Ian Silverman, Rabbi

rabbi10View current news articles, commentary, videos and more that have an impact on Jewish culture, politics and religion at Rabbi Silverman's Sites to See

 The Dreidel and Chanukah

According to Rabbi David Golinkin, the dreidel, or sevivon, is the most strongly linked symbol, next to the Chanukah lamp, for Jews at Chanukah. Apparently the dreidel is not an indigenous custom, but one that is modeled after other cultures. In 16th century England, Ireland and in central Europe, there were games called Totem, which also had spinning tops with gambling directions. T is Take All, H is Half, P is Put Down, and N is Nothing. How very ironic that a holiday with a message to hold tenaciously to one's laws and customs has as one of its main symbols one derived through imitation!

But this does not stop our rabbis from attributing other meanings to dreidels, after the fact. Some claim that the letters nun, gimmel, hey and shin stem from the miracle of Chanukah shortly after declaring Nes gadol Haya poh, or in the diaspora, Nes gadol Haya Sham–A great miracle happened here/there. The game of dreidel, it is claimed, was begun for the purpose of concealing Torah study, which Antiochus prohibited, and that the letters equal the numeric equivalent of 358, which is also the value of the word meshiah. Chanukah begins a time of messianic redemption. 

Finally, some claim the letters represent the kingdoms that Jews have “spun circles around” and vanquished. Nun, gimmel, hey and shin remind us N, Nebuchadnetzar=Babylon; H, Haman=Persia=Madai; G, Gog=Greece; and S, Seir=Rome.

But the following is the take-away that I like best. The dreidel is a representation of what we mean by the middle Chanukah candle-lighting blessing. Praise and bless God, who has given us miracles in those days and in this time. “This time” refers not to our era, but rather “human time” real time. the whole story of Chanukah is that the miracle is driven from below by the Maccabees in real time. The centripedal force of the spin is driven not by the little handle above, but rather the body below. Similarly, it was the assumption of actions below that drove the victory and the success over the Greeks. The weighty actions and decisions we make in our life, in our time, are what allows miracles to happen. “Actions below lead to stirring above,” say our sages. That is what the letters of the body of the dreidel are telling us.

May all of us enjoy Chanukah and our dreidels. And may they inspire us to weighty actions and decisions that drive our reality. And let us say, Amen.

Israel Committee Events

Committee Meetings
All meetings begin at 7:00 pm

 

Programs
Sunday, October 22-
Join us the movie The Forgotten Refugees, followed by a discussion with Dr. David Kazzaz, father of congregant Jeff Kazzaz, who was expelled from Iraq in the 1950s.


 

Israel Items of Interest

Read about a small guitar workshop in Jaffa, creating the finest instruments, HERE.

A PhD student at Hebrew University has won an award for developing a test to detect Parkinson's Disease. Read about it HERE.

Three years after publishing an anti-Israel letter in the medical journal, The Lancet, the editor admits he has deep regrets and has dedicated the latest issue to highlighting health care in Israel. Read about it HERE.

Read an article by Chris Coons and Marco Rubio from the Wall Street Journal, "Every Senator Agrees the UN Must Change," HERE.

Israel's medical clowns- they cheer up sick kids, reduce anxiety, decrease pain, and alleviate depression. They are Jews, Christian Arabs, and others. Watch a YouTube video about them HERE.

Learn about the connection of Jews with Israel, the decades-long quest of Israel for peace with it's neighbors, the failure of Palestinian leadership to turn conflict into coexistence, and the contrast between the fate of Palestinian and Jewish refugees from the Arab-Israel conflict, HERE. 

Women of the IDF video

 

Rabbi Silverman's Suggested Sites to See

Add your name to the petition by the Jewish Community Relations Council denouncing the demonstration in Charlottesville and hate in all of its manistations- New Yorkers Against Hate- please sign HERE.

Read the words of the congregation president of the Charlottesville, Virginia Beth Israel synagogue, Alan Zimmerman. Towns and communities should not allow these demonstrations, citing first amendment considerations, and instead ban them on grounds of disturbing the peace. Read the article HERE.

Mahmoud Abbas claims the Palestinians are descendents of the Canaanites in order to claim they were in the land before the Israelites. In fact, Arab tribes settling in Israel were of several lineages. Read about it HERE.

Watch a funny video on the Middle East conflict HERE.

