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Chani Benjaminson

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Chani Benjaminson is co-director of Chabad of the South Coast, and is a member of the editorial staff of Chabad.org.
Dear Friend, Purim is coming! The most joyous day on the Jewish calendar falls on Saturday night, March 11, and Sunday, March 12. On this day, we celebrate the miraculous salvation of the Jewish people from the wicked Haman and are enjoined, among other t...
Dear Friend, Taking a walk with my toddler is a great lesson in appreciating the small things in life. What is usually a 10-minute walk to the local kosher grocery store can take more than 40 minutes with him. Everything catches his attention: birds and s...
Dear Friend, My youngest son and I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days with my grandmother. As I balanced the needs of a toddler and a nonagenarian, the parallels between the two flashed through my mind. My son is at that stage where he under...
Dear Friend, Can we change ourselves? The Torah offers a fascinating insight into human nature and the power G‑d gives us to make something out of ourselves. This week, in Toldot, we read about the birth of Esau and Jacob. The twin brothers are both born ...
Dear Friend, “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match . . .” Judaism has many moments that may seem contradictory at first glance. Every year, in a span of less than a week, we are enjoined to be very sad and then very joyful. On Sunday, we mourned the de...
Dear Friend, My most treasured Yom Kippur moment is at the very end of the day, during the Neilah prayer. Neilah means “closing,” and is a reference to the shutting of the heavenly gates at the conclusion of the holy day. According to chassidic teachings,...
I know that we light holiday candles on the first two nights of Passover. But what happens when the first day of Passover falls on Shabbat, and the second night of Passover begins on Saturday? Does that change things with the lighting on Saturday night?
My neighbor’s father just passed away and Purim will fall within the shiva, seven day mourning period.
I purchased three mezuzahs from a synagogue sale (without the parchment). I’ve heard they are very expensive; can I just place a copy inside?
Is there any type of pasta that may be eaten on the holiday of Passover?
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