’s not to like about this joyous holiday?

The glowing candles bringing warmth and illumination to the surrounding darkness mirror the holiday’s message of creating more warmth and light in our lives.

This week, Samantha Barnett explores the role of spirituality and religion. Can we have one without the other? What would a spiritual but irreligious person look like? How about a religious but unspiritual individual?

Rivka Caroline provides food for thought on our personal victories and what practical steps we can take “to have a better relationship with our future self.”

In our home décor section, Rita Brownstein shares fabulous ideas for Chanukah entertaining.

And on the weekly Parshah, Rochel Holzkenner delves into the fascinating psychological role of Joseph and Benjamin and suggests that “healing will often begin only when we give ourselves permission to empathize with our vulnerability.”

Do you have a cherished Chanukah memory? What’s your favorite part of Chanukah? Please share with us.

Wishing you a happy and en-light-ening Chanukah!

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.

It’s not a word you hear too often.

But it is a word that has an air to it of . . . well, um, dignity.

Dignity is defined as a “bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect; nobility or elevation of character.”

Dignity is the theme that runs through this week’s features.

Shaindy Jacobson talks about what dignity means, and the special dignity of the Jewish woman. In our Women of Distinction column we discover a great woman from the past, Kimchit, who merited to mother sons who all served as high priests because of her one dignified act.

In our Parshah section, we watch how Joseph maintains his dignity and serenity despite his trying circumstances, and we learn the secret to avoid becoming bitter in our own lives. Our infertility blogger eloquently demonstrates a real-life example of finding dignity despite her challenges and feelings of entitlement.

On the psychological front, Fruma Gottlieb teaches us how to acquire dignity through greater emotional intelligence. And Miriam Adahan provides three practical tips on how not to lose ourselves in anger.

And, finally, we feature Menucha Levin’s poignant and personal story of how she provided dignity to her beloved mother when she said her final goodbye.

This week, let’s explore the properties of dignity in our lives. Why is it such an unpopular word, and why do we hear it so infrequently nowadays? What does being dignified mean to you?

Wishing you a wonderful and dignified week!

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.

Along with my responsibilities as the editor of TheJewishWoman.org, I also lecture extensively. I address all types of groups on a wide range of topics related to Judaism, and I love meeting the diverse people in my audiences.

At the same time, I am a religious woman who adheres to the laws of modesty, and I believe that these principles contribute to our beautiful way of life.

Can the two coexist?

Or, as Rochel Holzkenner asks in Feminine Leadership Versus Modesty: “Dinah is every woman who is naturally influential. For her, it would be a loss to hide in a box. With conscious effort, she can become an inspirational leader. But what about modesty? What about the inwardness that generates feminine glory? Yes, she has a higher calling for greater exposure, but at what personal cost? Does she have to relinquish the glory that comes from living a more private life?”

This is the topic of this week’s thought-provoking Parshah essay. While a first read of Dinah’s tragic rape may erroneously cast blame on her outgoing personality, a deeper exploration illustrates that withholding one’s talents and potential can lead to disastrous results.

What are your thoughts? How do you create an authentic version of yourself? Can modesty and leadership coincide? How do you maintain the delicate balance? Share with us in the comment section below.

Wishing you a wonderful week of positive influence on all whom you encounter!

Chana Weisberg,
TJW Editor

P.S.: Make sure to check out all the other great features this week. I especially like Silent Music—Teaching a Deaf Child and Pay for Dance Classes (from our new Court of Jewish Law section), which provides guidance on this and other similar sticky scenarios.

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.

Is your favorite season the bright, sunny days of the summer? Or is it the glorious colorful scenes of the fall?

Growing up with cold Canadian winters, we longed for the summer months and somewhat dreaded the inevitable onset of the winter. And yet there was something cozy about cuddling indoors as the wind howled during those harsh, snowy nights.

This week we read about the matriarchs, Rachel and Leah. Based on the mystics’ descriptions, I like to compare Rachel’s life to the exhilarating season of the summer. Her life and deeds were “beautiful and shapely” both inside and outside. Her sunny, charismatic personality was adored by Jacob and by whomever she met.

On the other hand, Leah, whose name means “weary,” was originally destined to marry (and rectify) Esau. She resembles the wearying journey of the winter season, when beauty is more hidden and needs to be unearthed.

This week on Sunday and Monday, we celebrate Rosh Chodesh Kislev . Kislev is the month that has the longest, darkest nights, heralding the cold winter. Also this month, we celebrate Chanukah and the victory of light over darkness.

We can enjoy the tender warmth indoors even more when the freezing wind rages outside; and within the heavy, penetrating darkness, light shines brightest and we can learn how to appreciate our strengths better.

Wishing you an energizing month in which we can brighten the darkness of our world with the glowing lights of warmth, love, humility and happiness.

Chana Weisberg,

TJW Editor

P.S. If you were to compare your life to a season, which one would it most resemble? How?

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
Often we need a break from our daily routine. A pause from life to help us appreciate life.

A little pat on the back to let us know when we're on track. A word of encouragement to help us through those bleak moments and difficult days.

Sometimes, we just yearn for some friendship and camaraderie, someone to share our heart with. And sometimes we need a little direction from someone who's been there.

So, take a short pause from the busyness of your day and join Chana Weisberg for a cup of coffee.

Chana Weisberg is the author of Tending the Garden: The Unique Gifts of the Jewish Woman and four other books. Weisberg is a noted educator and columnist and lectures worldwide on issues relating to women, faith, relationships and the Jewish soul.
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