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.
Image by osbkin on iStock


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I love history and understand that “Lincoln freed the slaves,” but the Civil War was about more than slavery. It was about preserving the Union, and about states’ rights (some things never change) and westward expansion. However, once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the war between the states would be forever remembered as a war to end slavery. Although I’ll admit that I’d never of Juneteenth until I moved to Texas. And I was surprised to learn it took two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves in Texas to be set free, but that explains why Juneteenth’s celebrated as the end of slavery in the United States. And why it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.


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Change is never as simple as issuing proclamations. Especially since slavery represented systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity. Real change requires words and actions, and a change in mindset. Celebrating the end of slavery is noble, but it should also serve as a reminder of where we are and how far we still have to go. Ending racism is not as simple as saying it is wrong but recognizing that it still exists is an important start.
Image by Kenishirotie on iStock


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Every Father’s Day , when I think of Daddy, I think about alligators and turtles. I know that might sound crazy, especially as there are so many wonderful memories, but those stand out. As does the fact that every day, he taught me about unconditional love and was always there for me. And even though he passed away over 20 years ago, the memories are as strong, both emotionally and “visually”, as if it was just yesterday. And for that, I’m so grateful.


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I know you are probably expecting me to talk about how Father’s Day is, in many ways, a form of “equal rights" since Mother’s Day was already in existence , or maybe the business aspects of it being a “ retail holiday ”. Instead, at the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, I will just say that dads always have a very special place in the hearts of their “little girls” … no matter how old those “girls” become.

Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day!

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It seems most appropriate that Flag Day falls during Effective Communication Month, or at least it does to Black, who years ago had suggested Red use race flags as a fun (and “safe”) way to communicate with her teenage daughter. From that point on, Red never looked at the “Stars & Stripes” the same way again … because she learned flags might be one of the most straightforward and effective ways to communicate – whether feelings of pride and support, messages to racecar drivers, or even to indicate your moods.


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This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


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Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


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I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


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If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


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I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
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