Wearing Redemption

“Bo knows.” About 20 years ago, Bo Jackson was a superstar athlete who played both baseball and football, and played them well. Nike picked him up and marketed his talent and prestige with the slogan that he knew what was going on. And so, this parasha, Bo, knows what’s going on.

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Russ Resnik
The Name that Doesn't Change

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet.

Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy has Juliet asking why Romeo has to be called by that name, by that family. But what’s in a name, indeed?

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Russ Resnik
What's in a Name?

This week’s parasha, Shemot (“names”), is the beginning of the story of Israel’s redemption from Egypt. People who are named in the beginning of Exodus have something to teach us—those who are not named, like Pharaoh, have no enduring legacy.

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Russ Resnik
How Trust Can Be Restored

The news stream today is filled with stories of abuse and betrayal, and we might wonder whether deeds like this can ever be forgiven. And even if they are, can the perpetrators ever be trusted again? The tale of Joseph and his brothers answers such questions.

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Russ Resnik
Forgiveness Forms the Future

The long narrative of Joseph and his brothers is truly a story of “everything turns out okay in the end,” but more importantly it is a story of change, teshuvah (repentance), and forgiveness.

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Russ Resnik
What Happened to the Maccabees?

Along with his sons, Mattathias and the faithful followers fled to the hills to continue the revolt and many gathered around them. Importantly, Mattathias ruled that the Maccabean army could take up arms on the Sabbath to repulse the king’s army.

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Monique BrumbachComment
A Very Brazilian Hanukkah

Have you ever wondered what it's like to celebrate Hanukkah in the southern hemisphere? According to Congregational leader Matheus Zandona Guimares (of Har Tzion Messianic Synagogue in Belo Horizonte, Brazil), it's a hot, humid, and rainy affair.

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Monique BrumbachComment
Why Celebrate Hanukkah?

Facing a seemingly hopeless situation, the Maccabees did not succumb to defeatism or "overwhelm," nor did they compromise on their key principles. They followed the path that their ethical convictions dictated, regardless of the enormity of the task.

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Monique Brumbach
Miracles: Obvious and Hidden

Hanukkah is an example of miracles, both obvious and hidden. In the story of Hanukkah, God works behind the scenes through Mattathias and his sons, but then we have the open and obvious miracle of the oil.

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Russ Resnik
How to Light a Menorah

Every year we seem to have the same argument about the right way to load and light the candles in the menorah. "It's right to left!" "No, I swear I remember that it's left to right!" We usually count on Google to solve our debate. In the spirit of getting it right, here are four steps to lighting your menorah, beginning tomorrow night. 

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Monique Brumbach