Why The Happiness of Purim?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Why The Happiness of Purim?

In a world that is constructed of the story of Purim, everything looks like it’s based on mere happenstance and there seems to be no G-d involved—this is a world of randomness and meaninglessness. Whatever happens, just happens by nature or luck, and what can be more meaningless and depressing than that! Thus, the Rabbis had to decree all the laws for the happiness of Purim, because happiness is not innate to a story that is seemingly happenstance and devoid of G-d. That is the big difference between Purim, where Hashem is hidden, and Passover or Hanukah, where Hashem revealed Himself and made incredible miracles—the 10 plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea or the one day of oil that lasted for eight days.


On Purim, we celebrate our deliverance from the evil Haman and the king’s decree to kill all the Jews, but also we are overflowing with Joy remembering that G-d is always with us—in good times and G-d forbid in the bad times–we are not afraid of anything (another indecisive election, the stock market downturn, our enemies, Coronavirus, etc.) knowing that He loves us and cares for us, and will deliver us in the old days and in the new. May the final deliverance soon be completed with the arrival of the Mashiach—and the hidden will become revealed like on Purim and the joy will be forever increased. Amen.

 
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Celebrating The Holidays

This holiday outfit has got to win an award. 


The matching suit and tie with all the decorative holiday ornaments. 


The bright red shirt. 


The tree hat with the star on top.


And the dark glasses. 


Wow, standout city!


Where do you get clothing like this?

I wonder if I could do this with a menorah too. LOL


Happy Holidays to all.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy Hanukah Trader Joe’s Style

Trader Joe’s has the best food shopping experience, hands down. 

They also have the best edible and good tasting fresh, healthy food. 

On top of it, they have a nice gift card for a Happy Hanukah!

I vote that we replace all the other crummy supermarkets with Trader Joes instead. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

The Passover Menorah

It’s Passover this week, not Chanukah. 


So what’s with the menorah?


Well my friend, John Akkus (of Akkus Silver Touch), made this beautiful piece for me. 


I love the fine handiwork of copper, brass, crystals, Jewish symbols (Stars of David) and bold colors of this amazing menorah. 


John sells his art at the annual Suglarloaf Festivals in the Spring. 


I am so glad I found this wonderful menorah–it is beautiful all year long (through Chanukah and Passover). 


Thank you John and nice job!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Celebrating Chanukah At Ulpan

It was so nice tonight at Ulpan. 


Morah Degani had a special night planned for us tonight to celebrate Chanukah. 


She called me up to light the candles for the 3rd night and recite the blessing. 


Then she played Chanukah songs and we sang along to the Hebrew words on the screen. 


We later read and talked about the story of Chanukah and all the meaning and significance of it for having freedom of religion/worship and to maintain our religion and not assimilate. 


It was a beautiful way to learn and practice our Hebrew. 


Happy 3rd night of Chanukah! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

On The First Night Of Chanukah

Please see my article in The Times of Israel called, “The Lesson of the Candy Lane Menorah.”

It was a beautiful ushering in the first night of Chanukah by Chabad of Bethesda, Maryland. The “candy” menorah that they were going to use was somehow destroyed, but Chabad came with a spare–they are terrific…even when things go wrong, miracles can happen, but we have to be prepared like Chabad was tonight.

Happy First Night of Chanukah to everyone! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)