Chanukah & Kislev

The Month of Miracles

Chanukah Recipes
Hanukkah Foods
Cook (and fry) up a traditional Chanukah storm: latkes to applesauce, jelly doughnuts and more recipes for all tastes.
Were My Wealthy Hosts Fugitive Nazis?
No matter how much I tried to forget about my Jewish roots, it kept emerging front and center in my life, sometimes in frightening ways.
Meditations for the Month of Kislev: G-d’s Warm, Supportive Embrace
The concept of support is deeply interwoven with Kislev.
Light and Shadows: What Is Divine Reciprocity?
We don't have to take on an army in order to experience miracles.
A New Spin on the Dreidel Game
Some say you have to see to believe. I say you have to believe to see.
Don’t Let Inflation Deflate Your Chanukah
5 Ways to Save This Year
As far as Jewish holidays go, Chanukah, when kept to tradition, is actually an inexpensive one.
Dancing to the Beat Undeterred in Nicaragua
Rabbi David and Chana decided to remain in the country until there were no more travelers that needed them, even though the situation was becoming increasingly dangerous.
A 19 Kislev Thought
The Soul’s Wrestling Match: Can It Be a Peaceful Battle?
The G‑dy soul has a secret weapon.
Why I No Longer Need My Holiday Tree
As we approach the end of the calendar year, I am often asked, “Why do Soviet Jews buy evergreen trees for New Year’s?”
Dad Was In Prison, and I Didn't Know If I Was Jewish
On the windowsill stood a silver candelabra large enough to hold nine candles and a box of tall candles. I understood I was being initiated into a rite I hadn’t known existed until that moment.
Chanukah Miracle: The Chabad Rabbi From Tokyo at My Mother’s Grave
I just couldn’t appreciate what it must have been like for my mother to grow up in a city where you are the micro-minority—that is, until I moved to Tokyo.
No Matter Your Situation, Choose to Add Light
Motherhood is a new territory, and every child—no matter how many you have—is its own, beautiful, new light. You enter new stages all the time. What worked for one child doesn’t for another.
New Vision: Seeing the Light of Chanukah During COVID
My cataract operation was like my own little Chanukah triumph—my personal victory of overcoming my anxiety, and my universe turning from darkness to light.
A Man at the Supermarket Reminded Me: Chanukah Reflects Giving
I remembered you saying, “If someone, even a stranger, has to bend down to ask, you have to walk over to give.”
When I Stopped Praying
Chanukah represents much more than a physical victory. The menorah provides a guide to help us fight our inner, spiritual battles.
I Learned Who I Am in the Greek Islands
I asked myself, “How can you dress one way in one place and a different way in another?” To have one identity at “home” and another one when I was away felt off. It felt contradictory.
Chanukah: Masters of Inner Light
How does it feel to be a tzadik?
Finding G-d in a Bottle of Olive Oil
I wonder if we’ve become so used to miracles that we almost take them for granted.
My Chanukah Miracle: The Beating of a New Heart
I don’t know what happened. I opened up my eyes and stared straight up at the dark, starry sky. Why was I flat on my back on the sidewalk? Where was I?
Growing With the Light
It’s not the first time I hear this, and it probably won’t be the last. The woman sitting before me is so afraid of having a baby. I watch her face and try to decipher the source of the tension from what I see on her body.
Chanukah Dipped Into Honey
Rosh Hashanah? Not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Chanukah!
Light Over Loneliness: Chanukah Tips From a Single Mom
Two years post-divorce, I had passed the initial shock and grief stages of my marriage’s dissolution. But I hadn’t yet found the way to infuse my lonely, meaningless existence with a measure of joie de vivre.
My Journey to Revealing the Light of Chanukah
When I was growing up in America, Chanukah was always overshadowed by the non-Jewish holiday that occurs during the same season.
Our Many Colored Selves, Our Singular Holiness
if it’s not the skin color or shape of the eyes, what makes a Jewish woman Jewish? What makes her part of the Jewish nation? What makes her different than anyone else? What makes her unique? What is her true beauty?
Kabbalistic Numerology and the Miracle of Chanukah
There’s a natural order to our beautiful world.
Her Last Request Fulfilled
She was recuperating from an operation for a broken leg, and though she had been experiencing some occasional breathing problems since the operation, there had been no indication that anything was wrong, apart from her inability to walk.
Being What You Teach
As I made my way to my favorite vegetable stand, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation of the tourist mother with her four- or five-year-old daughter.
A Holocaust Chanukah Miracle
Surrounded by strangers, he was afraid to strike a match or recite a blessing for fear of calling undue attention to himself and his family.
Chanukah Lights
The light I speak of is not harnessed through modern technology nor emitted through halogen bulbs. It is a spiritual light.
Nurturing Spirituality
No matter what dirt tries to attach to our souls—and it surely will—our souls remain pure. We just need to learn how to see that.
Being Present
It’s easy for me to cook and clean, arrange for things and do the shopping, make phone calls and give baths, but it’s not so easy for me to be present while I’m doing these things.
Spirituality vs. Religion
A Chanukah Lesson
Religion that is motion without emotion is missing something.
Knowing Who We Are
It was said innocently enough. “Don’t Jew me now!” There was a moment of silence. Everyone looked at me for a response. But I didn’t know how to respond . . .
Lighting and Igniting
Judaism’s fire-lighting has always been one of building. We celebrate our days, our weeks, our months and our relationships with a fire, literally and figuratively . . .
Pregnant With Hope
A Chanukah Lesson
She wanted him to give her advice on she should deal with the situation once the child was born. She wanted him to bless her with strength. He didn’t. You know what he told her instead? He told her that a person should not ask to be able to pass a test that they don’t even have....