Students in Newton, MA were being taught under a curriculum of anti-Jewish rhetoric, funded by Middle-Eastern and Islamic study groups supported by gifts from Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab states. Luckily one child raised the alarm and parents went into action to stop it. But similar curriculums are being inserted into public school systems across the US. Read about it HERE.

Brandeis, America's only non-sectarian Jewish-sponsored college, offers a course on "Islamism," taught by a pro-Islamist bigoted professor. Read about it HERE.

Is the Anti-boycott act, now before Congress, and infringement on free speech? Read this Jerusalem Post article explaining why it is not, HERE.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved the Taylor Force Act will eliminates asistance to the Palestinian Authority if they continue to pay salaries to terrorists and their families. The bill will now move to the Senate floor. Contact your senators today and urge them to support his bill, HERE.

What's REALLY behind the debate over Metal Detectors on the Temple Mount? Watch a video and find out, HERE.

Read and excellent New York Times Opinion piece discussing the leaders of the Women's March, hailed by the Democratic Party and lauded by the media as inspiring and tranformative, who actually embrace some alarming, hatemongering and illiberal causes. Read the OpEd HERE.

Radical Islam exists not only in the Middle East and Europe, but it is here in the US as well. Read the words of a California Imam, HERE.

Read a wonderful gem by David Harris of AJC, entitled Stop Infantilizing the Palestinians, HERE. 

Sign a petition defending Israel and Jerusalem from efforts of the UN attacking Israel's sovereignty, HERE.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is calling out Jewish Voice for Peace, a left-wing, pro-BDS group, for their efforts to condemn Israel at every opportunity. Read about it HERE.

Rex Tillerson and the State Department are blaming Israel for the current unrest at the Kotel. Read about it HERE.

A Bar Mitzvah boy chose a Jimmy Kimmel theme. See how that turned out with a video, HERE.

There have been several clashes and many people injured over Temple Mount security efforts to defuse tensions, all initially begun by the brutal stabbing of 2 Israeli policemen by Israeli-Arab terrorists. Read the article from the Times of Israel HERE.

With controversy over Radiohead's upcoming show in Israel, an Arab-Israeli who will be performing with them has written an article in Newsweek urging them not to cancel, HERE.

Sign the petition from Mazon to maintain food programs in danger of being cut by the Trump Administration HERE. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel, which was a great opportunity for public relations, technology and trade. Read about it HERE.

US senators are calling for a reduction in aid to the Palestinian Authority because the PA is violating the Taylor Force Act by providing payments to the families of Palestinian terrorists. Read about it HERE. The PA claims these payments are social welfare– Read why they aren't, HERE.

A review of the new book Kingdom of Olives and Ash, edited by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, consists of 26 essays which essentially condemn Israel. Read the review HERE.

After Palestinians killed 2 Israeli policemen in the Old City, Israeli officials closed off the area for security reasons. The grand mufti of Jerusalem, citing Israeli "agression" called on Muslims to flood the holy site. Read about it HERE.

Read how UNESCO supports terrorism and rejectionism HERE.

Sign a petition to stand up against Students for Justice in Palestine at Fordham University HERE.

Nassau Legislator Howard Kopel says that allowing Roger Waters of Pink Floyd to perform at the Nassau Coliseum would violate local law against Israeli discrimination. Watch the video HERE.

The mayor of London has taken action to ban the flag of Hezbollah. Watch two videos on this subject: Al Quds Day 2017, HERE; and Kay Wilson Speaks Out Against Al Quds Day, HERE.

Biased US high school textbooks are turning young Americans against Israel, according to research by several Jewish watch groups. Read about it HERE.

Read "Why Won't Abbas Accept 'Two States for Two Peoples'?" by Alan Dershowitz, articulating the core obstacle to the Two State Solution- Palestinian rejection of a Jewish state, HERE. 

Georgetown University in Qatar will install Ahmad S. Dallal as it's dean in September. Dallal, an avowed supporter of Hezbollah, previously served as the chair of the DC campus Islamic Studies Department, know as a cesspool of jihadi sympathizers. Read about it HERE.

Judea Pearl has written of the BDS movement's immorality in the The Jewish Journal, nailing the truth regarding its actual goal to dismantle the State of Israel and deny the Jewish right to self-determination, HERE.

In response to Israeli PM Netanyahu's decision to freeze the Kotel Agreement, Mercaz Olami President and former Rabbinical Assembly President, Rabbi Alan Silverstein, has published a piece in the Times of Israel, HERE.

