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The Modern Day Maccabee Battle Within

The third night of Chanukah (2018) BeLev Echad IDF wounded veterans soldiers talk at our Modern-Day Maccabee event was more meaningful & personal than I expected. 

A key issue they shared was how their mental & emotional rehabilitation was harder … Read the rest

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The Beauty about Jewish Beauty

One of the big cultural differences between the Greeks and the Jews in the background of the Chanukah story was how to view physical beauty. The Greeks were very much into it, it was a noble thing for them, they … Read the rest

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Number of Candles in the Box

Chanukah candles have that classic look: colored, twisted. The old traditional blue boxes used to have a prominent number 44 on the box, because that’s the exact number of candles needed for one Menorah throughout Chanukah. More on that later, … Read the rest

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The Pittsburgh Kaddish Headline

This image of these four Hebrew words (which begin the Kaddish, the mourners prayer) spread across the whole front page top of the Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh’s largest newspaper, is chilling and comforting, saddening and uplifting at the same time.  

Tonight at … Read the rest

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I Want My Hat Back – by Jan Klassen

We picked up this “I want my hat back” book at the library the other day. It’s by Jan Klassen who wrote and illustrated several picture books about animals and a hat. This book (surprisingly!) won major book awards and … Read the rest

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Red and White Make Pink

Every few years we do a Pink Shabbat in conjunction with the Sharsheret organization for Jewish breast cancer awareness and support. In fact, we did Pink Shabbat once or twice before Sharsheret. It is important that students (even as they … Read the rest

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Remembering Bubbe Risha (I)

This Shabbat (Noach 5779) is the second yartzeit of my grandmother Bubbe Risha Piekarski. I (and some of my siblings) lived in her and my grandfather Zeide Michel’s home (1672 President Street, near Utica Ave) for nearly ten years while … Read the rest

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Students Speak on Staying Afloat

At Shabbos Lunch of Parsha Noach, we went “around the table” with each student sharing something that helps them stay afloat in times of pressure or stress, when they feel overwhelmed. What are some of your coping mechanisms?

Laundry! Why … Read the rest

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Staying Afloat

Our Simchat Torah “dancing-rabbi”image had been our profile picture for more than a week after the holiday, and while we wish for the Simchat Torah spirit to linger, we realized it’s time to change our profile picture. 

Being that it … Read the rest

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Two Firsts, Two Priorities

As an additional commentary to the verse, Rashi (the great biblical commentator) veers off the literal meaning and parses the first word of the Torah “Breishis” into two: Bais (the letter Bais has a numerical value of 2) & Reishis … Read the rest

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