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Bittersweet Hakafot Dancing

This Sukkot (2015), following Abbas’ speech and declaration at the UN, has seen a tragic surge in terror attacks, stabbings and shootings in Israel. Earlier this holiday we spoke of the shooting of Eitam and Naama Henkin (and messages from Read the rest

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3 Reasons for Maximum Sukkah Height

Is there a maximum height of a Sukkah? The first Mishna of Talmud Sukkah says there’s an argument about this. The general consensus is that a Sukkah (floor-to-ceiling) can’t be higher than 20 Amos (cubits) or the equivalent of about … Read the rest

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Naama Henkin’s Lulav Art & The Exemplary Etrog Way of Life

Eitam&NaamaHenkinIn middle of the Sukkot holiday this year (5776 / 2015), Eitam and Naama Henkin, an Israeli couple, were gunned down and killed in their car by terrorists, while their children were (thankfully spared) in the back seat. Abbas’ Fatah … Read the rest

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The King Under The Bed

A parable:Long ago, in some far off land, (this is a fictional parable actually) a king went hunting in a thick woods and accidentally got separated from his hunting party. To make matters worse, some ruffians, mortal enemies of the king, … Read the rest

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Sukkah de Vivre!

There’s a story told about an uptight and unhappy rich man and a poor but joyous man, a Chassid, who lived on the same street in a small Eastern European shtetl. The rich man had a much larger house, of … Read the rest

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No Need for Reward, Doing it for the Mitzvah Itself

This classic Chassidic Sukkot story is told in Rabbi Zevin’s “Chassidic Stories for the Festivals.” This story dates back to Eastern Europe before UPS and FedEx, when shipping was costly and unreliable, and Jewish communities were quite poor with limited … Read the rest

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Willow Jews – Stories from Curacao and Rome

An oft-quoted Medrash classifies the diversity of the Lulav set into taste and smell. An Etrog has both taste and smell, a date palm has taste but no smell, myrtles are fragrant but have no taste, and the willow has … Read the rest

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A 13th Year Sukkah Anniversary

On the first night in the Sukkah 5776/2015 we shared this background to the sponsorship listed on the table-card.

13 years ago, on the first night of the Sukkot holiday, Dan E. walked into the Sukkah, it might have been … Read the rest

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“Like a Rope” Crimping the Cable

Parshat Haazinu compares Jacob’s heritage to a rope. The Alter Rebbe in Tanya uses the rope analogy to describe our multi-strand, intertwined and interconnected multifaceted connection to G-d (Igeret HaTeshuvah), and to our fellows (Tanya 32).

21st century technology takes … Read the rest

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Praying for a Marine before the Book of Jonah

This happened this year (2015) just before Yom-Kippur. We got one load of Schach greens (for Sukkah cover) from a tree-cutter, but it wasn’t quite enough. Then we got a call back from a very fine tree service that has helped us … Read the rest

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