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This weekend, we will gather together with family or friends (or, if you’re on the RAC staff, with 215 high school students at L’Taken) around the Chanukah lights, spin the dreidel, eat latkes and sufganyot and engage in the great “applesauce or sour cream” debate.
The sages of the Talmud had a debate about how we are to light the Chanukah menorah: Should we begin with eight candles and remove one each night, or begin with one and add through the holiday?
I have a bunch of blog posts brewing in my head, but felt like I couldn't write anything until I wrote about Newtown. But, what could I say? What can I say?
by Nancy Crown When I was called to meet with a member of my synagogue’s Congregation-Based Community Organizing Committee, I almost declined. I was asked to think about what the temple could do that it was not already doing. My main reaction was to reflect on the many opportunities for learning, worship, and community that I wasn’t partaking of, due to limited time and a longstanding “outsider” feeling when it comes to religion. Like many others, my upbringing did not include much meaningful participation in the spiritual aspects of Judaism. My daughter, now 28 years old, has developmental disabilities. She was keenly interested in Judaism as a young child, but as a teen, she began to talk about converting to another religion. By that time, our son was enrolled in school at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, where we were members. We chose a Jewish day school for a number of reasons, including our desire for our son to feel more secure in his Jewish identity than my husband, my daughter, or I had felt. We began lighting candles on Friday nights. I took Hebrew classes. We attended services, where, at moments, I would feel an achy kind of longing, alongside a feeling of being an outsider. Try as I might, I couldn’t quite find a way in.