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters is the de facto spokesman for the BDS campaign, disparaging Israel and including graphic anti-Semetic visuals in his concerts. He is now the subject of a boycott campaign and documentary film by award-winning filmmaker and New York Times author Ian Halpern. Read about it HERE. You can view a trailer of the film HERE.

For College Students: join SSI- Students Supporting Israel and help in their important work. Learn about it HERE.

UNESCO had declared the Tomb of the Jewish Patriarchs, the second holiest site to Jews, a "Palestinian World Heritage site." This is historical revisionism taking place under our noses and given international legitimacy. HERE. See also a well-stated NY Post article HERE.

Read a very worthwhile Times of Israel blog from Daniel Gordis on his perspective of the evolving Israel-Diaspora fault lines, HERE. 

The Palestinian Minister Sabri Saidam, in charge of revamping the Palestinian Authority's education system will be keeping the radical curriculum that teaches students to become martyrs, reject negotiations and embracde a continued war with Israel rather than using this opportunity to prepare PA children for peace. Read about it HERE. Read the executive summary by the Israel Research Review, concluding that PA schoolbooks call for the de-legitimization and demonization of Israel, and a call for violent struggle instead of peace-HERE.

Irish Hypocracy: Ireland separates Catholics and Protestants by over 50 "peace walls", yet the wall that separates Israel from Palestine is termed an "apartheid wall" in Ireland and negatively thought of as racist. Read about it HERE.

Organizers of Chicago's LGBT festival expelled marchers carrying the Star of David. Read about it HERE.

A group of 18 NFL Hall-of-Famers joined New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on a trip to Israel that transformed their opinions of Kraft and of Israel, HERE.

Israel is the world's oldest victim of "false news," HERE.

Cold Spring Harbor's Judy Davis writes about the advantages of having Israel as an American partner in The Times of Israel, HERE.

Watch a video questioning the double standard when it comes to terrorism in Israel HERE.

Read an important article that rebuts the contention that the Holocaust is the reason the State of Israel exists, HERE.

As a Columbia University alumnus, Rabbi Silverman has written a letter to its president, Lee Bollinger, in protest of the "Nakba Project," an initiative of Columbia's Center for Palestine Studies and Adalah, and anti-Israel NGO. The project promotes extreme anti-Israel rhetoric and provides a platform for BDS-ers. Read about it HERE. 

Your tax dollars paid for an event in Congress, sponsored by Congressman Mark Pocan, with speakers that denied Israel's right to exit and called Israel's founding in 1948 a “catastrophe." Please sign your name to a petition that demands our leaders condemn this hate speech and to ensure that a congressional event like this will not happen again, HERE.

An Israeli rabbi settler who praised attacks on Arabs has been indicted for incitement. While it is troubling that rabbis have come to this, credit should be given to the the Israeli judicial system and mainstream Jewish scholars for disowning such thinking and indicting this rabbi. It would be significant if such legal mechanisms were applied to Palestinian society for similar incitement. Read about it HERE.

Watch an animated video about how anti-Semitism has mutated over time, HERE.

Read The Truth Behind Bar Mitzvah Tears, by Wendy Jaffe. A reflection that says it all perfectly, HERE.

Learn the proper protocol to handle Palestinian activists on campuses as exemplified by Georgetown University HERE.

A video about all the wonderful aid Israel provides worldwide, that will bring a tear to your eyes HERE.

 

 

Buy Chai, Double Chai and larger multiples–– now available for gift purchase


(Click HERE to purchase)

 

Continuing Religious Education

Download our Shabbat Prayer and Song Book

2017-2018 Religious School Handbook

The Bar Bat Mitzvah Handbook

 

SHMA Suffolk Hebrew Midrasha Academy
South Huntington Jewish Center
2600 New York Avenue
Melville, NY
Call for information- 631-643-5979
Registration Application




Contact Us

The East Northport Jewish Center
328 Elwood Road
East Northport, NY, 11731  

Phone: 631-368-6474
Fax: 631-266-2910
Religious School Office: 631-368-6474

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Religious School: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CONGREGANT PORTAL

 

        

Upcoming Events

healthcare jobs washington dc

levitra uk

atrium pharmacy

doxycycline online

harmony korine drugs

levaquin online

prescription medication for leg cramps

buy tetracycline online

pills for a bigger booty

buy azithromycin online

metanx prescription

viagra

priority health insurance

dapoxetine uk online

google android 2.2 tablet

phentermine 37.5 mg

i need a doctor song

adderall online without a prescription

water pill for high blood pressure

lorazepam online

naturopathic doctor schools

ostaa viagra