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Mazel Tov Raichman Family

 

The Chabad community wishes a hearty mazel tov to

Rabbi Arieh and Devorah Leah Raichman
of Manaus, Amazon, Brazil

and to the grandparents
Dr. Jorge and Debbie Raichman

on the birth of a son and grandson

May we be collectively blessed with joy in our families
and share happy occasions together

 

 

Menorah lighting a historic event for Bellaire

SOURCE: Bellaire Examiner
bellaire chanukah 2011.jpg

Hanukkah celebration a 'historic event' for Woodlands Jewish community

SOURCE + Photos: YourHoustonNews.com

 By Matt Stephens Houston Community Newspapers

 

In front of a crowd of more than a hundred at the Market Street, Rabbi Mendel Blechler’s message was of the power of the Jewish faith, on how the legend of the Maccabee’s oil supply lasting for eight days has outlived the Maccabee’s military victory over the Greeks more than 2,000 years ago.

“Strength founded in spiritual light and faith in God can never be destroyed,” Blechler said.

Blechler lit the nine-foot-tall Menorah at the center of Market Street in The Woodlands Thursday night as dozens of onlookers repeated the Hebrew chants, marking the third day of Hanukkah. Although a great event for the Jewish community, this one is perhaps more special for those in The Woodlands because it was the township’s first Menorah lighting.

The Chabad of The Woodlands, a local branch of a larger group which places an emphasis on intellectual study and an emotional attachment to faith, began in March and has already reached out to the Jewish community. While Mechler said the number of Jews in The Woodlands area is “larger than you’d think,” he also saw and visited with a number of new faces Thursday night.

“Our main mission is to reach out to unaffiliated Jews and reacquaint them to their roots,” Blechler said.

He believes Hanukkah is an event which brings together people of Jewish faith who may not practice the rest of the year, but want to acknowledge and celebrate their faith around the holidays. Blechler said it is the only holiday for which it is a commandment to publicize, which is why it is so special to the religion and its followers.

“It is more than exciting. It is an unbelievable feeling,” said Ron Tager, a Jewish resident of The Woodlands for seven years. “The first I heard about the fact that they (the Chabad) are here, I got the chills.”

Tager admitted he is “not a religious person,” but since the Chabad came to the area, he has attended a few events. His daughter was even volunteering to help the Menorah lighting on Thursday, and his wife came with him. An Israeli native, Tager said it meant a lot to him to have an outlet for his faith and to have a group which brings together the local Jewish community.

“People that we have told about (the Menorah lighting) are absolutely excited about this. It’s a historic event to host a Menorah lighting in The Woodlands,” Rabbi Blechler said.

Danny Gavin, a musician at the event and a rabbi himself from Houston, said he has noticed a growth in the number of Menorah lightings in the Houston area over the years and has attended a few this year already. Along with The Woodlands event, he said there were lightings at the Memorial City Mall, at Sugar Land City Hall, at the Galleria and in Pearland, Kingwood and Clear Lake City.

“It’s a very public holiday,” Gavin said. “It gives us a little bit of hope and energy during the holidays.”

The Menorah lighting is significant for The Woodlands Township, as well as the local Jewish community. Township Chair Bruce Tough spoke at the lighting and praised the community’s religious diversity, with the Menorah lighting taking place only a few hundred feet from Market Street’s Christmas tree.

“This is what we’re all about,” Tough said. “We’re such a religiously diverse community. We celebrate our diversity and embrace it.”

For more information on the Chabad of The Woodlands, go to www.jewishwoodlands.com.

 

 

Bellaire celebrates Hanukkah’s message of hope at city’s first menorah lighting

SOURCE: Bellaire Examiner + Photos

By CAROLINE EVANS 

 

test4Bellaire celebrates Hanukkah’s message of hope at city’s first menorah lighting

Rabbi Yossi Zaklikovsky places a lamp on the menorah on display at Loftin Park in Bellaire. Thursday night was the first-ever public Menorah lighting in Bellaire.

