"Light One Candle" Peter, Paul and Mary
Forget politics, forget terrorism, forget our local and global headaches...let's start this weekend with a miraculous story. Just 48 hours after our darkest day (literally, not figuratively) of our
Winter Solstice on Dec. 21st we (Jews and Christians) will celebrate our
Holiday of Lights. The last time the first night of
Hanukah fell on
Christmas Eve was the year I graduated from High School in 1978 and the next time will be in 2027. Our Jewish calendar is based off the lunar rotation which makes all our Jewish holidays either early or late...they never seem to arrive on time (a Jewish joke). During these "dark" days, the dual celebration of Hanukah and Christmas can brighten our world and bring hope through their holiday's origins. The Hanukah story retells the rededication of our destroyed Jerusalem Temple and how a small supply of oil lasted 8 times it strength. The miracle in human nature is how we too are stronger than expected. Through our private and public trials and tribulation, we dig deep into our reserves to persevere and grow. Our history is a guiding light and a lesson plan, when studied it can help us triumph over difficulties. Hoping the light of our two holidays brings some Peace to our struggling World.
"Ma'oz Tzur" (Means: Stronghold of Rock)
Written in the 13th Century by
Of course there is no shortage of Hanukah songs and the two I've picked span 75 years between their recordings. The first selection is by our folk music legend
Woody Guthrie whose wife was Jewish and whose son
Alro Guthrie became a Bar Mitzvah long ago (tutored by Rabbi
Woody recorded this double Hanukah set in 1944.
And the best
parody out there is by the
. Their songs are well choreographed and they do an excellent job describing the holiday's history and our commitment to our Jewish faith. Hope you enjoy:
"Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel. I made you out of clay..."
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
This week's world struggles continues on a destructive path. The
to Turkey was gunned down at a public art gallery in front of a terrified crowd. Before the terrorist gunman was killed by security guards, he ranted about Russia's involvement in the death of Syrians. And of course the Syrian people continue to suffer displacement, destruction and death. Though Israel has been secretly treating them, Bibi this week made it public to the world, that wounded Syrians will be brought to Israeli hospitals for medical care.
And about 1500 miles northwest another Terrorist attack (credited to ISIS) took place as a brainwashed killer drove a truck into a crowd of holiday shoppers in Berlin killing a dozen people and injuring nearly 50 others. A Tunisian refugee is consider the main suspect yet as of Thursday evening, he was still at large. When will this horrific brutalism end?
"Fire and Rain"
Albert Einstein famously said: "The world will not be destroyed
by those who do evil, but by those who watch them".
Bravo to James Taylor for cancelling his
Filipino concert in protest of their unlawful assassinations of
suspected drug dealers. Drugs addiction is a serious cancer on our global society and must be addressed
"Yihye Tov" (Things Will Be Better)
18 years ago a musician and dear friend was in a serious car accident that nearly derailed his career but through strength, rehab and willpower, he persevered and continues to share his music and poetry with the world. Just before that fateful accident, he recorded this beautiful tune which had been kept unreleased till now. We are all grateful for the dear friends that help us journey down
"The Long Road" of life. Hope you enjoy this newly release tune by
"Isn't She Lovely" Stevie Wonder
And while we have music on the mind. Our daughter,
Liat Tova Lis, is in this year's
Banjo Babes Calendar which comes with a CD that includes a song from each Banjo Babe. If you'd like to hear Liat's song, click here and scroll down to #10 and select the song "Holy".
If you'd like to hear more of Liat's music, see her play or purchase a calendar, you can visit her website
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight"
A hypocritical Bravo to
Ban ki Moon
for his swan song speech acknowledging the UN's excessive criticism and bias of our Jewish Homeland via their over abundance of anti-Israel resolutions.
For example, during this session alone, there were 20 resolutions against Israel while the rest of the world received a combined total of 4 (1 each for Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea). Really...? 20 all against Israel and only 1 against Syria. How can they call themselves a legitimate international organization? According to their website, the UN's main objectives
include "maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict." and they should add: "Delegitimizing the tiny democratic Jewish State of Israel" to their resume. Just this week another resolution was introduced regarding Israeli settlements and the US wasn't going to veto it so Bibi called Trump who called Egpyt's Sisi and the vote was thankfully postponed during this very unprecedented maneuver. http://www.unwatch.org/unga-adopts-20-resolutions-israel-4-rest-world-combined/
"Don't Ask Me Why" Billy Joel
It's official. My hope of the Electors defecting from Trump was squished on Monday when only a few rogue voters switched including some who were suppose to vote for Clinton. Are there any brave legislators willing to demand repairs to our broken electoral system? But onto the next pressing issue. The
Supreme Court is in jeopardy of reverting back to a time when women had no rights over their bodies among many other issues vital to our lives. As mentioned many times in these messages, States are aggressive with their anti-choice regulations and our new administration could make it even worse, eventhough, 72,000 protesters of
Pence sent donations to Planned Parenthood in his honor. We must connect with our senators to prevent the confirmation of an adversarial SCOTUS nominee. And for the last bit of political news, the repressive
North Carolina Bathroom Bill cost their republican governor his job yet an attempt to repeal the law failed in a NC special legislative session so NC will continue to experience declining tourism and increased corporate, sports and music event boycotts, but at least people will continue to only use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender at birth.
"Sweet Surrender" Bread
Let's bring this week's message back to
Shabbat with a tasty Challah recipe that is made with olive oil. Please let me know if you try it. Looks delicious...
By the way, this is the Hanukah gift we
gave our family members this year.
(Idea credit goes to Mataan Lis)
Wishing you and your families a
Sweet Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Hanukah and to my Christian friends,
You can read all current and past Shabbat messages at
It's not suppose to happen... Parents shouldn't bury their children, young children shouldn't lose their mothers, young men shouldn't be widowers. Sadly, our community lost a vibrant young woman to cancer this week leaving so many loved ones behind. Condolences to the friends and family of
Lindsey Jacobs Finsilver z"l. She accomplished so much during her brief time on earth. May her memories and spirit live long in the hearts of her loved ones. She was truly a blessing upon her family and community.
Condolences to High School friend, Shelley and Neil Chaness and their family on the passing of Shelley's beloved mother, Mildred "Millie" Wish z"l (age 89). May her love and memories continue to bring comfort to her family and friends as she was a blessing unto all who loved her.
Rod and Vicki Brown on the passing of Rod's father,
Fred Brown z"l (age 84). May his spirit and long life comfort those who mourn his passing and may his memories live long in the hearts of his family and friends.
How can you sum up in a few words the greatness of a huge man who did so much for our Detroit Community, our State of Michigan, our Jewish Peoplehood, our Beloved Israel, Culture, Arts and Humanity... Though he lived nearly a Century, he accomplished a Millennium's worth of philanthropy and impact. Condolences to all who knew and loved
Mandel "Bill" Berman on his passing at the age of 99. We have lost a true mensch and patriarch.