Six13 - West Side Chanukah Story | Presented by MJE


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Well, Chanukah’s over. Next stop, Christmas!


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Technically, Chanukah does not end until sundown tonight.


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It started last Sunday night, and it’s eight nights, that’s why Chanukah menorahs have eight candles, not counting the center one, which is just used to light the others. So that means last night was the last night.


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It always amuses me that I, who barely went to synagogue growing up, have to explain the basics to you, who had a “formal” Jewish education, including a Bat Mitzvah. Yes, it is eight nights, but the holiday does not end until sundown on the eighth day.


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I guess I never thought about days vs. nights, but I’m still thinking about the hilarious video you sent me that uses music from “West Side Story” with the lyrics changed to celebrate Chanukah.


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I thought it was entertaining and very clever (thanks “BW” for sending it to me).


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And very timely, as the opening of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” is this weekend! I can’t wait to see it, and although I love the original, I have to admit that if the trailer's anything to go by, this version looks wonderful.


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Great music added to a great story, which was based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” So, it is hard to mess up, although I am sure that Spielberg, while wanting to create something new and fresh, also wanted, in his way, to pay homage to a great classic.


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Is that like creating new Chanukah latkes recipes based on traditional potato latkes?


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That is one way to look at it. But, when it comes time to see the movie, I know you will be thinking of movie popcorn, not potato latkes.
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It’s #GivingTuesday, and although it’s always a good time to think of others, remember all the people who are continuing to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters long after the headlines have been forgotten.

And even though Black believes charitable giving can be “secretive”, she also knows there’s science proving helping others is good for you. (Warning: she likes to recommend the book “Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself.“)

P.S. – Wherever you may choose to donate, beware of potential scammers. So, if in doubt – check them out! (Black likes GuideStar and Charity Navigator.)



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I know today’s Giving Tuesday, but what I always find so amazing is how you treat every day as “Giving Tuesday."


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What makes you say that? I do not donate to an organization or charity every day.


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You’re always so literal. I meant that the spirit of “giving to others”, whether donating or providing support in some way, seems to be part of your daily life.


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I think you are exaggerating.
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Photo courtesy of Red’s eldest daughter, Natasha


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At the risk of asking you a warm and fuzzy question, have you thought about what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving?


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Yes.


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I should’ve guessed that you’d take the question literally. Could you expand on that a little, or at least give me a hint?
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When Red was a child, toilets represented more than a place to go when, well, you had to go. Much to Black’s amusement, Red saw cleaning them as a reward. (Really! Check out Red's post below.) But neither of us realized that billions of people don’t have access to toilets. And if it weren’t for today being World Toilet Day, we never would have known the magnitude of the associated health and safety issues – or the connection between sanitation and groundwater.

RED: What can I tell you? When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite things to do was … clean the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. And it wasn’t because I was a germophobe or a clean freak. I just loved being able to sit on the floor, using as much Bon Ami (I’ve no idea why I remember the brand) cleaning powder as I wanted. And the best part? All those bubbles!

It kept me entertained for hours. Not to mention, my mom was thrilled because it kept me “contained” and out of her hair. So much so that if I was very good and behaved myself, she might even give me “special permission” to clean the toilet in my parent’s bathroom. Of course, Black, being five years older and understanding the situation, found it all extremely amusing. Even now, decades later, she still gives me grief about it,

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