History was made in Bellaire Town Square Thursday night as around 80 people, most of them members of the Jewish community, gathered on the third night of Hanukkah for Bellaire's first-ever menorah lighting. The lighting was organized by Rabbi Yossi Zaklikofsky, who founded and leads the Shul of Bellaire, a center for Jewish education and spirituality, which celebrates its first year of existence this month.

Rabbi Zaklikovsky recounted the story of Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, which commemorates the victory of the small military forces of the Maccabees over the giant Greek army, which had occupied Jerusalem and defiled and desecrated the Holy Temple there. The only thing that hadn't been desecrated was a single jug that held enough oil to burn one day. Miraculously, it burned for eight days and nights.

"The message of Hanukkah, as we are told year after year, is that there is that one spark inside us that can never be defiled," Zaklikovsky told the crowd. "The Jew inside of us, that one pure jug of oil, will never be defiled."

Outgoing Mayor Cindy Siegel and her successor, Mayor Pro Tem Phil Nauert, were in attendance, as were Councilmen Andrew Friedberg, Roman Reed and Jim Avioli.

For Friedberg, the lighting was a personal affair. As a Jew living in Bellaire, he said, he was proud to see the menorah included in the local holiday display.

Siegel said the Hanukkah message and the menorah is one that people of all faiths can appreciate. "The menorah is a symbol of faith, it is a symbol of hope, not just for those of us who are members of the Jewish community, but also for those of us who are not," Siegel said.

 

 

Chanukah hammer time: TDS students build menorahs at Home Depot workshop

SOURCE: JHVonline.com

 

JHV: MICHAEL C. DUKE

Torah Day School students loved building their own menorahs. Front: Avi Cin, Raphael Leonard, Yehuda Tanenbaum, Daniel Frydman, Nosson Cotlar, Sammy Mandl and Avremy Goldstein. Back: Rabbi Yaacov Vidal, Elan Leonard, Gal Doron, Lior Matzree, Mendy Donin, Menachem Fishman, Chaim Gerlitz, Isaac Dobin, Ari Feigenson, Sholom Lazaroff and Yoeli Donin.

 

 

By MICHAEL C. DUKE

Nosson Cotlar is a Jewish carpenter.

So are all of his middle school classmates from Torah Day School who, on Friday, Dec. 16, built wooden, tabletop menorahs for Chanukah during a workshop at a Home Depot in Southwest Houston.

“It was really cool,” said a kippah-clad, orange-aproned Nosson, between hammer blows.

“I learned a lot of important tips on how to build things. It was very fun to take a bunch of parts and make them into one,” said the 11-year-old Nosson.

TDS boys’ division head Rabbi Yaacov Vidal designed the workshop – the first of its kind for the Fondren-area school.

“I wanted the students to do something for Chanukah that they could use later,” Rabbi Vidal told the JHV.

The rabbi designed the menorah and made arrangements with the Home Depot at W. Bellfort and Chimney Rock to host the workshop. A workspace was carved out near the store’s entrance and some 20 students, joined by a few store employees, pounded away on the project for the better part of an hour.

By project’s end, each student had built his own kosher menorah that can be kindled on Chanukah either with candles or oil. The students also will have the option to wire their holiday lampstand with electrical lights next week during a follow-up workshop at the school with an electrician, Rabbi Vidal noted.

Students said they loved the hands-on project.

“I think it’s a really nice thing to do for Chanukah,” said Sammy Mandl, 11. “I’m glad we get to do this because I like building things, and I hope we get to do this another time next year.”

Yoeli Donin, 11, agreed.

“I loved hammering in the nails. It was awesome building our own menorahs. Thank you, Rabbi Vidal, for planning this great experience,” Yoeli said.

The rabbi, in turned, gave a big thank you to Home Depot and its staff for making the workshop possible.

Yehuda Tanenbaum, 13, said during the building process that it was “fun to see how it all comes together to become, well, a menorah.” 
 

