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Showing posts from December, 2009

Belated Happy Hanukkah

Last week I attended my daughter's high school winter concert.  She sings in the school choir.  Here are the songs they performed: Siyahamba (a South African Swahili hymn), Maoz Tzur (our very own Rock of Ages), Noche de Luz (Night of Silence), I'll be There (by the Jackson 5), The Storm is Passing Over (a Gospel standard) and the Halleluyah Chorus (from Handel's Messiah).  First of all let's state the obvious.  A far more diverse selection of music than the days of Solomon Schechter!  And also to be honest, I have still not come to terms with the conflicting feelings of seeing and hearing my daughter sing verses from the New Testament's Book of Revelation (that is what the Halleluyah chorus is structured around).  My feelings are something of a mixture of "Wow, she sings so well.  It makes me so proud." with "That's not what we believe.  No, we are still waiting."  Nonetheless the multi-ethnic quality of the occasion was wonderful to behold

Orrin Hatch's Hanukkah Song

I am sure you read about this in The New York Times .  I am still not sure what to say about it...  Happy Hanukkah from Senator Orrin Hatch!? I guess the response is better left to song: "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." Eight Days of Hanukkah from Tablet Magazine on Vimeo . And by the way, here is the story of that most famous of Christmas songs.

Helping Others

During this Hanukkah our synagogue reached out to those in our community who are hungry and homeless.  We donated gift cards to the Interfaith Nutrition Network 's Mary Brennan Soup Kitchen so that we can help restore a measure of dignity to those dependent on tzedakah.  It means a great deal for people to go shopping for themselves and buy what they need and perhaps even what they might want.  That is of course what I sometimes get to do!  At the INN, I helped Rob sort donated clothes and in particular winter coats.  You can watch the YouTube video of my visit here .  On Wednesday our confirmation students met with Dennis and Lisa from the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing .  Both Dennis and Lisa were formerly homeless and shared powerful personal stories with our students.  Lisa spoke about her struggle with bipolar disorder and being unjustly evicted from her apartment because of her mental illness.  Dennis spoke about living on the streets of New York City for fou