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Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    Combining Shabbat and Chanukah: lighting candlesWe are about to light the fourth candle of Chanukah, and I hope and trust that we are all enjoying the festival and gaining inspiration from its manifold meanings.

There may be some confusion as to the order of the lighting of the candles on Erev Shabbat. In review, the Chanukah lights are always lit before the Shabbat candles. That is perfectly logical because once we have lit the Shabbat candles, we consider Shabbat to have arrived and can no longer light other flames.

A drawback to this is the fact that when we light the four candles this afternoon, it is still full daylight! The fourth day of Chanukah is still quite a way off.  We are caught in a quandary.

So let me share with you a minhag (custom) that my family has practiced for as long as I can remember. You might want to adopt it.

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Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    Weinberg Rabbi Although the Yamim Tovim are a few weeks in the past, it is not too late to try to recall if we redeemed the pledges we made during Yizkor on Shmini Atseret.  

The text of our prayers at that time indicated that we are donating charity “in their memory.”  If this has not been done, this would be an excellent time to send such a donation either to the shul or to a charity of your choice.  It is important not to leave a pledge unfulfilled.
 
 
 
Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    Derash on Lech Lcha -The Road Ahead - Abraham's FaithThere are two times in the Torah when G-d tells Abraham to go to a certain place, but does not inform him of the destination. The first is in this week's portion of Lech Lecha:  "Leave your home and go to a place which I (G-d) will show you."  The second time is in Parshat Va-yaira" when Abraham is going toward the mountain where he was to be tested regarding his willingness the sacrifice Yitzchak (Isaac).  Again, he was instructed to go to a mountain "which I (G-d) will show you."  Why was Abraham not informed? Read more...
 
Written by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg    Now that we’ve just gone through a whirlwind of holy days and festivals, the month of Cheshvan — the first day of which will be this Shabbat — does not have a single holiday... not even a fast day! 

If I were to ask you what your favorite Hebrew month is, you would probably name one corresponding to your favorite holiday (Pesach, Chanukah, Succot, etc.).  Hard as this may be for you to believe, Cheshvan is my favorite month. 
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