Houston Galleria Recongnizes First day of Hanukkah

 SOURCE + News Video: KHOU.com

HOUSTON—This holiday season the Houston Galleria is doing something it’s never done before—in addition to its towering Christmas tree, it’s now displaying a giant Menorah.

The 12-foot high Menorah was designed especially for the landmark mall.

The first of the lights were illuminated Tuesday night, marking the first of the eight days of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah takes its place among Galleria’s celebration of the holidays

SOURCE + Photos:  YourHoustonNews.com

Houston’s Galleria has always been known for its spectacular Christmas decorations, but on Tuesday night, the focus was on the spectacle of Hanukkah as a 12-foot menorah designed especially for the Galleria was lit on the first night of the Jewish Festival of Lights. It’s the first time Hanukkah has been observed at the shopping mecca, sponsored by Chabad Lubavitch Outreach of Houston.

In a brief program at the location between Macys and Nordstrom, there were acknowledgments from dignitaries, music from a children’s choir, and Hanukkah treats and small gifts.

But the highlight was the lighting of the menorah. Local artist Isaac Cohen was commissioned to create the work, which reaches upward in the shap of the Magen Shlomo -- the Shield of Solomon and the Lone Star of Texas.

“The holiday of Chanukah contains a universal message for people of all faiths; namely that good will ultimately triumph over evil, freedom over oppression, light over darkness,” said Rabbi Moishe Traxler, director of Chabad Outreach of Houston. “The Chanukah Menorah teaches us yet another message: Just as we kindle an additional candle each night of the holiday, so too must we perform additional acts of kindness and goodness. We must not be satisfied with the goodness performed yesterday.”

Bellaire to mark Chanukah with family carnival, lighting of 9-foot public menorah

SOURCE: YourHoustonNews.com 

With Chanukah beginning at sundown Tuesday, Bellaire will host its first-ever public menorah lighting and family carnival at Loftin Park in Bellaire Town Square Thursday, on the third night of the eight-night Jewish Festival of Lights.

Mayor Cindy Siegel and other dignitaries will help light a nine-foot menorah at 7 p.m., sponsored by The Shul of Bellaire.

The lighting will conclude “Chanukah in Candyland” which begins at 5 p.m. at the adjacent Bellaire Civic Center, 7008 S. Rice Ave.

The event will feature a magic show by Tommy Blaze, dreidels, construction of a giant candy menorah, cotton candy, doughnut decorating, chocolate gelt and hot latkes.

The event has been organized by Rabbi Yossi and Esty Zaklikofsy of The Shul.

“The Menorah serves as a symbol of Bellaire's dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship G-d freely, openly, and with pride,” said Esty Zaklikofsy. “Specifically in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion, free from restraint and persecution, the Menorah takes on profound significance, embodying both religious and constitutional principles.”

Bellaire's menorah is one of thousands of large public menorahs, from the White House lawn to the Eiffel Tower, all sponsored by the Chabad Lubavitch movement throughout the world, including eight others right here in Houston, helping children and adults, of all walks of life, discover and enjoy the holiday message.

For more information, call 713-839-8887 or visit www.JewishBellaire.com/Chanukah.

Based on a news release from The Shul of Bellaire

Inaugural menorah lighting set for Dec. 22 at The Woodlands' Market Street

SOURCE: YourHoustonNews.com 

The public is invited to attend the first annual Grand Chanukah Celebration and Menorah Lighting at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 22, at Central Park in Market Street in The Woodlands.

Chabad of The Woodlands is hosting the event called, “Light the Night,” in honor of Chanukah, the Festival of Light. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.

Children’s crafts and entertainment will be featured along with traditional Chanukah food, including hot latkes, or potato pancakes, and doughnuts. A nine-foot traditional candelabra, or a Menorah, will be lit at 7 p.m., followed by musical performances of Chanukah songs.

Chabad of The Woodlands is a center for Jewish life in The Woodlands and surrounding areas.

