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Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    WeinbergRabbi-lightingChanukiahThe first light of Chanukah will be lit this Wednesday evening, December 1.

The ideal place to set the menorah is at a window facing the most used thoroughfare. The reason for this is that we are to publicize the miracle of Chanukah, proclaiming to the entire world that freedom of religion is everyone’s responsibility.

The proper time to light the candles is when night falls. However, if the family will assemble later, one should wait for them. 
Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    mea shearim Jerusalem IsraelDear Congregants and Friends,

I have returned from a wonderful and inspirational visit to Israel. One of my prime motives, of course, was to be reunited with my extensive family, a happy task which I completed in every way. The other goal was to absorb and bask in the modern miracle of the State of Israel. There is never an end to the exhilaration one feels just walking down the street and seeing all the signs in Hebrew as people who are clearly from all the different parts of the world mingle into one big family. The hospitals are the best in the world, the malls are modern and beautiful and there are innumerable playgrounds because Israel is a land for the children. I did not encounter much political talk. People are busy with their many responsibilities and they have a deep faith in the future. It is a constant joy just to be there.

Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    Dear Congregants and Friends,

2Jews_in_JerusalemHow can I describe the highlights of my visit when each and every moment is a unique highlight in itself?  This morning, my grandson Dani Eisenstock, drove me to the Kotel.  We put on our Talit and Tefilin and communicated with Hashem via a very "local call."  We then had a leisurely breakfast at the Rimon Cafe at the fashionable Memila Mall, overlooking Jerusalem.

Yesterday,  I joined my daughter, Shira, at the "Pinat Chamah" ("warm corner").  This is a resting stop for the soldiers, who are served coffee, tea, cakes and lots of other refreshments.  It is open for many hours each day and serviced totally by volunteers who come in shifts.  Donated boxes of delicious cakes arrive constantly.

Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    TishaBAvWe are now in a very sad period of our calendar, which began with the Fast of Shiva Asar b'Tammuz, commemorating the time that a breach was made in the walls of Jerusalem. This day inaugurated the "Three Weeks", which culminate in the saddest day of the year, Tisha B'Av. Among other calamities, both of our Holy Temples were destroyed on that very same date.

But there are many rays of hope in these days. Our tradition teaches that Mashiach (our Messiah) will be – or already has been – born on this day. We also believe that Tisha B'Av will be turned into a day of joy and festivities, as it was in the time between the two Temples.

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