Around the year 167 B.C.E., the Syrian-Greek rulers of Judea tried to force the Jews to assimilate into Hellenic culture. They summoned the Jews to the town squares where they were forced to worship idols or to sacrifice a pig before the idol.
I love the latke, and who doesn’t? All crispy and crackly with sizzling onions right out of the pan, the latke holds such promise. And then the whole thing goes right out the window for me when topped with jarred, beige, boring applesauce.
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Here’s a quiz:
What is the primary mitzvah of Chanukah?
a) Eating latkes (potato pancakes)
b) Giving Chanukah gifts or gelt (money)
c) Publicizing the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 days
d) Playing Dreidel
The absolute foundation of everything that we build in the world is who we are as people. If you build a house on a crooked or cracked foundation, you will wind up with a crooked (and then cracked) house. The definition of ‘integrity’ is ‘complete, undivided, unblemished’. If we want to create a world that is complete, undivided, and unblemished – this is how we need to be ourselves. If our intention is to create (through our vision and our actions) a world that is interconnected, whole and in balance, we need to be whole and in balance ourselves.
One ancient and ongoing philosophical question is: If God is perfect, and God created the world, can anything that God created be inherently bad? We all know that there is evil in the world, that there are things that appear to be bad. But when one takes the world as a whole, we realize that while the bad is usually unpleasant, difficult to understand and, in truth, terrifying, it is also necessary as a contrast to the incredible good we are given.
Hanukkah is on the horizon, and whether you’ll be spending it with loved ones or the one you love, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what you learned this year and how to take those lessons of the heart with you into 2012. I’ve shared plenty of my own tales and advice, so this time around, I did some market research and came up with eight appropriate wine pairings.
It is often noted by commentators on the Torah that whereas Abraham was a charismatic leader, his son, Isaac, was an introvert who spent much of his time studying. This same comparison could be made between the founder of the Chassidic movement, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (aka the Besht), and his successor, Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch (c. 1704-1772).
Is your Yiddish rusty? Want to whip up a kosher culinary masterpiece? Trying to remember which prayer to say as you cast off your sins on Rosh Hashanah? Don’t worry—there’s an app for it!
This simple weeknight dish is a powerhouse of healthy ingredients. I love making large batches of this and freezing some of it for leftovers. If you cannot find the Tuscan Kale, use any type of kale in the market or Swiss chard. The meatballs are delicious and make the dish hearty and family friendly.