Sponsorship opportunities are available by emailing Rabbi Mendel Blecher at rabbi@jewishwoodlands.com. For more information and to reserve your doughnut, go to www.jewishwoodlands.com.

Hanukkah in Houston

Hanukkah in Houston
SOURCE: Chron.com

 

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah (Chanukah) begins at sunset on Tuesday and continues for seven more nights. Following the Jewish victory over the Syrian Greeks, Hanukkah is celebrated to honor the rededication of the holy temple in Jerusalem.  After a period of desecration, the Jews lighted the temple’s menorah, but only found enough oil to last one day. Miraculously, the flame burned for eight days.

“The Holiday of Chanukah contains a universal message for people of all faiths. Namely, that good will ultimately triumph over evil, freedom over oppression, and light over darkness,” said Rabbi Moishe Traxler, director of Chabad Outreach of Houston. “The Chanukah Menorah teaches us yet another message—just as we kindle an additional candle each night of the holiday, so too must we perform additional acts of kindness and goodness. We must not be satisfied with the goodness performed yesterday.”

To celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with the same spirit, festive events are planned across Houston beginning with the Menorah Lighting at the Galleria on Tuesday.

Standing 12 feet high, the exquisite menorah is handcrafted by a local artist Isaac Cohen. Made entirely out of steel materials, the menorah gracefully extends upwards in the shape of the famous Magen Shlomo – Shield of Solomon.

The menorah will be lighted for the first time ever at 5 p.m. Tuesday near the fountain between Macys and Nordstrom. The program will feature addresses by prominent citizens and dignitaries, a children’s choir, and a short presentation. Chanukah treats will be served to the crowd and there will be special Chanukah gifts for children.

Then at 7 p.m., the Menorah Mobile Parade will leave the Galleria area from Turnberry Tower  at 5048 Hidalgo St. and travel to the Chanukah Wonderland at Memorial City Mall. The Wonderland will feature a 7 foot tall ice menorah, music, arts, crafts, candle making, olive press, singing, dancing, dreidels, and prizes.

Every community has its unique Hanukkah traditions, but some traditions such as lighting the menorah, spinning the dreidel, and eating fried foods are universally practiced.

The lighting of the menorah celebrates the miracle of the Hanukkah oil. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second, and so on, until eight candles are lit.

Another common tradition involves spinning the dreidel, a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side. Children usually play this game for a pot of gelt, which are chocolate coins covered in gold tin foil.

Adding on to the holiday calories, Hanukkah is yet another excuse to eat fried foods. Since Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, it is customary to eat fried foods such as latkes and sufganiyot during the holiday. Latkes are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions fried in oil and served with applesauce. Sufganiyot are fried jelly-filled donuts dusted with powder sugar.

Local events are planned throughout the week to celebrate various Hanukkah traditions. For more information on Hanukkah events, visit the Chabad Outreach of Houston.

 

Mazel Tov Marinovsky Family

The Chabad community extends its hearty Mazel Tov to

Rabbi and Leah Marinovsky upon the engagement of their son 

Shmaya Marinovsky to Ilana Warshavsky from Cleveland, Ohio

May we share only Simchas.

Celebrate the miracles of Chanukah

SOURCE: www.JHVonline.com

Photo by JHV: MICHAEL C. DUKE

Umar Abdulwahab, 11, worked the Living Legacy Olive Press on Dec. 8 at The Children’s Museum of Houston during a Chanukah demonstration hosted by Rabbi Mendy Traxler of Chabad Outreach of Houston.