The Jelly Squirter
Ask me what I did today. I’ll tell you what I recently told a fellow mom when she asked me what I did this past summer: “Nothing.” Fascinating. When I review my day with Naftoli, it’s jam-packed. When I review my day with myself, it leaves me questioning my very identity as a person...
What's Oil Got to do with it?
There is no doubt that these flames are telling a story. The real question is, are we listening?
Overcoming Vanity
This woman was comforting me because she thought I was crying out of pain, the logical reason to cry after an accident like this. And yet, here I was crying because of the way I would look the next day...
Not Giving Our Kids Chanukah Gifts
This is not a holiday of splurging and materialism, but one of teaching our children how fortunate we have been, and how to help those less fortunate than ourselves...
Eight Meditations for the Eight Nights of Chanukah
Our task on these eight nights is to rededicate the Temple, in our own times, in our own lives; each night illumines a new aspect of self, lighting a new alcove of our inner House of Holiness...
What Do I Stand For?
It was the twenty-fifth of December. A Jewish girl from Queens had fulfilled her secret dreams, decorating that bright, forbidden tree…
Got a Light?
Chanukah Musings on Burnout, Fuzzy Slippers and Romance
G‑d in the day-in, day out is the G‑d I can relate to. Now that all the blockbuster holidays have passed, I feel like my soul is in a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers...
Celebrating Being Different
A Chanukah Message
Should I give them an answer that they want to hear, one that won't separate me from the group and will increase my chances of winning, or do I tell them what is really in my heart?
Finding Light in the Dark
The Healing Power of Chanukah
A young woman asked me this week why G‑d gave her an eating disorder. Her friends are enjoying the pleasures of youth,she struggles every moment for her health and sanity. She is young. She doesn't remember ever asking for this...
A Street Drain, Hot Ice & the Chanukah Flames
A lesson in metaphysics
Are things as they appear to be? Or is everything also its opposite? Is heat hot? Or is it cold as well? Is ice fire? And am I no-thing?
Judaism and Science
The Lessons of Chanukah
An in-depth evaluation of the events of Chanukah reveals that the war between the Jews and the Greeks was first and foremost a spiritual war — a clash of cultures. At odds were Torah and Greek philosophy — two entirely different conceptual schemes of human life...
Birthing Light
Illuminating the Month of Kislev
So “hitting rock bottom” is not the worst thing after all . . . it is only once we reach the bottom that we can actually be present to the new reality we are faced with. Only when we become present to a reality can we begin to move on from it . . .
Lessons From the Lights
Because Chanukah is about Jewish faith and pride, it is especially pertinent to Jewish women...
Women at War
A Chanukah Lesson
The Jewish people—men and women—defied every Greek law with enormous self-sacrifice, yet it was largely by and for the sake of Jewish women that the Maccabees were led to declare war . . .
Lighting Souls
A Chanukah Insight
I wanted to be tactful, but I also wanted to express my disagreement with her. "I know it's difficult, but the situation is difficult, the age is difficult. Your child isn't difficult."
Graceful Light
By defining themselves in perfect contradistinction to one another, "light" and "darkness" enter into a symmetrical bond which attests to an underlying unity forming their common source
Pure Oil
“Ritually pure”—what, exactly, is that? What properties does a ritually pure sample of olive oil have that the others don’t?
A Time to Light Your Child's Way
A Lesson From Chanukah
His pulling and pleading become more insistent and I ignored him. I knew his cries were a result of being tired and cranky and I had thought that he could wait...
A Chanukah Miracle: Poland, 1942
I knew then that even if by some miracle I could talk my way out of not having a Gentile document, I could never explain the latkes and doughnuts in my bundle...
Yehudit and You
A Chanukah Story
The ceremony marking the beginning of the school year was held in a local church. When I went to speak with the college president about this non-inclusive choice of venue, he answered me with a kindly smile . . .
Every Word Counts
Our Marriage Contract and Chanukah
I came home and explained to my husband that I just couldn't do it again. I couldn't start with the treatments again, the running around like a madwoman, the ups and downs, the anxiety. I just wanted to be happy with what I had...
Angels in the Headlights
Choosing to See the Miracle
In the comfort of the bus, G‑d sent me my own miracle- and made me realize that everyday brings its own causes for celebration...
Learning to Find Joy in Chanukah Again
Gone were the memories of all my mother’s happy years of Chanukahs celebrated together as a growing family, and they were now permanently replaced by the one indelible memory of her first Chanukah in England, alone, torn from her parents and sisters, while the Nazi inferno raged in Europe . . .
Making Chanukah Candles
Making beeswax candles is the perfect easy craft to do with kids and prepare your home for Chanukah...
Lighten Up
Darkness is not just what fills the sky. It can fill our vision, craft negativities in the mind, and color the same in heart. What lives in our mind is closely linked to how we feel and defines our entire reality...
Lessons from the Autumn Leaves
As I enjoyed the beauty of G‑d’s creation, a strange thought struck me—after the leaves change, they will fall off the trees. This vibrant display of nature only occurs when the leaves are dying!
Teach like a Shamash
Good teachers inspire us to grow. By expecting the best from us, they make us better.
The Spinner of Our Lives
It seems that every year the dreidel-makers try to outdo themselves.
Chanukah Miracle in the Emergency Room
Gently, the doctor breaks the devastating news to Debbie that Mark probably won't survive.
Tehilah: Our Answered Prayer
People said that, given our disabilities, we'd be irresponsible if we went ahead and had a baby.
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