December 4, 2015 |
It sounds like a good problem to have. For families that observe both Hanukkah and Christmas, there's double the gatherings, double the gifts, and double (or possibly quadruple if said family combines Jews and Italians) the food. Yet this time of year can also be challenging for multi-holiday households. It may mean delicate calendar negotiations, tense budgeting, or surprising surges of usually dormant cultural or religious loyalties. We talked to three chef households about how they balance multiple celebrations and keep the party going through the solstice season.
December 17, 2014 |
Whether the miracle of the first Hanukkah is fact or legend - oil enough for just one day is said to have burned in the Temple lamps for eight - not all Jews agree. But devoutly orthodox Rabbi Abraham Shemtov believes in miracles, and why not? Forty years ago he witnessed a kind of Hanukkah miracle, right on Independence Mall. Better yet, he helped create it, and has watched it spread around the world. On Dec. 14, 1974, Shemtov and four other men of the Lubavitcher sect of Hasidic Judaism gathered on Independence Mall to light what is thought to be the first menorah, or Hanukkah candelabrum, ever illuminated on public property in the world.
December 13, 2014 |
In a swelling tide of tinsel and Bing Crosby, Hanukkah sometimes seems like a mesh bag of gold foil-wrapped afterthought. Yet the very theme of the Festival of Lights is survival, and the panoply of options for Hanukkah activities in the region demonstrates that this holiday refuses to go quietly into the fake snowy night. Here are some ways to keep the lights burning: Lighting ceremonies. Re-creating those flames that wouldn't quit, lighting ceremonies abound on the eve of the holiday on Tuesday - at sundown at Suburban Square, 6 Coulter Ave., Ardmore (information: 610-896-7560, suburbansquare.com)
December 10, 2014
ISSUE | OBAMACARE In law's complexity, confirmation of ills Janet Trautwein of the National Association of Health Underwriters tells us that we should solicit advice from a licensed professional agent to sort out all the confusion about the health-care law ("Advice to the confused: Get an adviser," Dec. 8). So now we must not only pay an accountant to do our annual taxes, since tax law is almost too complicated for an average citizen to keep up with, but we must pay an agent to advise us on how to obtain health insurance, which will, most assuredly, also cost more.
December 9, 2014 |
It was clear right at the start that these were not going to be your mother's potato pancakes. After all, how many of your mother's latkes could be described as Cajun? Or be, for that matter, a potato pancake version of the Greek spinach pie - "spanalatke" - right down to the tzatziki sauce? Yet the 3,300 latkes that were consumed by a sellout crowd of 400 men, women, and children Sunday afternoon at the Gershman Y's 12th annual Latkepalooza reflected the diversity of the cuisine of the nine restaurants - and the venerable Betty the Caterer, who accepted the invitation to participate.
November 22, 2013 |
In modern America, Hanukkah generally overlaps with the Christmas season of gifts and parties. But this year, when the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving Day, it bears reflecting on the commonalities of those two holidays: Indeed, both are based on a quest for freedom and both include food traditions to recall days long ago. The food traditions of Hanukkah center on oil, commemorating the story of one day's supply of oil burning for...
November 2, 2013 |
Crescentia Motzi's floral adventure began in Hong Kong, her home until 1971, when her family emigrated to the United States. She was 14 then, already fascinated by her mother's ability to grow vegetables and flowers in a metal basket attached to the outside of their apartment. Later, as her American life unfolded - Catholic high school in Newark, N.J., and a brief stint at the University of Rochester, followed by marriage and multiple moves around the country for husband John's pharmaceutical career - Motzi worked as a secretary and administrative assistant, at one point considering a career in nursing.
December 24, 2012
By Ellen Scolnic and Joyce Eisenberg We're Jewish. Our husbands are Jewish and our kids are Jewish. We've been Jewish for thousands of years. It's not news to us that we don't celebrate Christmas. We've never had a Christmas tree. Never cooked a holiday ham. Never strung the bushes outside our homes with colored lights. But that doesn't mean we don't enjoy yours. We love the trappings of Christmas. We are in the minority - among the 3 percent of Americans who celebrated Hanukkah.
December 14, 2012 |
Like modern Israel, biblical Israel had many enemies. The average person today can conceptualize some of them - the Egyptians, for example - but based on the holy book, it's hard to distinguish among the Canaanites and Ammonites, the Hittites and Philistines. The Bible is not a history book, and certainly not one written by a disinterested third party. Enemies of the Israelites are presented as just that. But in the case of the conflict commemorated by Hanukkah, understanding the enemy involved can provide much insight.
December 10, 2012 |
'You shouldn't have trouble finding the house - it's pretty noticeable," Flo Weinstein tells a potential visitor, in a classic case of understatement. Indeed, the Weinstein house in Mount Laurel is visible from a distance. It's aglow with lights, mostly blue, outlining the house, trees, and shrubs, and a huge sign reads, "Happy Hanukkah. " The first reaction, typically, is, "Wow!" Flo and her husband, Robert Weinstein, are not given to understatement during this season. They are exuberant in their displays, both indoors and out, and just as passionate in their feelings about the holiday, which celebrates the Jewish miracle of rededicating the ancient Temple in Jerusalem following victory over the Syrians in 165 B.C. For Flo, that miracle, all these centuries later, is deeply personal.