 

Bringing light to origins of the menorah

 

 

 

 

SOURCE + Photos: HoustonBelief.com 

Congregation members arrive in cars with menorahs on top to Chabad of Uptown on the final night of Hanukkah on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008, in Houston. Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff lead the service which included the lighting of a menorah made from cans of food that the congregation will donate to the Houston Food Bank. on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008, in Houston.   ( Sharon Steinmann / Chronicle ) Photo: Sharon Steinmann / Houston Chronicle

Congregation members arrive in cars with menorahs on top to Chabad of Uptown on the final night of Hanukkah on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008, in Houston. Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff lead the service which included the lighting of a menorah made from cans of food that the congregation will donate to the Houston Food Bank. on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008, in Houston. ( Sharon Steinmann / Chronicle ) Photo: Sharon Steinmann / Houston Chronicle

On Tuesday a 12-foot-tall steel candelabrum will be lit in the Galleria in honor of the first night of Hanukkah. Two hours earlier and nearly 1,500 miles away, a large menorah will illuminate the Ellipse outside the White House in Washington, D.C.

The multi-branched candelabrum has become widely recognized as a symbol of modern Judaism, but most people don't actually count the branches of the candelabra. If they did, they'd realize that the Hanukkah lamp - often called a hanukkiah - has nine arms, while the traditional menorah has seven branches.

In some ways, the ubiquity of both the seven- and nine-branched lamps is surprising. Hanukkah, which commemorates the 2nd-century B.C. Maccabean revolt against the Syrian king Antiochus IV, is too late to be mentioned in the Old Testament alongside the High Holidays and the three annual pilgrimages of Passover, Tabernacles, and Weeks. But experts say that the role of the candelabra as a source of light and its relevance as a Jewish symbol in ancient times explains its modern proliferation.

The seven-armed menorah, which famously appears on the Arch of Titus, is affiliated with the Temple and Tabernacle candelabra mentioned in the bible. It was the Temple menorah which miraculously burned for eight days as part of the Hanukkah narrative, and the symbol of the menorah dates back to at least the beginning of the common era.

Menorahs appear on ancient small oil lamps and lintel decorations in synagogues, while the nine-branched hanukkiah first appears in a Golan Heights, Israel, synagogue that arguably dates to the first century, says Ori Soltes, a Georgetown University lecturer.

The Temple menorah's seven branches symbolize the Fourth Commandment, keeping the seventh day, or Sabbath, apart, says Soltes, author of Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source

The hanukkiah's nine branches correspond to the eight days of the holiday, with an additional branch called a shamash, or attendant, which is used to light the other candles.

"Hanukkiah is a brand new word of modern Hebrew, when (Israelis) decided to call all electrical lamps and sockets as menorah," says Alan Brill, an Orthodox rabbi and chair of Jewish-Christian studies at Seton Hall University. "Before, they were both called menorah."

According to Brill, the menorah is one of the oldest Jewish symbols, which became an "emblem of enlightenment" starting in the 16th century. The menorah, which is the official emblem of the state of Israel, also symbolizes God's light in Kabbalistic tradition, adds Brill.

Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff, program director at Chabad Lubavitch's Texas regional headquarters, says the holiday's "great food" - potato and cheese pancakes and jelly donuts - and family-centric celebrations have led to its wide appeal.

Lazaroff, who directs the Chabad of Uptown in Houston, adds that recent polls have shown that 93 percent of Israeli Jews light Hanukkah candles, compared to 85 percent who celebrate Passover. He notes that only 65 percent of Israeli Jews believe in God.

A central Hanukkah ritual is publicizing the miracle, which is why Orthodox Jews light their menorahs after dark and place them in their windows for maximum visibility, Lazaroff says.

Soltes, the Georgetown professor, isn't surprised that Hanukkah has become so public.

Not only is the Hanukkah miracle uplifting, Soltes says, but the holiday also reflects the "universal desire to fight back the darkness of winter with light" and serves as "a specific antidote, for Jewish children, to the excitement of their Christian classmates as Christmas arrives."

Menachem Wecker is a freelance writer and blogger at houstonbelief.com.

 

 

 

 

Mazel Tov Camhi Family

The Chabad community wishes a hearty mazel tov to

Allan and Joyce Camhi

on the birth of a daughter
Dina Malka

May we be collectively blessed with joy in our families
and share happy occasions together

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